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Monday, May 7, 2007

Key Performance Indicators

Someone on the Yahoo! forum asked is there where any good articles or opinions on what the KPI's should be for their B2B site. What I found interesting is why someone would go to external resources for help in determining KPI's for their site. Is that what he was really asking for? A simple list? I hope not!

In my humble opinion, the definition of and the process for determining KPI's are what really matter when approaching what to measure on your site: B2B, B2C or B2E. Eric Peterson does a great job of defining KPI's in his book, "The Book of Key Performance Indicators." Once you are comfortable with the terminology, start peeling the onion of your site by asking questions.

  1. What is the business purpose behind the site?
  2. What do I want my visitors to do while they are on the site?
  3. What are the success events on my site?
  4. What are the goals of the site over a specified period of time?

Now you'll start to give some context behind the purpose of your Web site and what you need to measure for continued success. Remember, each site is's goals and business drivers will change over time as things evolve.

Of course, business stakeholders almost always gut hung up on the raws numbers and freak out when the exact totals don't look right. This is when you need to hold your stakeholders accountable by asking how their "traditional" metrics have helped them in the past. What actions have they been able to take by knowing the total of unique and repeat visitors? Then watch their eyes glaze over or stump that their management demands those numbers. Please remember folks that analytics solutions are not calculators nor were they meant to be. Get comfortable with the terminology and create a process for solving business problems by asking the right questions.


Anil Umachigi said...

Hey Adam!
True KPI's are something which needs to be defined by one self, keeping in mind the buisness objectives and the success events for those objectives.

And as you said, historical data showing examples on how metrics can help them is certainly a great idea.

great post!

Eric said...

Adam, thanks for the nice words about my KPI book! Nice post.

Eric T. Peterson
CEO, Web Analytics Demystified

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