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Re: [webanalytics] Looking for feedback on the book from those of you who have read it ...

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  • Colin Crawford
    Eric, I m particularly interested in the KPI as far as the publishing sector is concerned so will respond in due course. I purchased your publication over the
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 6 9:41 PM
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      Eric,

      I'm particularly interested in the KPI as far as the publishing sector
      is concerned so will respond in due course. I purchased your
      publication over the week-end off your website and downloaded the pdf.
      However the pdf required a password - does that come with the book -
      I'd like to access the pdf asap.

      Colin Crawford
      VP, International Data Group
      San Francisco, CA

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Eric Peterson <eric.peterson@...>
      Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 20:42:14 -0700
      Subject: [webanalytics] Looking for feedback on the book from those of
      you who have read it ...
      To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com

      Everyone,

      The subject of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) keeps coming up.
      More and more frequently it has been in the context of trying to
      define KPIs for specific types of sites (automotive, retail,
      advertising-based, brand-building, ...)

      I was wondering if those of you who read the chapters in Web Analytics
      Demystified that covered KPIs had any feedback on my treatment?
      Should I have gone into more depth? Did I go too deep? Was there
      something huge that I missed out on and should definitely cover in the
      future? If you were going to write a chapter/book on KPIs what would
      you have covered that I forgot?

      Feel free to send the feedback either directly to me or to the group,
      doesn't matter as if the group sees it perhaps it will spark some
      conversation on the subject. If you haven't read the book but monitor
      this discussion, feel free to chime in if you like.

      I appreciate your help in advance and hope that those of you stateside
      had a happy and safe holiday weekend.
      --
      Eric T. Peterson
      Author, Web Analytics Demystified
      www.webanalyticsdemystified.com

      Have you joined the Metrics Discussion Group? Email
      webanalytics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join today!



      ---------------------------------------
      Web Metrics Discussion Group
      Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
      Author, Web Analytics Demystified
      http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com



      Yahoo! Groups Sponsor

      ADVERTISEMENT


      ________________________________
      Yahoo! Groups Links

      To visit your group on the web, go to:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/

      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      webanalytics-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



      --
      Best regards, Colin

      Colin Crawford
      415-205-3600
      415-276-1965 (fax)
    • Eric Peterson
      Colin, Ok, publishing sector ... I just heard that from a Nancy at O Reilly as well. Comparitive KPIs for the publishing vertical ... on the list. What else?
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 7 7:54 PM
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        Colin,

        Ok, publishing sector ... I just heard that from a Nancy at O'Reilly
        as well. Comparitive KPIs for the publishing vertical ... on the
        list.

        What else? Surely some of you have thought about this and have an
        opinion?! Where is Belkin and Casanova and MacIntyre to give me a
        hard time??!? Even you vendors should speak up and let me know what
        your customers have been asking for!

        I'm not saying I'm writing another book, but the thought had crossed
        my mind. ;-)

