Dean Levitt highlights critical success factor and web analytics and his point is valid for all data and analytics. Data is stupid - it's just raw material. Business and public sector personas need to know what is important to analyse, how complete the data is and what the hell they are going to do once they have insightful analysis. What action will they take? Analysts may be the ones seeking the meaning of life to offer new insights to us mere mortals. We, however, have jobs to do and need clear plans that detail what action we will take and in what priority. Good reminder to think before dancing to the tune of sizzlingly beautiful dashboards and reports
As if stupid data wasn’t worrying enough, even when somewhat prepared, our reactions can cause data to be quite stupid. Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg have a great analogy in their book Call To Action to describe a common, obtuse way that data can be used and misunderstood. Let’s say one looks at one’s website data and realizes that they’re only converting a handful of visitors into customers. Often, the reaction is to drive more traffic to the site. What does one do? Simply drive more traffic, get more sales? The stupid data says “you’re converting visitors to customers.” Get more visitors and you’ll get more customers?