Google, Omniture, Web Analytics Implementation
ConversionPath team has performed many implementations for solutions like, Omniture SiteCatalyst, Coremetrics, Unica NetInsight and Google Analytics. While performing these implementations, we have gained lot of maturity and efficiency in our process, and defined some best practices for rolling out any major solution in the industry. In our experience, there are two major factors behind every failed web analytics implementation i.e. Lack of transparency between technology and business about business rules and Lack of in-house Governance body. To overcome these challenges, we have defined a process through which, we not only deliver an actionable reporting platform to our clients but, also deliver a platform where, every incremental change is reviewed, approved and governed by a centralized body which we call, Center of Excellence.
Below mentioned is the process we have defined after doing multiple implementations over these years, and throughout this process, we keep the business and technology teams engaged and make them apprise of underline business rules, troubleshooting techniques and expected business reports:
1. Discovery Phase (Client Interview & Site Audit) – The engagement starts with a Discovery & Site Audit Phase in which, we facilitate a 90 minute session with the key stakeholders in the business team, and give them an opportunity to express their day to day frustrations; talk about their weekly, monthly and quarterly goals; business KPIs; challenges with the existing analytics solution, and what do they want to achieve with this engagement. After this session, we conduct a thorough audit of their website, and come up with a detailed Audit Report, Gap Analysis Report and Industry Best Practices.
2. Requirements Gathering (Department Level Interviews, KPI Workshops and Q&A) - After the completion of Discovery Phase, we facilitate a 1-day session each with 3 core departments in the organization i.e. Content, Merchandising and Marketing. In these sessions, we discuss in detail their individual departmental needs, their goals, objectives, frustrations, data sources, data reporting expectations from other departments, and where they want to improve?
3. System Design (Business Rules Definition, Report Blueprints, Metric Definition & Configurations) – This phase is usually the back-bone of our process and any mistakes or deviations in this area, results in significant amount of frustration and dissatisfaction at later stage so; we spend decent amount of time creating a design and implementation approach which encompasses of - business rules definition based on stated requirements in Discovery and Requirements Gathering phase, defining the blueprints of the expected reports and metrics, identifying the key metrics and the checklist of configurations that needs to be done at client end as well as at Vendor’s end. The most important component of this phase is to get the approval from business teams on the proposed business rules, expected report blue prints and metrics definition. If we get their blessings at this stage then, almost 60% of the job is over.
4. Unit Test Case Definition – Most of the technology teams we have worked in the past, they usually don’t give a damn about web analytics. They prefer following the orders, and blindly putting the tags on the pages without any interest in learning, and understanding the underline business rules. This is one of the major reasons why, most of the business teams struggle after their implementation is over, and they go to their technology teams for bug fixing or enhancements. To avoid this later on frustration, we spend decent amount of time with the in-house development team, and evangelize them in the area of Web Analytics and assist them in creating Unit Test Cases against the underline business rules. This gives them an opportunity to learn and make smart suggestions during the development process.
5. Implementation Workshop for Technology Team – Lately, we have started conducting 1-Day Technical Workshop for the Technology Team in order to make them aware with the web analytics solution their company has invested, and how they can add value to this implementation besides, enhancing their skills and marketability.
6. Development Support - Throughout the development process, we stay in touch with the Technical Lead, and provide every possible support to make his life easier and less frustrating. On need basis, we roll-up our sleeves, and provide customized code for solving a particular business problem. After all, this is their first experience and the mistakes are inevitable.
7. Functional Testing – This is among the most important phases of the process, and majority of the companies ignore this phase and rush towards the production. In our experience, we have not seen even a single company, who has done a proper functional testing of their web analytics implementation. Again and again, companies repeat this mistake and pay a hefty price later on. So; in order to avoid this later on frustration and keep the incremental costs lower, we evangelize the Testing Team in 3 areas i.e.
- Firstly, how to validate tags on the pages?
- Secondly, how to validate the data in the reports?
- Thirdly, how to validate the configurations in the development, staging and production environment?
8. User Acceptance Testing Assistance – This is another most important phase of our implementation process in which, we insist the business stakeholders to devote atleast 1-2 hrs everyday and validate the data reports in their web analytics solution. We create few use case scenarios based on the approved business rules and requirements, and ask them to execute these scenarios and learn, how the analytics tool track the data, on what events it tracks the data, what kind of data it tracks, and how to view that data in the reports.
9. User Management & Configurations – During the User Acceptance Testing phase, we start the User Management and Report Suite Configuration task and prepare the client for production rollout.
10. Marketing URLs Configurations – Prior to launch, we engage with the external agency and in-house Online Marketing team, and define an appropriate tracking code approach with their collaboration, and configure the relevant channel and keyword based reporting in the web analytics solution.
11. Governance Setup – This is among the most important phases of the project and we spend decent amount of time working with Project Management, Business Management and Technology Team and propose process and template changes. Besides this, we work with them and setup a core team of individuals who would be responsible for future upgrades, release management, bug fixes and redesigns.
12. Post Production Validation – Once all the pre-requisites are met, and we get the approval from release managers, we work with the technology team, and assist them in pushing the files to production. After the code is pushed to production, we do Tags and Reports validation and make sure, everything is in sync.
13. Business Users Training – The last step of the process is business user training in which, we discuss on product features, implementation business rules, data interpretation techniques, troubleshooting techniques and how to avail support and consulting.
In case you are planning to go for a brand new web analytics implementation or, thinking about an upgrade, do contact us to discuss the above process in detail, and we would be more than happy to craft a customized implementation strategy for you based on your business needs and long term objectives.