        Eric


        On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 21:41:38 -0700, Colin Crawford
        <colincrawford@...> wrote:
        >
        > Eric,
        >
        > I'm particularly interested in the KPI as far as the publishing sector
        > is concerned so will respond in due course. I purchased your
        > publication over the week-end off your website and downloaded the pdf.
        > However the pdf required a password - does that come with the book -
        > I'd like to access the pdf asap.
        >
        > Colin Crawford
        > VP, International Data Group
        > San Francisco, CA
        >
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Eric Peterson <eric.peterson@...>
        > Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 20:42:14 -0700
        > Subject: [webanalytics] Looking for feedback on the book from those of
        > you who have read it ...
        > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Everyone,
        >
        > The subject of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) keeps coming up.
        > More and more frequently it has been in the context of trying to
        > define KPIs for specific types of sites (automotive, retail,
        > advertising-based, brand-building, ...)
        >
        > I was wondering if those of you who read the chapters in Web Analytics
        > Demystified that covered KPIs had any feedback on my treatment?
        > Should I have gone into more depth? Did I go too deep? Was there
        > something huge that I missed out on and should definitely cover in the
        > future? If you were going to write a chapter/book on KPIs what would
        > you have covered that I forgot?
        >
        > Feel free to send the feedback either directly to me or to the group,
        > doesn't matter as if the group sees it perhaps it will spark some
        > conversation on the subject. If you haven't read the book but monitor
        > this discussion, feel free to chime in if you like.
        >
        > I appreciate your help in advance and hope that those of you stateside
        > had a happy and safe holiday weekend.
        > --
        > Eric T. Peterson
        > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
        > www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
        >
        > Have you joined the Metrics Discussion Group? Email
        > webanalytics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join today!
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------------
        > Web Metrics Discussion Group
        > Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
        > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
        > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
        >
        > ADVERTISEMENT
        >
        > ________________________________
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        > To visit your group on the web, go to:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > webanalytics-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
        >
        > --
        > Best regards, Colin
        >
        > Colin Crawford
        > 415-205-3600
        > 415-276-1965 (fax)
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------------
        > Web Metrics Discussion Group
        > Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
        > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
        > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >



        --
        Eric T. Peterson
        Author, Web Analytics Demystified
        www.webanalyticsdemystified.com

        Have you joined the Metrics Discussion Group? Email
        webanalytics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join today!
      • Colin Crawford
        I ll put something together. It s going to be a big issue as we beleive that 50% of our business will be online by around 2007/8. It gets more complex as
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 7 10:13 PM
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          I'll put something together. It's going to be a big issue as we
          beleive that 50% of our business will be online by around 2007/8. It
          gets more complex as most of our revenue are moving from "banner" to
          integrated deals - with sponsorship and lead generation being a key
          part of the package.


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Eric Peterson <eric.peterson@...>
          Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 19:54:51 -0700
          Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Looking for feedback on the book from
          those of you who have read it ...
          To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com

          Colin,

          Ok, publishing sector ... I just heard that from a Nancy at O'Reilly
          as well. Comparitive KPIs for the publishing vertical ... on the
          list.

          What else? Surely some of you have thought about this and have an
          opinion?! Where is Belkin and Casanova and MacIntyre to give me a
          hard time??!? Even you vendors should speak up and let me know what
          your customers have been asking for!

          I'm not saying I'm writing another book, but the thought had crossed
          my mind. ;-)

          Eric


          On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 21:41:38 -0700, Colin Crawford
          <colincrawford@...> wrote:
          >
          > Eric,
          >
          > I'm particularly interested in the KPI as far as the publishing sector
          > is concerned so will respond in due course. I purchased your
          > publication over the week-end off your website and downloaded the pdf.
          > However the pdf required a password - does that come with the book -
          > I'd like to access the pdf asap.
          >
          > Colin Crawford
          > VP, International Data Group
          > San Francisco, CA
          >
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Eric Peterson <eric.peterson@...>
          > Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 20:42:14 -0700
          > Subject: [webanalytics] Looking for feedback on the book from those of
          > you who have read it ...
          > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Everyone,
          >
          > The subject of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) keeps coming up.
          > More and more frequently it has been in the context of trying to
          > define KPIs for specific types of sites (automotive, retail,
          > advertising-based, brand-building, ...)
          >
          > I was wondering if those of you who read the chapters in Web Analytics
          > Demystified that covered KPIs had any feedback on my treatment?
          > Should I have gone into more depth? Did I go too deep? Was there
          > something huge that I missed out on and should definitely cover in the
          > future? If you were going to write a chapter/book on KPIs what would
          > you have covered that I forgot?
          >
          > Feel free to send the feedback either directly to me or to the group,
          > doesn't matter as if the group sees it perhaps it will spark some
          > conversation on the subject. If you haven't read the book but monitor
          > this discussion, feel free to chime in if you like.
          >
          > I appreciate your help in advance and hope that those of you stateside
          > had a happy and safe holiday weekend.
          > --
          > Eric T. Peterson
          > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
          > www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
          >
          > Have you joined the Metrics Discussion Group? Email
          > webanalytics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join today!
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------------
          > Web Metrics Discussion Group
          > Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
          > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
          > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
          >
          > ADVERTISEMENT
          >
          > ________________________________
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          > To visit your group on the web, go to:
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > webanalytics-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
          >
          > --
          > Best regards, Colin
          >
          > Colin Crawford
          > 415-205-3600
          > 415-276-1965 (fax)
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------------
          > Web Metrics Discussion Group
          > Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
          > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
          > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >



