Contest Winners: The Best Web Analytics Report

the bestThe original title of this post was going to be. . . .

Contest Winners: We Are All Made Of Stars.

I love that song (am a Moby fan) and it was the first thing that came to my mind as I went through all the comments for our fun contest last week to pick the best web analytics report to take on a desert island, where you are stranded with Brad Pitt (or Angelina Jolie!).

The song goes: People they come together, No one can stop us now, 'Cause we are all made of stars.

So true! We, web analysts, are all made of stars!! That's what you made me believe. :)

I was that impressed with the quality of the comments and suggestions, they came from all over the world (I saw Germany, India, Spain and others) and they came from every tool (WebTrends, Omniture, CoreMetrics, ClickTracks, Google Analytics).

Thank you.

It is rare for me write a "non-teaching" post, but I simply could not resist. We deserve to celebrate your hard work!

There were so many great comments and though I had promised one prize, I am going to pick a few winners (that's what happens when you have such great quality).

The Absolute Grand Prize Winner:

(drum roll….)

golden nest eggEmily Fazio!!

Her report was "sources by state, compared to last month".

Three things stood out for me.

    1) The extreme clarity and focus on what she was solving for (and keeping it local)

    2) picking the compare to last month option (shamefully even I did not remember to choose this important option and I wish I had!) and

    3) focusing on goals

And as she so bravely pointed out herself (!!) in a follow up comment: "Footnote! What is important to my report, is that I had a specific question in mind and tailored my report to get the best actionable data." Gotta love that!

Well played Emily. You get a signed copy of Web Analytics: An Hour A Day (and since I am awarding more than one prize, you also get a t-shirt and a couple other things I'll try to snag!).

The "Oh I Also Loved That One" Prize Winners:

(in random order….)

Phil

Peter Pletsch (from Germany)

Pere Rovia (from Spain)

    His report was: "Segmented Site Overlay report".

    medal three Pere's comment was the most thoughtful analysis of why he picked his report, for picking a report I absolutely love (site overlay), for considering the communication angle and (!) for not forgetting the segmentation angle which is quite valuable.

    Now the truth is that Pere is one of the top analysts in the world so this is not surprising. :)

Finally. . . .

Pearce

    medal fourHis report was: "Google Analytics Campaigns by Goal report"

    Pearce gets a prize not for his report, though it was a good one :), but rather for worrying about survival and wanting a report that would providing maximum value for starting fires to stay warm on a desert island! Context baby, context!

Each "Oh I Also Loved That One" prize winner gets a signed copy of Web Analytics: An Hour A Day. Congratulations.

From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone for playing along and making it so much fun for me. It was hard for me to pick winners.

I hope you all got a little wiser, I did.

Won't you please join me in congratulating Emily, Phil, Pere and Peter and Pearce?

Also who was your favorite? Would you have picked a different winner/'s? Please share your thoughts.

Oh before we go, want to play more? This time for serious props? Check out The Web Analytics Championship that being run on behalf of the WAA by my good friend Daniel Waisberg. Play and win big!

PS:
Couple other related posts you might find interesting:

Comments

  1. 1

    Very interesting post Avinash. As usual, very actionable; your posts are like good KPIs, they always drive you to action!

    And thanks for the championship mention. We are hoping to learn a lot from all the entries we get, and maybe also publish some of the winners (only if we have their consent, of course).

    Thanks a lot.

  2. 2
    Joe Teixeira says:

    Can we still get stranded on a desert island with Angelina Jolie for participating in this contest? :)

    Seriously, this is a good contest b/c it really forces you to pick what is absolutely most important, and cut the rest of the "fat". I'm going to substitute desert island with "team meeting" and see how it works.

    Thanks AK!

  3. 3
    pere rovira says:

    many thanks avinash, it's my pleasure to contribute to your blog. you have had a great influence over the way i think about the web, and for that i will always thank you.

  4. 4
    Nick says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! And to you Avinash for thinking of such a great idea to involve your readers. It is generous of you to hand out the additional prizes as well.

    Nick.

  5. 5
    David says:

    You said it was a "non-teaching" post, I believe otherwise…

  6. 6
    Stefan Seiz says:

    How do you get "Sources by State" in GA?
    If i go to "Map Overlay" in GA, then Select USA to see the states, and then segment by "Source", i loose the States Context alltogether and instead only see the various referrers.
    Could Emily maybe post a screenshot of the report she refers to as "Sources by State"?

  7. 7

    Stefan:

    Go to Visitors, then Map Overlay, click on US, now you are looking at Region, in the Segment choose Source, and viola!

    If you want for a particular State then Visitors, then Map Overlay, click on US, now you are looking at Region, now click on a Region you want (say California), now in the Segment choose Source, and you are home.

