The Data Integrity Manifesto/
December 2, 2015
Today, we take a stand for lost data.
Today, we take a stand for those shadow metrics forever lost due to sloppy and poor execution.
How many times must we make the same mistakes? This has gone on far too long.
Countless revenue streams are being mismanaged due to ignorance and shortsightedness. Like a leaky sieve, we bleed these opportunities but…
Not. Any. Longer.
We will strive to take care of our data.
- Through proper documentation.
- Through understandable naming conventions.
- Through adhering to the disciplines we set forth.
This is our rally cry. The following ideals will not only help us understand our past, but equip us to move beyond happenstance, make guided decisions and ensure the success of any endeavor.
The journey to what we call…
The Secret to Good Data
The big secret to good data is that there are no secrets. There are no shortcuts to data integrity. What effort you put in, you will get out. The time and intent invested in the beginning will pay off on the other end. A well planned (and executed) measurement strategy will not only provide confidence and peace of mind, but also anchor any future business decisions.
From the outset, define success within your website. What is the “win”? Document what and how things will be measured. Stick to the plan. Reactionary choices can pollute the data and create uncertainty.
If changes must be made, predetermine how to handle them and be sure they are well considered. Take the time to tether your data to a proper strategy.
Whether starting out or starting again, LunaMetrics can easily help you define success and set you on the right path to data integrity. This dream can become a reality.
Think for the Future.
Plan ahead. The protocols you establish will become the tree whose support will be enjoyed by all those to follow. Like the 14th century Oxford foresters preserving Oak trees for use in a dining hall hundreds of years later, have vision to see beyond the immediate. We must plant these “data trees” for future use.
You may not fully see the result of your effort right away, but proper groundwork is essential for any future actionable insight. Before making any decision, don’t just ask yourself, “Does this choice meet my immediate business needs?” but ask, “How will this affect future decisions?” as well.
Don’t Get Lost
If you want your data to take you places, knowing the destination (read objective) is not enough. There will be times when you must correct your course and establish landmarks. Document the actions along the way. Mark the trail you blaze. Make sure everyone that needs to know, knows. Every change or highlight should largely feature:
- The type of note
- The note itself
- Who made the note
- How the note informs the overall strategy
Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and many other data tools provide many places to mark, label and annotate. Take the time, be thorough and make use of them. Go on, leave an annotation when that campaign began. Mark when that filter was applied. Never leave something undocumented. Remember, laziness is the enemy of good data.
Furthermore, document your documentation. Establish understandable naming conventions that provide clarity and accountability. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of campaigns. Distribute a document that details your account structure. Caring about these details will take you a long way.
Data is Fragile.
While good data is essential to help measure or determine any outcome, bad data is always one faulty decision away. Even the smallest choice can skew results. Protect your data. Be adamant in its defense. Do not let the “data integrity” torch go out on your watch. Be diligent in your pursuit. Be mindful of the details and the big picture will come into view.