          --
          Eric T. Peterson
          Author, Web Analytics Demystified
          www.webanalyticsdemystified.com

          Have you joined the Metrics Discussion Group? Email
          webanalytics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join today!





          ---------------------------------------
          Web Metrics Discussion Group
          Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
          Author, Web Analytics Demystified
          http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com



          Yahoo! Groups Sponsor

          ADVERTISEMENT


          ________________________________
          Yahoo! Groups Links

          To visit your group on the web, go to:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/

          To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          webanalytics-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



          --
          Best regards, Colin

          Colin Crawford
          415-205-3600
          415-276-1965 (fax)
        • monkeypawjohnson
          Eric, I have discussed this with you earlier, but not publicly. I think that a chapter on Automotive Analytics and Automotive centric KPI would be very useful
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 8 4:48 PM
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            Eric,
            I have discussed this with you earlier, but not publicly. I think
            that a chapter on Automotive Analytics and Automotive centric KPI
            would be very useful for the numerous Automotive OEMs.

            Other rationale is that Automotive sites are many things to many
            people. One site can be a lead generator and also a branding website.
            How do you associate KPIs to a site thats purpose is to "gather
            names" and enhance the corporate brand.

            Another thing that I think would be very useful is Standards, maybe
            adding a chapter on some measurement standards?

            Just my two cents...

            Chris D'Alessandro
            Director of Web Analytics
            J. Walter Thompson



            --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Eric Peterson
            <eric.peterson@g...> wrote:
            > Everyone,
            >
            > The subject of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) keeps coming up.
            > More and more frequently it has been in the context of trying to
            > define KPIs for specific types of sites (automotive, retail,
            > advertising-based, brand-building, ...)
            >
            > I was wondering if those of you who read the chapters in Web Analytics
            > Demystified that covered KPIs had any feedback on my treatment?
            > Should I have gone into more depth? Did I go too deep? Was there
            > something huge that I missed out on and should definitely cover in the
            > future? If you were going to write a chapter/book on KPIs what would
            > you have covered that I forgot?
            >
            > Feel free to send the feedback either directly to me or to the group,
            > doesn't matter as if the group sees it perhaps it will spark some
            > conversation on the subject. If you haven't read the book but monitor
            > this discussion, feel free to chime in if you like.
            >
            > I appreciate your help in advance and hope that those of you stateside
            > had a happy and safe holiday weekend.
            > --
            > Eric T. Peterson
            > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
            > www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
            >
            > Have you joined the Metrics Discussion Group? Email
            > webanalytics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join today!
          • Jim Novo
            ... Can we talk about KPI s in the broader sense for a second? What baffles me about universal or vertical KPI discussions is this: aren t the KPI s
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 8 5:21 PM
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              > I have discussed this with you earlier, but not publicly. I think
              > that a chapter on Automotive Analytics and Automotive centric KPI
              > would be very useful for the numerous Automotive OEMs.

              Can we talk about KPI's in the broader sense for a second? What baffles me
              about "universal" or "vertical" KPI discussions is this: aren't the KPI's
              obvious based on the objectives of the web site? Is it possible people
              don't need "standard" KPI's but need clear objectives? Because a clear
              objective would certainly beg the KPI to use in measuring success.
              Different auto (or any vertical) sites could certainly be very successful
              based on different KPI's.

