02-Using Tools to Manage Analytics Implementation and Data Quality
Many organisations complain about the quality of their web analytics data, and many don’t trust the accuracy of the data due to frequent code breakages or inconsistent tagging. As data becomes more prevalent in digital world, using inaccurate data to make business decisions can be costly.
So, how can you ensure that data quality is up to scratch and remains up to scratch as your website changes and evolves?
Tag management systems (TMS) are becoming increasing popular because these tools allow marketers and analysts to implement tags (anything from analytics tags to advertiser tracking pixels and web beacons to performance monitoring) directly on a site or app without the need of a web developer or website release. This means that tags can be implemented quickly and easily and that broken tags can be reviewed, updated and published with minimal IT involvement, if any.
Popular TMS on the market include Google Tag Manager, Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager, Tealium and Ensighten.
With great power, however, comes great responsibility. Governance needs to be put in place to ensure tag changes are not inadvertently published. When managing TMS governance, an organisation must consider the following:
- Who should have access to the system and what level of access should they have?
- Who can publish tags?
- Should there be a publishing approval process?
Putting in place governance around this ensures that data does not become compromised and that any tag changes can be accounted for.
Regular monitoring and audits/regression testing of code helps to maintain data quality as any inconsistencies are quickly flagged. External monitoring systems such as ObservePoint and Tag Inspector can be useful in quickly and easily identifying areas that require attention. These tools can automatically scan a website at regular intervals and alert relevant parties of any discrepancies.
Responding to tagging incidents after the fact requires a considerable amount of effort, not to mention data lost. Thus mitigating this by employing appropriate processes and automated testing will remove a lot of the unnecessary work.
Websites are continually changing and growing and thus, analytics needs to change and grow alongside this. As such processes should be put in place when new website features or updates are planned. Analytics should be involved in all aspects of the site change including:
- Objectives, goals, and KPI setting
- Solution design
- Campaign classification rules
- Reporting, analysis and assessment of the change
By establishing strong conventions around analytics, this ensures that code is maintained, and data is kept accurate and relevant to the business. Adoption of analytics is increased and organisations have confidence in using their data to make important decisions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimly is a Senior Digital Analyst at JBA, based in the Melbourne office