In my intro Economics classes in college we always talked about the world as if it were a perfect place. No we didnât hold hands and discuss rainbows, bunnies and sunshine, but we did discuss the widget industry as if it existed in a vacuum. I knew that concepts like the widget industries adjusting perfectly to a decrease in widget pricing were far from the real world, but for the purpose of education I was willing to suspend my disbelief.
So, in true Econ 101 I present to you a best case scenario for a training analysis. Chances are small that you have a task like this to pass along to your developing analyst, but anything even slightly resembling this analysis should be the catalyst for leaps in growth.
In the perfect world your analysis should be of big proportions with few boundaries. Forget classifying your campaigns or building a report on those who enter via an email, see 2-4 pages and exit on a product page, they are small peanuts. This analysis should be of an entire web site. But letâs not forget how fragile your new analyst is. You cannot pull up www.ebay.com and say GO. In this perfect world, the site you put in front of your analyst should be of small proportions, letâs say a site with 30-100 total pages, 3-4 page templates, 5-10 primary routers and 1,000 visits per day.
The hardest part and possibly least real world piece of this analysis is that optimally the analysis should be done one to three months into an analysts career or just at the point where they are becoming a (mostly) self sustaining productive force. I know the temptation to use your analyst, who recently was graduated from âburden for nowâ to âthey only ask five questions a day!â for all those little housekeeping tasks will be immense, but try to postpone the housekeeping.
So you now have allocated plenty of time for your young analyst to perform a boundary less analysis of a small site. What kind of direction should you give them? Not much. Tell them the end result should be the combination of a site overview and highlights of the most interesting insights and trends the site has to offer. Beyond that I like to rattle off a few specifics to look at, like site router effectiveness and exit pages reports. Also, I make sure to outline a few basic segments like first time visits, clients, etc, and make sure to leave it open to the new analyst to build a few of their own.
Once you laid that foundation, sit back and watch the growth. Like a Chia Pet, you should be able to watch the growth almost daily. You should only get concerned about the progress of the analysis if the flow of questions halts.
Sometime in the middle of this you should sit down with the young analyst and run through all the data they have collected. Ask them to specifically point out the most interesting findings. With each finding explain why it is valuable or why it wouldnât make the cut for a presentation. Also, make sure that the forming analysis will be complete and tell a story when it is complete. If the final analysis appears like it will have loose strings get your young analyst back on track.
In the end, this works as a training tool because for the first few months you have given your young analyst all the skills to analyze a whole site. Given them this assignment at the opportune time during their growth helps little leanings fit into a much bigger picture. Conversely, be careful not to spring this analysis too early as it could easily cause confusing and retard growth. By allowing your young analyst to perform this analysis you should in turn expect to watch his/her comprehension of how to think about, build and use population segments skyrocket. Itâs hard to understand how segments work when youâre not starting with a complete pie, but this analysis hands your trainee a full pie to break up on their own. By comparing many comparable pages your developing analyst will get a better sense of how to analyze based on data as opposed to project personal judgment. This will be helpful in the future when they might be asked to analyze a single page. They should also more efficiently find the interesting nuggets in smaller analyses and be able to better mentally plan out a future analysis from end to end.
It has been in moments while discussing a big and small analysis with fresh analysts that I have seen true comprehension. I specifically recall an instance where I was corrected on how to define an âengagedâ segment. For a brief instant my ego was wounded, but quickly I came to my senses and remembered that while training nothing is more satisfying than being corrected.
This big and small analysis could be nothing more than a training tool, but by keeping an open mind it might actually turn up new leanings or new areas of analytic focus. If done properly the final product of this analysis could be a perfect brainstorming tool for laying out an analytic roadmap. Additionally, if your considering a site rebuild, about to undertake a site rebuild or have recently rebuilt your site then use this analysis to baseline or check for improvements. My favorite part about new analysts is that they always bring a fresh prospective; itâs your job to let them.