              I'm not trying to be flip here, I am really curious about this, I see it
              over and over. Is it that I don't understand the KPI's also have a
              different use, e.g. "standard vertical KPI's are needed because management
              won't state clear objectives" or for some other reason? A need for
              comparison to other sites instead of continuous improvement of the subject
              site versus objective? Is it that I'm the only one in the world who looks
              at an objective and immediately sees clear KPI's?

              Personally, I would much rather see people creating site-specific KPI's and
              have them all be different for each site in a vertical than see a standard
              set that is bound to be not "right" for most of the sites in the vertical.

              Am I looney on this? Someone please explain? I swear it must be my
              database marketing background clouding my vision here, or perhaps the way
              most companies are run today is very different from what I am used to.

              What are "standardized" KPI's used for and why are they useful?

              Jim
              jim@...
              http://www.jimnovo.com
            • monkeypawjohnson
              Jim, No, you are not looney. I know that specific sites need KPIs that are in line with that sites business objectives. To a more granular level every
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 8 8:01 PM
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                Jim,
                No, you are not looney. I know that specific sites need KPIs that are
                in line with that sites business objectives. To a more granular level
                every campaign may have their own KPIs based on the campaigns goals.
                The second part of my post was really more about standards in general
                not specifically KPIs. Sometimes I go on tangents and lose focus.

                If Eric were to write some additional chapters or update his book, I
                think that a chapter on the automotive vertical would be beneficial to
                a number of companies and people.

                That was really the only point I was trying to make.

                Sorry about the confusion.

                Chris D'Alessandro
                Director of Web Analytics
                J. Walter Thompson

                --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Novo" <jim@j...> wrote:
                > > I have discussed this with you earlier, but not publicly. I think
                > > that a chapter on Automotive Analytics and Automotive centric KPI
                > > would be very useful for the numerous Automotive OEMs.
                >
                > Can we talk about KPI's in the broader sense for a second? What
                baffles me
                > about "universal" or "vertical" KPI discussions is this: aren't the
                KPI's
                > obvious based on the objectives of the web site? Is it possible people
                > don't need "standard" KPI's but need clear objectives? Because a clear
                > objective would certainly beg the KPI to use in measuring success.
                > Different auto (or any vertical) sites could certainly be very
                successful
                > based on different KPI's.
                >
                > I'm not trying to be flip here, I am really curious about this, I see it
                > over and over. Is it that I don't understand the KPI's also have a
                > different use, e.g. "standard vertical KPI's are needed because
                management
                > won't state clear objectives" or for some other reason? A need for
                > comparison to other sites instead of continuous improvement of the
                subject
                > site versus objective? Is it that I'm the only one in the world who
                looks
                > at an objective and immediately sees clear KPI's?
                >
                > Personally, I would much rather see people creating site-specific
                KPI's and
                > have them all be different for each site in a vertical than see a
                standard
                > set that is bound to be not "right" for most of the sites in the
                vertical.
                >
                > Am I looney on this? Someone please explain? I swear it must be my
                > database marketing background clouding my vision here, or perhaps
                the way
                > most companies are run today is very different from what I am used to.
                >
                > What are "standardized" KPI's used for and why are they useful?
                >
                > Jim
                > jim@j...
                > http://www.jimnovo.com
              • Eric Peterson
                Jim, I nearly cried when I read your post thinking, At last, I am not ALONE! KPIs are a proxy for business objective thinking much like conversion rate is a
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 8 8:17 PM
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                  Jim,

                  I nearly cried when I read your post thinking, "At last, I am not
                  ALONE!" KPIs are a proxy for business objective thinking much like
                  conversion rate is a proxy for online success. Often when I give my
                  presentation on KPIs, when I introduce the idea of KPIs being driven
                  by activities which are simply the clickstream measurement of business
                  objectives I let clients know that if they don't know what their
                  business objectives are and cannot clearly state them then perhaps
                  it's time to flip off the power switch, turn off the lights and take
                  an early retirement. How could anyone hope to make a business
                  successful when they haven't clearly defined their business
                  objectives?!

