Do You Trust Your Data?
A recurring theme in our strategy practice at Analytics Demystified is one of data quality and the businesses ability and willingness to trust web analytics data. Adam wrote about this back in 2009, I covered it again in 2010, and all three of us continue to support our client’s efforts to validate and improve on the foundation of their digital measurement efforts.
Not that I am surprised — far from it — given that the rate at which senior leadership and traditional business stakeholders have been calling us to help get their analytical house in order. It turns out management doesn’t want to “get over” gaps in data quality; they want reliable numbers they can trust to the best of the company’s ability to inform the broader, business-wide decision making process.
To this end, and thanks to the generosity of our friends at ObservePoint, I am happy to announce the availability of a free white paper Data Quality and the Digital World. Following up on our 2010 report on page tagging and tag proliferation, this paper drills into the tactical changes that companies can make to work to ensure the best possible data for use across the Enterprise. In addition to providing ten “tips” to help you create trust in your online data, we provide examples from ObservePoint customers including Turner, TrendMicro, and DaveRamsey.com, each of whom have a great story to tell about data auditing and validation.
One surprise when doing the research for this document was that multiple companies cited examples of something we have coined “data leakage.” Data leakage happens when business users, agencies, and other digital stakeholders start deploying technology without approval and, more importantly, without a clear plan to manage access to that technology. Examples are myriad and almost always seem harmless — that is until something goes wrong and the wrong people have access to your web traffic, keyword, or transactional data.
The idea of data leakage is one of the reasons that we have teamed up with BPA Worldwide to create the Analytics Demystified GUARDS audit service, and unsurprisingly GUARDS audits include an ObservePoint analysis to help identify possible risks when it comes to consumer data privacy. You can learn more about the GUARDS consumer data privacy audit on our web site.
If you’re being asked about the accuracy and integrity of your web-collected data, if you know you cannot trust the data but aren’t sure what to do about it, or if you suspect your company may potentially be leaking data through tag-based technologies, I would strongly encourage you to download Data Quality and the Digital World from the ObservePoint site. What’s more, if you need help reseting expectations about data and it’s usage across your business, don’t hesitate to give one of us a call.