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« An “Under the Hood” Look at SiteCatalyst 15 | Main | Home Stretch for Semphonic Web Analytics Non-Profit Challenge Applications »

March 29, 2011


Jay Tkachuk

Completely agree - KPI by themselves are just useless sets of numbers. Analytical decision making must be an established process and an accepted, if not integral, part of the corporate culture to be successful.

Stephane Hamel

Who wouldn't agree with this approach?

I think some of the issues we face in web analytics are related to "ignorance" - not knowing that everything we do is ultimately the combination or slight variations on things that have been studied, proved and demonstrated for decades.

This approach is something I'm talking about when I do web analytics training & workshops.


I am sure that everybody agrees.
As long it is theoretical.

But sometimes this logical rationale is not implemented in a website/e-initiative because an originally sharp strategy is diluted during the (content) development phase. Reasons can be to over-discuss technical issues (out of IT), focusing on design before having content and functionality defined, or by having too many stakeholders.

Worst possible outcome: When many things are intended to be met in parallel, nothing is really met. If a website is meant for anyone, its actually for no one. (Show me a single user who believes to be just "anyone")

Having too many KPIs (by trying to serve too many CSFs, which may be due to multiple goals) may lead to a similar situation than by not having any methodology in place.

Did anyone(!) experienced something like this, too?


Thanks for the post. I really like the hierarchical way that you've broken down the route from mission to target. Very informative.

Talking to Matthias point above, I experiencing a similar kind of thing. Too many KPIs have in the past de-valued them.

In this post I'm reading KPIs as performance metrics. I need a KPI to inform me how well the company is doing against it goals because those are where the key decisions are made. Maybe there are different levels, but KPIs bring hard numbers to goals, rather than SMART objectives.

Does that make sense?

Cleve Young

The same concept Matthias mentions of 'a website is meant for anyone' too often applies to KPI's - they are meant for everyone. Yet what is important to a Marketing Manager is not what's important to Product Category manager. Each of these folks cannot make a business focused decision by looking at the same metrics, yet they often try.

Usually when I get asked to create KPI's or other reports the requester asks for specific metrics. Yet they usually don't have the in-depth knowledge of web metrics to be picking the 'right' things. As much as possible I will go back to them and ask "What is your business question?" From there I can work on giving them the numbers and analysis which will best answer their need, which often is not the same metrics as their original request.

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