                  And, even better, once you've defined your objectives, the related
                  activities are usually pleasantly obvious and thusly, there are the
                  KPIs, automagic! I think I cover this in chapter four of Web
                  Analytics Demystified (and if I didn't, I definitely did in my Jupiter
                  report on the subject -- Key Performance Indicators: Using Analytics
                  to Drive Action -- which I wish I could share freely but the man is
                  keepin' me down in that regard).

                  It's so easy, it almost makes it fun.

                  But then there is reality and reality dictates that Web analytics is
                  hard, or sorta hard. Some of the ideas are fairly alien or at least
                  new. The idea of having to map business objectives to activities and
                  then translate those activities into meaningful, actionable
                  measurements is not as intuitive as you and I think. It is likely
                  your database marketing background and my biological sciences
                  background that drive us to take a reductionists view of everything
                  ... a business is just a bunch of activities which can easily be
                  measured. QED. My major professor would be proud.

                  So anyway, you're right on but so are Chris and others who are looking
                  for help in defining "standard" KPIs to share with others. Another
                  reason I'm asking these questions and soliciting feedback is that
                  sometimes all a really smart person needs is another moderately smart
                  person to validate their work or thinking. E.g., if Chris thinks that
                  A, B, C and D are excellent KPIs for a client, and if Eric or Bryan or
                  any number of guys named "Jim" back him up in writing, well Chris is
                  good to go then isn't he? Again, this is new and unfamiliar terrain
                  for many people ... one of the reasons that you guys are looking at
                  forming an association to tackle some of these issues.

                  Anyway, my post is approaching MacIntyrian length so I'll stop ;-)
                  Suffice to say, you're not looney, or if you are, so am I.

                  Eric
                • magan_daniel
                  All: Perhaps my perspective is a bit simplistic, but could this not be a case of, in the absence of other information, I may as well base my success on how
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 9 4:31 AM
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                    All:

                    Perhaps my perspective is a bit simplistic, but could this not be a
                    case of, "in the absence of other information, I may as well base my
                    success on how the Jones' family is doing?"

                    It's my opinion that, while measurement services still offer unique
                    value to people with pointed questions, this was all we had to base
                    our succeess on a few years ago. E.g., "Are we getting enough
                    traffic as competitor X? If so, we must be doing something right and
                    if not, we must be doing something wrong."

                    But, after companies collect data for several years, they can trend
                    their own traffic, drill into it, and refine what the objectives of
                    their site should be. Ergo, as Jim and others note, you have a
                    better-defined site strategy and your KPIs should be right in front
                    of you.

