In the fourth segment of this series, we’ll look at one of the most debated about topics in Enterprise 2.0 – measuring value.
In the first three parts of the series (here, here, and here) we walked through three different case studies to illustrate different adoption and implementation strategies. The lessons learned are applicable across the board, and I welcome your thoughts on how they resonate based on the experiences you’ve had. Now, onto ROI and measuring value.
I’ve dedicated an entire topic on this blog to analytics and measuring value. Why? Two reasons:
1) really good data and better analysis helps move projects forward purposefully and effectively, taking the guesswork out of design, internal marketing/communications,adoption strategies, and everything that supports the work you’re doing to improve your organization
2) most organizations don’t have a lot of money to spend, and you need to be able to demonstrate real value from data points (qualitative and quantitative) or else you should probably rethink what you are doing
Over the course of my education (almost 100% Avinash Kaushik) on web analytics and my experience applying them to a social intranet, there are a few key lessons that I’ve learned:
- Focus, almost obsessively, on helping yourself and others make decisions. Ask yourself, and have other people ask you, why does this piece of information matter? How does it help me make a decision? If you’re able to answer that question concisely, you likely found a good piece of data to share with others.
- Analytics and adoption make great company. When someone says “we reached 90% adoption!!!”, you should stop and ask them to explain what that means. In my view, adoption means that you have X% of people using Y tool in a way that makes their life better. This means that some people (for example, senior leaders) will use social tools like wikis and blogs far less than other staff (e.g. junior staff), but should still gain (not just deliver) value. Segmenting your audience like this is really hard if you have a lame analytics tool (or even a good one, like Google Analytics), so if you have a lot of people and can’t get on the phone, think carefully about what that means for your work now and in the future. At the same time, since you have people logging in, you should have a sense of what you expect them to do. If you don’t, what problem are you solving?
- Don’t waste time on metrics; focus on goals. You should have tools that tell you more than just how many pageviews, uploads, and downloads there were. If you don’t have something that gives you some kind of path analysis, navigation summary, etc. that tells you where people came from, what they did, and where they went afterward, you are not only missing an important nugget of information, you are guessing when you assume that they are finding what they came for.
As Seth Godin recently posted, you owe it to the people you work for and the people who use your services to know your field and do everything you can to be a professional about it. And in this field, guesswork doesn’t count, nor does well-intentioned but meaningless reporting. Dig deep, learn, ask questions, and start analyzing. If you’re only delivering positive news, you’re not helping anyone.
*** Update ***
For a great read on measuring value through a “Theory of Change” strategy, check out Beth Canter’s recent post on her blog or more importantly, download Mario Morino’s Leap of Reason that outlines overall strategies for outcomes measurement.
Join us next week for the final installment of this series, focusing on culture and leadership.