Analyzing and reporting data in the most effective way is crucial for making the most of your marketing campaigns. But it isn't always that easy. Getting the information you need and making the right adjustments to your strategy can be incredibly complicated, especially if your background isn't in data insights.
Here are five best practices for getting the most from your data:
1. Understand what you need from your data
Before you start extracting data, it's important that you understand what insight you need. It's likely that stakeholders, decision makers, and end users, all have different interests when it comes to data, which will influence what type of information they need. It might be necessary to schedule meetings with key people beforehand to get a better understanding of what they want to know from the report.
This will largely depend on the objective and strategy of your marketing campaign but it's likely that you will need to show how your data indicates wider trends, such as how social media is driving traffic to the website but they are struggling to convert. This would obviously be of interest to decision makers and gives them a fair idea of what your marketing strategy is achieving, without needing to get into the nitty gritty of statistics.
2. Have clear KPIs in place
In order to understand what success looks like for your own needs and that of other important people, you need to have clear KPIs in place. These, along with metrics, will make it much easier to measure the progress you've made from the data that's been tracked.
During your stakeholder interviews, you may find that they have key metrics that demonstrate success to them. While this is definitely useful to have, you need to make sure to determine the core of what they want to see from the data, not just the KPIs. You may find the metric they want to track isn’t the most accurate for the overall goal they want.
3. Apply context
In order for non-marketing and non-data professionals to draw conclusions from data, you need to apply context to the findings. This can be matching metrics and results to elements of your marketing campaign.
For example, if your stakeholders are driven by an increase in conversions on the website and you've changed the content marketing strategy on the blog, present these in the report. If your adjustments haven't had the desired impact, make sure you recommend suggestions for the next course of action to take.
4. Use visuals wherever applicable
One of the most difficult parts of analyzing data is that there is usually just so many numbers. All of this information can be incredibly overwhelming, meaning people can struggle to get the insight they need from a report without spending hours trying to sift through all of the results.
Visuals can be an effective way to showcase the most relevant insight from the data to enable readers to quickly draw the information they need from the report. This is made much easier if you've already established what the key areas of interest for all parties involved are.
5. Find trends in your data
The easiest way to showcase your report's insights is to group together different metrics that are related. For example, if your conversion rate has been increased and your website traffic, lead generation and time on page has also grown, it's a fairly safe assumption that they are related to each other.
Clubbing these items together can help people who have no background in marketing or data insights to understand how most key metrics are in some way related. In addition, it will also help stakeholders to see the impact on an entire marketing campaign, rather than just their specific area of interest.