                    $.02

                    Dan
                    Progressive Insurance



                    --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Eric Peterson
                    <eric.peterson@g...> wrote:
                    > Jim,
                    >
                    > I nearly cried when I read your post thinking, "At last, I am not
                    > ALONE!" KPIs are a proxy for business objective thinking much like
                    > conversion rate is a proxy for online success. Often when I give my
                    > presentation on KPIs, when I introduce the idea of KPIs being driven
                    > by activities which are simply the clickstream measurement of
                    business
                    > objectives I let clients know that if they don't know what their
                    > business objectives are and cannot clearly state them then perhaps
                    > it's time to flip off the power switch, turn off the lights and take
                    > an early retirement. How could anyone hope to make a business
                    > successful when they haven't clearly defined their business
                    > objectives?!
                    >
                    > And, even better, once you've defined your objectives, the related
                    > activities are usually pleasantly obvious and thusly, there are the
                    > KPIs, automagic! I think I cover this in chapter four of Web
                    > Analytics Demystified (and if I didn't, I definitely did in my
                    Jupiter
                    > report on the subject -- Key Performance Indicators: Using
                    Analytics
                    > to Drive Action -- which I wish I could share freely but the man is
                    > keepin' me down in that regard).
                    >
                    > It's so easy, it almost makes it fun.
                    >
                    > But then there is reality and reality dictates that Web analytics is
                    > hard, or sorta hard. Some of the ideas are fairly alien or at least
                    > new. The idea of having to map business objectives to activities
                    and
                    > then translate those activities into meaningful, actionable
                    > measurements is not as intuitive as you and I think. It is likely
                    > your database marketing background and my biological sciences
                    > background that drive us to take a reductionists view of everything
                    > ... a business is just a bunch of activities which can easily be
                    > measured. QED. My major professor would be proud.
                    >
                    > So anyway, you're right on but so are Chris and others who are
                    looking
                    > for help in defining "standard" KPIs to share with others. Another
                    > reason I'm asking these questions and soliciting feedback is that
                    > sometimes all a really smart person needs is another moderately
                    smart
                    > person to validate their work or thinking. E.g., if Chris thinks
                    that
                    > A, B, C and D are excellent KPIs for a client, and if Eric or Bryan
                    or
                    > any number of guys named "Jim" back him up in writing, well Chris is
                    > good to go then isn't he? Again, this is new and unfamiliar terrain
                    > for many people ... one of the reasons that you guys are looking at
                    > forming an association to tackle some of these issues.
                    >
                    > Anyway, my post is approaching MacIntyrian length so I'll stop ;-)
                    > Suffice to say, you're not looney, or if you are, so am I.
                    >
                    > Eric
                  • Jim MacIntyre
                    No you are definitely not alone. I have to admit that I was having a hard time focusing on KPI as a term in this thread because it seemed at first to be
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 9 10:00 PM
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                      No you are definitely not alone.  I have to admit that I was having a hard time focusing on “KPI” as a term in this thread because it seemed at first to be being used as jazzed up term for “Metric,” but Jim and your last exchange interrupted my snooze ;)  So Eric here is your MacIntyrian post for the evening ;)

                       

                      A Key Performance Indicator is for me a Metric that has been designated as “KPI” because of its particular ability to closely track progress to a particular business’ objectives. 

                       

                      Your book provides good guidance, as do a number of the other consultants and authors here in helping companies to clarify their objectives and find Metrics that track their progress toward them. 

                       

                      So maybe its worth throwing back and forth ideas of what would be in the tool kit and work plan for a company that is trying to well define their objectives and the Metrics that will help them track their performance to them, in hopes that at the other end they could emerge with a set of their own KPIs that really are “key” to their ongoing understanding of their own site’s performance.

                       

                      To Matt’s training wheels analogy I would say (having just tried putting a three year old on a bike) that those training wheels can give a little fellow the confidence to get on the bike in the first place where he wouldn’t otherwise be able to get started.

                       

                      The training wheels have little to do with his objective in getting on the bike, they just give him (and his father/mother) the confidence to get on/get him on and know that he is not going to fall over as soon as he starts and not want to get on again.

                       

                      I kind of like this analogy as most people just don’t jump on the bike and ride.  Template/basic and even benchmark Metrics are like this, they provide orientation.  Are these KPIs? I don’t think so, at least not in most cases, they are plain old web Metrics.

                       

                      Industry specific Metrics seem to be a next step, such just peel back another layer of the onion, getting you a bit deeper set of Metrics that may reflect some general objectives of an industry or company type, for instance demand sales related metrics in Retail, booking related metrics in Travel or application related metrics in Financial Services. 

                       

                      These are definitely a step more helpful than the general web Metrics all are used to, but they still don’t in my mind really qualify as new KPIs, after all these types of companies already have these numbers from other systems.

                       

                      To reiterate you previous points, the objectives of a particular site evolve over time, what is key at some stage of development of a team and the site they are optimizing may fade in importance as the next stage sets in. 

                       

                      KPIs in other words need to exist within the context of the type of company, the development of its team and its current business objectives.  Your KPIs this month in other words might be the response/conversion rates to the campaigns that you are running right now to meet the sales objectives for certain products this quarter end, not response/conversion rates for the year or for other products. 

