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(Analytical) garbage in, (Digital) garbage out

From my agency days springs the expression “Garbage in, garbage out” used in video and audio production meaning essentially, the best (audio / video product) quality comes from the best quality source material.

Sure, you could hide the occasional aircraft noise in a perfect 20 minute interview, but you couldn’t get pristine out of an interview at Grand Central Station with system announcements every 3 minutes.

Problems in post production were almost always solvable by exact and precise preparation before a shoot or audio session.

Same goes for web analytics.

Using Google Analytics as an example, having distinct goals and pathways defined to measure success will always give better and more actionable results than poorly planned goal implementation (or not doing it at all!)

Clients without transactional (i.e. purchase) goals on their sites often omit goal setting as they only believe the relevance is to dollars and cents results. Goals can be as simple as ensuring certain content is reviewed, or comment is left, or a click through is obtained (it could be between pages or sites or specific exit points.)

Data is *the* most valuable aspect of web analytics, setting real and relevant goals is a necessity in any search engine optimization campaign.

Dirty data in = dirty data out = waste (garbage or rubbish) of time.

Take out the garbage and benefit from the clean, fresh (and valuable) data!

3 replies
  1. Chuckypita
    Chuckypita says:

    Google Analytics is wow – just overwhelming. In fact, most of the whole system of data gathering is. What keywords are you gonna read? How are you going to set up your post?

    Next thing you know, there’s a million google bots setting up posts following google trends and you, or me, the reader – is getting exactly what?

    A bunch of flashing signs and robotic products that no one wants… if they did – they’d go to Amazon or Ebay in the first place!

    The guy who can develop the “human side” to the internet will win. And win BIG.

  2. Grant Simmons
    Grant Simmons says:

    Thanks for the post.

    Google is taking the lead on attempting to personalize the search engine results that appear, weeding out the ‘search engine only’ pages and focusing on consistent and authoritative relevance.

    By giving permission to Google to track or by an algorithm that makes my head hurt, Google also seeks to deliver additional relevance based on historical trends across geo and ethno-demographics; so the search results you see are most relevant to you, your buying, searching, clicking and even your friends and colleagues preferences.

    As far as analytics, there is a distinct need, and it *is* being addressed by some forward thinking and customer centric companies, for simplicity in analytics. As opposed to spewing a spreadsheet of charts, graphs, decimal points and a slew of numbers, these companies are providing action-based recommendations based on interpreting the analytical data, best practices and the competitive landscape.

    Google is attempting the same through their site reviews / recommendations, but it’ll be the smaller, nimbler companies with their ears closer to the end user that will develop, deploy and *really* help in heralding the end of analytics confusion.

    Analytics for the rest of us 🙂

  3. SEO Expert Steve Wiideman
    SEO Expert Steve Wiideman says:

    Grant, have you tried out the new Google Urchin product? I’ve been itching to give it a try but have been way to busy of late.

    Love where you’re coming from on the importance of data, it’s too bad so many businesses neglect to hire a dedicated web analytics guru. It’s like they are shooting in the dark. Oh well.

    Thanks for typo correction on my website, good lookin’ out!


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