Benchmark: Digital Analytics is still very immature | Cardinal Path Blog
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Benchmark: Digital Analytics is still very immature

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In late 2009 I published the first version of the Online Analytics Maturity Model – an easy approach to assess the value and effectiveness of an organization’s online analytics practice. So far, nearly three hundred organizations participated in this unique study. I have now  gathered enough data to assess the state of the industry from various angles: geography, industries, business type, years of experience, etc.

While we get excited about data integration, real time and crazy dashboards – let alone the Big Data frenzy – the reality is most organizations are still in their infancy when it comes to analytics.

This week at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit we will hear about the most advanced and the brightest in our industry. While this is immensely inspiring and motivating, most attendees will get back to the office with a strange feel of being overwhelmed yet unsure about what to do next.

Online analytics in the US

Based on the six key process areas of organizations successfully leveraging digital analytics, we can look at benchmark results of the 75 US-based organizations that participated in the survey.

1. MANAGEMENT, GOVERNANCE AND ADOPTION

What is the highest job title with accountability for online performance measurement against business goals? The average score is 2.5.

  1. Nobody
  2. Project manager
  3. >> Director or team lead
  4. Senior managers, Vice president position
  5. Several senior managers
  6. It is implicit throughout the organization

2. OBJECTIVES

What is the objective of your current online analytics program? Average score of 2.4.

  1. Yet to be defined
  2. We use a request/task list
  3. >> eMarketing optimization
  4. eBusiness optimization
  5. Business optimization
  6. Reinventing our business

3. SCOPE

The scope defines the size of the playing field. Average score is 3.

  1. We’re improvising
  2. The HiPPO decides (boss or politics arbitrary decision)
  3. Focusing on a specific online activity/sector (i.e. campaign optimization or specific site area)
  4. >> We’re aiming to optimize a single channel (websites, social, etc.)
  5. We’re looking at the whole ecosystem (several sites, social media, etc.)
  6. We’re going beyond online and optimizing offline

4. TEAM & EXPERTISE

How is your online analytics team structured? Average score of 1.9.

  1. No dedicated resources
  2. Project team
  3. >> At least one full time analyst
  4. Distributed team – different managers
  5. Multidisciplinary team – single manager
  6. Experienced & empowered business users

5. METHODOLOGY

How do you develop hypotheses, define problems & opportunities, analyze and provide insight? Score of 1.4.

  1. No specific methodology
  2. >> I have my own way
  3. We have developed our own methodology
  4. We have adopted a proven methodology for our analytics
  5. We use an agile methodology for our online activities
  6. The whole organization has adopted an agile philosophy

6. TECHNOLOGY

How sophisticated is your use of the technology? Average score of 2.

  1. We have yet to implement measurement tools
  2. We are doing classic web analytics/clickstream/behavioral measurement
  3. >> We have defined outcomes/conversion points, KPIs, dashboards
  4. We do segmentation, merchandising & campaign optimization. We have personas & KPI alerts
  5. We are merging multiple data sources, do behavioral targeting, and evaluate lifetime value
  6. We do predictive analytics and have defined activity-based costing

Maturity self-assessment v2.0 beta

At eMetrics I presented the 1st results from this benchmark and a more complete paper will be available in the coming days. Starting today, people filling out the self-assessment survey will not only get their own evaluation, but also how they compare globally, by geography, vertical, and business type.

When enough data is collected for similar industries, business types and countries I can provide benchmark results. A global comparative benchmark is always provided.

Conversely, when enough data is available for those who are Responsible or Accountable in similar industries and business types, we can provide benchmark results includes years of work and analytics-specific experience.

On average, people in the Retail Trade industry, who are Responsible for online analytics have 8.7 years of work experience and 5 years of analytics experience (based on 21 similar entries).

For similar industry and business type, relative frequency of job titles and departments where analytics lives is provided.

You mentioned you are Statistical Analyst and analytics lives in Marketing.

Popular terms found in 21 job titles for people who are Responsible for analytics.

Popular terms found in 29 department names.

A rule-based engine (still under development) will assess your strength & weaknesses and provide a number of action items:

Pay close attention to your strengths and weaknesses and any key process area which is more than two degrees above or below others. Here are some points you might want to consider:

  • The Management dimension is above most others, indicating expectations might be too high for your analytical capabilities.
  • Your Scope might be too broad, try focusing on specific items in order to bring more value and demonstrate success.
  • The Methodology is often the weakest area, try educating yourself about topics such as Lean SixSigma and Agile Development.

Get started with yourself assessment now!

As always, I’m looking forward to your comments and suggestions to improve the Online Analytics Maturity Model.

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