                       

                      So for a team/site to have evolved to the point where it is correctly using KPIs assumes that they know their objectives clearly enough such that they can choose and define Metrics to track their progress toward them effectively, but it also requires that the tools they are using can let them easily define these KPIs so that such gets out of books and into practice.

                       

                      Sure it helps to know what other company’s business objectives are and how they track progress toward them, this is why industry Metrics are helpful. They are helpful because people learn well initially by imitating other people and they get started because there is a good starting point that’s not daunting.

                       

                      To overuse Matt’s analogy they give people the confidence to jump in and practice without falling down.  They may not be Lance Armstrong yet, but they’re riding. 

                       

                      Once they are riding they soon want to ride farther and faster.  This is where the tools they have chosen really start to become important. 

                       

                      The tools they have chosen need to be able to evolve with them.  They need to let them define the Metrics/KPIs that really do track their business objectives and help them make optimized decisions.  At this point a set of hard coded generalized Metrics just won’t do.  You should be able to sit down at your desk and define a new KPI in ten minutes and drag it onto any dashboard you like.

                       

                      At this point the tools you use need to allow you to define a new Metric/KPI without pain or tweak a template Metric’s definition to closely track “performance” toward a key business objective.  You shouldn’t have to buy a new system, recompile code, rearchitect a data model or re-process years of data.

                       

                      This thread reminds me of the first time I came in contact with Jim N. It was just after Bryan E. gave me one of his and Jim’s Metrics books and I spent an evening using the metrics definition capability in my tools to implement the twenty or thirty Metrics the two of them had defined in the book, for a demo to them the next day.  I recently worked with a client to define some KPIs and once defined set up threshold based alerts to let them know proactively when those KPIs go in and out of target range.  I’m not sure why, but they didn’t want to sit in front of the web analytics system all day ;)

                       

                      It should be that easy for a consultant or an experienced user to sit down, knowing their business objectives, and quickly define the Metrics/KPIs that they then need given current business objectives.  My hope for them at this point is that they do not need to go through a 2-6 month process of finding and buying a new set of tools to take the next steps, in fact the most valuable steps to their company. 

                       

                      Best regards,

                       

                       

                       


                      From: Eric Peterson [mailto:eric.peterson@...]
                      Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 11:17 PM
                      To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Re: Looking for feedback on the book from those of you who have read it ...

                       

                      Jim,

                      I nearly cried when I read your post thinking, "At last, I am not
                      ALONE!"  KPIs are a proxy for business objective thinking much like
                      conversion rate is a proxy for online success.  Often when I give my
                      presentation on KPIs, when I introduce the idea of KPIs being driven
                      by activities which are simply the clickstream measurement of business
                      objectives I let clients know that if they don't know what their
                      business objectives are and cannot clearly state them then perhaps
                      it's time to flip off the power switch, turn off the lights and take
                      an early retirement.  How could anyone hope to make a business
                      successful when they haven't clearly defined their business
                      objectives?!

                      And, even better, once you've defined your objectives, the related
                      activities are usually pleasantly obvious and thusly, there are the
                      KPIs, automagic!  I think I cover this in chapter four of Web
                      Analytics Demystified (and if I didn't, I definitely did in my Jupiter
                      report on  the subject -- Key Performance Indicators: Using Analytics
                      to Drive Action -- which I wish I could share freely but the man is
                      keepin' me down in that regard).

                      It's so easy, it almost makes it fun.

                      But then there is reality and reality dictates that Web analytics is
                      hard, or sorta hard.  Some of the ideas are fairly alien or at least
                      new.  The idea of having to map business objectives to activities and
                      then translate those activities into meaningful, actionable
                      measurements is not as intuitive as you and I think.  It is likely
                      your database marketing background and my biological sciences
                      background that drive us to take a reductionists view of everything
                      ... a business is just a bunch of activities which can easily be
                      measured.  QED.  My major professor would be proud.

