How-to use Analytics

April 15, 2010

new build for users interested in Google Analytics

Filed under: Uncategorized — bankfield @ 9:32 am

We have developed a fantastic new user interface for accessing Google Analytics data and bringing it into Excel.

It’s now generally available by going to our web site:


April 13, 2010

Excel for Analysis? Is it obviously the best choice? Maybe, maybe not!

Filed under: Uncategorized — bankfield @ 9:42 pm

Most of us take Excel granted.  These are the reasons why I think Excel is such a great environment for analyzing data.

  • Layout – control the layout of your reports
  • formula – create custom formula
  • formatting – get exactly what you want
  • charting – cool charts
  • publishing – everyone has Excel, easy to share

Things that Nextanalytics helps  Excel users with…

  • Capacity – doesn’t hit memory or row or column limits
  • Ez pivot – you get pivoted date automatically, this gives you time series and distributions
  • Fix – change the spellings and wrongly categorized data, easily change technical terms to more readable ones
  • Analyze – all sorts of operations that you need
  • Refreshable – once you’ve done the work, don’t lose it just because the data changes

So why don’t more people use it?

  • Excel can get complicated
  • Excel can be error-prone
  • Custom systems and business intelligence give the appearance of being easier

March 31, 2010

Anybody can be a Google Analyst !

Follow along for 30 seconds and you will be well-rewarded!

Learn how to connect to Google Analytics from within Excel.

In this example, you’ll see how to request visitor type and Page Views. And then you are ten seconds away from seeing the trend of visitor types over the last few days.

Step 1: Start Nextanalytics’ Google Analytics Connector

Step 2: Login to Google Analytics (you need to know your google userid and Google Analytics password)

Step 3: Choose which Google Analytics dimsions and metrics you want. Hint: Keep any one report simple, use multiple specialized reports if you have broad analytical needs).

Step 4: The dates go on the columns automatically — the trend of each type of visit just leaps out at you

Step 5: See it as a chart… You can see for each day when the balance between new and repeat visitors shifted.  What happened on those days? Was it a blog update? New graphics? A Press Release?

DONE — And it took less than 15 seconds!  And I have valuable data sitting right here in Excel for me to do anything I want with it.

March 29, 2010

Ten steps to low cost low effort way of evaluating and proving how effective your marketing is

Google stores your web site traffic. And it’s available to you, for free.

The best tool to use that data is Excel.

The only challenge is getting that web site data into Excel in a format you can work with.

Fortunately, Nextanalytics for Excel can be gotten on a 30 day free trial, and if it helps you out, can be purchased for only $199.

For the next few blog entries, I’m going to walk through practical ways of using Google Analytics and Excel and Nextanalytics, together.

Overall, if you want to save money in your advertising budget, increase revenue and brand recognition, then this is a very easy and low cost way of doing it.

Let’s walk through an example: Lead generation, analyzing first time visitors and what they’re looking at on your site.

You can use your web site traffic to monitor any marketing campaign, anything drives traffic to your web site.

Google logs some very useful web site visit data, and you can use Nextanalytics for Excel to fetch it from Google into Excel.

For this example, we’ll focus on first time visitors and which landing pages they are going to, by doing so, we can tell which marketing campaigns are driving traffic and what content you can improve to maximize your marketing budget.

10 easy steps – and you can skip some of them

Step 1: ensure that the web site data is filtered to just first-time visitors.

Step 2: convert technical names to meaningful and easier to read names otherwise it is too clumsy read and to work with.

Step 3: eliminate the visits to web pages you don’t care about, if any.

Step 4: if you have several pages that are similar, you can combine them into a single group name.

Step 5:  Show the data so that individual time periods have their own results.  Business intelligence products call this crosstab, Excel refersto it as pivoting the data.   With this, you can see the trend of the number of visits a web page has as they occurred in each of several time periods. You’ll need this before you can use Excel chart.  It’s important to note:  Reports should adjust themselves to show only recent data automatically on time periods rolling forward. You also want just monthly or weekly subtotals.

Step 6: Detailed individual dates should be summarized into upper level time units such as weeks or months.

Step 7: You might want to automatically remove incomplete time periods so their reduced values don’t skew the results you are reporting.

Step 8: Sort by most recent month (automatically, not knowing it’s name, just knowing it’s in the last column).

Step 9: Read the data. See which are the most popular pages and tie that back to the marketing activities.

Step 10: Make smart decisions. Use your budget more wisely, measure your activities, make adjustments, and drive revenue.

web log data, pivoted in Excel

Web log data, pivoted in Excel, Most Popular Pages for First-Time Visitors

You now have a trended view of the most popular web site pages,  First Time visitors only.  These are the ones they go to most often (over the most recent rolling six months, with the in-complete current month removed)

Looking left to right, you can see the trends.  Why not put them in an Excel chart or add your own subtotals — it’s Excel!

