A decade ago I started working in Digital Analytics. During this time I worked with brands such as MasterCard, Home Depot, HP, Hasbro, and McDonald’s. Along with working across multiple market verticals as a consultant, my digital analytics tenure also includes experience as a product end-user and employment with a product vendor.
Over the years, I observed a number of Digital Analytics efforts become mired in a cycle of implementation and re-implementation. Reasons vary between companies, however, mitigating the impact falls upon the the Digital Analytics Professional. While not applicable to every situation, I submit two general guidelines to follow: advocate implementation simplicity, target project self-sustainability.
Implementation simplicity applies across many fronts, from eliminating overlapping products to collection of necessary data. When defining requirements consider not only business value, but implementation and maintenance cost. The more complex an implementation, the likelihood of full deployment decreases, in turn, the cost of maintenance and mistrust of data increases.
Partnering implementation simplicity is project self-sustainability. While complete self-sustainability is an infrequent occurrence, the product of the goal is often worth the investment. Foremost, clearly document the business logic around data collection and error handling. This business logic allows breaking away from the spreadsheets full of URLs and corresponding variables.
Self-sustaining implementations forgo rigid spreadsheets, rather relying upon rules defining variable structure and format. Often with the addition of simple programmatic logic, implementations adapt as digital properties change. While relinquishing a certain level of control, it allows the implementation a safe degree of self-management.
Trying to incorporate these two basic guidelines often deliver a better, less time-consuming, implementation allowing one to the work of analysis, optimization and whatever else the future made hold. I am grateful for the opportunity to work at 33 Sticks where my vision is not only supported but falls within the core principles.