                      So anyway, you're right on but so are Chris and others who are looking
                      for help in defining "standard" KPIs to share with others.  Another
                      reason I'm asking these questions and soliciting feedback is that
                      sometimes all a really smart person needs is another moderately smart
                      person to validate their work or thinking.  E.g., if Chris thinks that
                      A, B, C and D are excellent KPIs for a client, and if Eric or Bryan or
                      any number of guys named "Jim" back him up in writing, well Chris is
                      good to go then isn't he?  Again, this is new and unfamiliar terrain
                      for many people ... one of the reasons that you guys are looking at
                      forming an association to tackle some of these issues.

                      Anyway, my post is approaching MacIntyrian length so I'll stop ;-)
                      Suffice to say, you're not looney, or if you are, so am I.

                      Eric



                      ---------------------------------------
                      Web Metrics Discussion Group
                      Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
                      Author, Web Analytics Demystified
                      http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com




                    • Peter Koeppel
                      ... keeps coming up. ... of trying to ... retail, ... chapters in Web Analytics ... treatment? ... deep? Was there ... definitely cover in the ... on KPIs
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 11 10:37 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Eric Peterson wrote:

                        > Everyone,
                        >
                        > The subject of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
                        keeps coming up.
                        > More and more frequently it has been in the context
                        of trying to
                        > define KPIs for specific types of sites (automotive,
                        retail,
                        > advertising-based, brand-building, ...)
                        >
                        > I was wondering if those of you who read the
                        chapters in Web Analytics
                        > Demystified that covered KPIs had any feedback on my
                        treatment?
                        > Should I have gone into more depth? Did I go too
                        deep? Was there
                        > something huge that I missed out on and should
                        definitely cover in the
                        > future? If you were going to write a chapter/book
                        on KPIs what would
                        > you have covered that I forgot?
                        >
                        > Feel free to send the feedback either directly to me
                        or to the group,
                        > doesn't matter as if the group sees it perhaps it
                        will spark some
                        > conversation on the subject. If you haven't read
                        the book but monitor
                        > this discussion, feel free to chime in if you like.
                        snip

                        I haven't read the book yet -- I just learned of the
                        group and the book
                        -- but as a system analyst with a scientific bend,
                        there's something
                        that bothers me about a concept such as Key
                        Performance Indicators at
                        this stage of the web evolution.

                        The question that keeps popping up in my mind as I
                        read the many
                        eloquent and insightful responses to the query is:
                        what are the
                        boundaries of the system we're trying to measure? I
                        suspect that the
                        more narrowly defined, the easier it might be to come
                        up with
                        standardized measurements.

                        If the system to be measured is defined as the web
                        site, standardized
                        measurements are probably plentiful: page views,
                        conversion,
                        attritions... but if the system is defined as
                        encompassing the visitors
                        and the business goals defined for the web site, then
                        measuring the
                        behavior of visitors to a web site as said behavior
                        relates to the
                        business goals defined becomes potentially less
                        amenable to standard
                        treatment by industry.

                        Looking at it differently, as the web has matured from
                        glorified "read
                        only" brochureware to implementing rich interactions
                        between the
                        organizations owning/managing web sites and their
                        clients/customers/sponsors/... the indicators of a
                        web site's success
                        likely become as diverse the business purposes at hand
                        and the ways in
                        which a given web site supports them.

                        More broadly speaking, web site measurement appears to
                        be an instance or
                        subset of a Management Information System. Not
                        surprisingly, many of the
                        points raised in response to Eric's inquiry also apply
                        there.

                        In that sense, the training wheels analogy is probably
                        appropriate:
                        standardized measures can serve as a starting point
                        but quickly need to
                        be adjusted to reflect the larger system and the web
                        site's place and
                        function in that larger system.

                        I wouldn't be surprised if common, even standardized,
                        measures emerge by
                        business process by segment within an industry, where
                        segments are
                        defined by business strategy. But we may be a little
                        ways away from that
                        yet in the evolution of the web...

                        Peter Koeppel



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