Knowing which pages are being visited by first timers will help you measure and report your marketing activities.  Ideally, you’ll see a correlation between your marketing and the landing pages they are directing people to.

If there are un-expected pages, you can change your plans. You can improve the content of the surprise pages and consider adjusting your marketing based on the content of what’s driving people to your site.

What should you say to First Time visitors?

Your content and digital strategy should be to get attention and connect with their needs and wants.

You must initiate brand awareness, and get attention for your products and services.

You want to  increase their awareness and familiarity.

You want to influence their opinions, especially as they move into the evaluation phase of their relationship with you.

Improve the content, aim it at getting their attention, connect with their needs, influence them, guide their opinions; above all, inspire and inform them to bring their relationship further.

Don’t forget to examine the pages that don’t appear on this report.  Although these are less popular pages, they might not be un-important to you.  For example, these could be your conversion pages or FAQ’s.  Now you know these other pages are not popular with First-Timers, so you can  eliminate, re-focus, or adjust their content.

There will be cases where people came to your site all on their own, where didn’t drive them there with your marketing.  Knowing these pages allows you to adjust the content of those web  pages to be suited to first time visitors.  You can also consider new marketing initiatives based on the content of the existing page.

In all these situations, knowing the pages first time visitors are seeing most often allows you to optimize your marketing efforts and improve the content of the pages they’re seeing.

March 20, 2010

Tips for building a compelling and iron-clad business case!

Develop your pitch

• Get valuable Google Analytics information directly into Excel!
• Study segments, download data from the web about Tribes, geo-demographics, psychographics, and demographics and analyze it with Nextanalytics
• Get the data from your Ordering system, Analyze customer buying histories
• Get CRM data and analyze your customers’ memberships, demographics, retention
• Look at your most popular products and services being purchased or asked about, analyze it geographically, find out what’s driving your business
• Download industry trends and practices, use the numbers in your analysis

Establish and monitor your campaign

• Compare sales and costs, including industry practices
• Optimize campaigns while they are running through customer feedback and surveys
• Optimize SEO, compare web site visits and shopping experiences with purchase behavior
• Find out where funds were spent, how fast, how much it changed, and if it grew
• Track campaign results, adapt, and get better results next time.

How does it work?

Nextanalytics makes it easy to load data and from databases and applications that you use. You can quickly get trends, patterns, comparisons, and segments from it.
• customer history from the accounting system,
• demographics from the CRM system,
• campaign attributes from Google Analytics, and
• total marketing spend from your budget worksheets.

It’s in Excel, so create a dashboard or simple set of spreadsheets you can circulate and refresh at regular intervals.

For more info on Nextanalytics click Nextanalytics home page

March 17, 2010

Goals of this blog — Helping marketers recognize opportunities to use analytics

Filed under: Uncategorized — bankfield @ 3:40 pm

Want better results from your marketing effort and budget?
Ever wonder how to increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns?
This blog discusses practical ways to analyze your data.

Optimize your lead generation, segment your prospects according to who’s buying the product

Filed under: Uncategorized — bankfield @ 2:54 pm

Consider getting customer lists from your sales history, reward program memberships, and club memberships. Run contests to gather names from people who live in a geographic or demographic area or get lists from complementary businesses. While you are gathering names, try to gather information about each person; later on you can prepare specific messaging for them.  If you purchase or rent a list, pay special attention to whether or not there’s data about each person available.

The point is, with such extra information, you can use Excel to sort and filter the list. This lets you prepare more focused messaging.  There are many benefits: You’ll save a bundle in postage and email costs.  And, the people who get your message will identify with what you are saying better, so you’ll get response.

Filtering means removing people from your lists based on some criteria such as location or age-range. You can’t sell snowshoes to people in Florida no matter how well you’ve crafted your message. And, if they are senior citizens, they probably won’t go for it either.  So you need to filter the data to get the best results.

To get better use of out your list, explore your corporate data to find out what’s important. You can run surveys or query your customer database.  Prepare a query that tells which kind of customer bought the most of certain products and services, and you can create a promotional campaign with a focus on that product or a complementary product. You need to find out which attributes are the ones found most frequently in purchases.

Then, those attributes should become the filters of the prospect list. Technically, you can bring your customer data from your database into Excel, or export data from your favourite CRM application into Excel. From there, you can use Excel to do the filtering and sorting.

Working with two lists, merging and filtering each one, is not easy so you might want to consider a supplemental product like Nextanalytics.

Many marketers already know the significant attributes of their best prospects. But it’s nice to see it proven in the data, especially if you have to make a business case for your marketing efforts and budget. There are plenty of instances when a company thought it knew what the customer would buy this year when really all it knew was last year’s trend.  

The bonus is that, after the campaign is over, you can repeat the analysis to see how well it applied and improve the next campaign.

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