    Hope this helps.

    Avinash.

  8. 8
    Stefan Seiz says:

    Thanks a lot for the explanation Avinash!
    So it really is more a "Sources By Country (USA)" than "Sources by State" (as the map display will go away as soon as you start segmenting).
    No wonder i wasn't finding it as i was assuming Emily has some super secret way of getting a real source by state report which lists all States and respective sources on one report.

  9. 9
    Emily Fazio says:

    Stefan, thanks for checking out my report! What is cool about my report is that I am only concerned with info from one state. Everything else is outside my company's service area. We're a local dealer for a national company, which has the US divided into territories, and its a breech of contract for us to sell outside our territory. This makes all traffic from other states irrelevant to us, b.c they are not potential customers. That's why I only look at information at the state level. GA titles this report "This state sent xx visitors from yy sources" rather than actually naming the specific state. Sorry for the confusion. And you're right, you do loose the map feature at this level too. Maybe in the the next update :)

    I know my situation is very specific, and perhaps unique to everyone out there with really cool analytics jobs for companies large enough to afford web analysts. Again what i think is cool, is how well this software works for both large and small businesses. :)

    Thanks again for checking out my report, that made my day!

  10. 10
    Stefan Seiz says:

    @Emily: now i gotcha!
    Did you ever consider setting up a second GA Profile (use Add a Profile for an existing domain – so it uses the same tracking code) for your site with an "Include Filter" set to e.g.:

    Filter Type: Custom Filter
    • Include
    Filter Field: Visitor Region
    Filter Pattern: California

    That way, all the GA reports will automagically show only metrics from the one state you are interested in and i bet this is much easier to work with for you.

  11. 11
    Emily Fazio says:

    Stephan, that would definitely work. You'll have to forgive me for not already setting that up, I've been slack! Its a good thing this isn't my day job!

  12. 12
    TOm Walsh says:

    Is there a way to have the map overlay AND line graph show up on the same report?

  13. 13
    nathan says:

    Avinash help – at our legal firm I have been put in charge of the website and am rapidly learning the ropes. The boss wants analytics now and I have just bought your treatise to digest one hour a day!!

    Anyhow the boss wants me to just report on our sites *pageviews* for some reason – i tried to mention there are a number of other factors to consider but hes not that interested which is a bit disheartening. What are the best key metrics that must be reported in your opinion and why. Many many thanks – you are inspiring to all us newbies!!

    N

  14. 14

    Nathan: Give your boss a custom report. It should contain the Pageviews that he/she wants. But then add in a couple of key metrics that show the end to end view.

    I can't imagine a better way to get them to evolve beyond the level they are on.

    Here is a blog post that tells you how to do it, and what metrics to consider: Analysis Ninjas: Leverage Custom Reports For Better Insights!

    -Avinash.

  15. 15
    moliva says:

    Avinash help – at our legal firm I have been put in charge of the website and am rapidly learning the ropes. The boss wants analytics now and I have just bought your treatise to digest one hour a day!!

    Anyhow the boss wants me to just report on our sites *pageviews* for some reason – i tried to mention there are a number of other factors to consider but hes not that interested which is a bit disheartening. What are the best key metrics that must be reported in your opinion and why. Many many thanks – you are inspiring to all us newbies!!

  16. 16

    Molvia: Checkout this blog post, it is written precisely for your use case:

    Particularly see the picture that shows the good and the sub optimal metrics.

    Also one sure way to get your boss to focus on what really matters (metrics and analysis) is to create a Web Analytics Measurement Model:

    It is the one thing that forces deeper thinking about the digital strategy and desired outcomes in any company, and that always leads to crisp focus and better metrics and segments and higher salary (for you!).

    Avinash.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Contest Winners: The Best Web Analytics Report (Avinash Kaushik) [...]

  2. [...] Admittedly, the Pure Visibility team often geeks out about tech tools and trends. But one of the really satisfying things that we do is to emerge from the depths of geekdom and share information with clients that shows what’s happening with their online presence, stuff that can help inform decisions about web marketing efforts. Inspired by Google Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik’s “best web analytics report”, we’d like to share a couple of reports that we like, ones that can make your Google Analytics and AdWords talk to you. [...]

  3. [...] Avinash Kaushik recently ran an informal contest to find out what report people would choose if they could only have one Web analytics report. The winner of “the best Web analytics report” was a report showing “sources by state, compared to last month.” Based on her business, a locally owned company that competes solely in her geographic service area, it is a great report. For other businesses, it may not make sense. This makes picking one “best” report difficult since it can vary depending on the business and the focus that the particular analyst has. [...]

Add your Perspective

*