I got the idea one day in the car as I was driving home that Web Analytics is a continuous improvement process. This is not a profound idea, but struck me at the time as being very important. It is not a process that you go through once. The value of Web Analytics is to cycle through the process more than once. This is what makes your web sites better at achieving their goals. Going through the cycle just once and getting the results has almost no value.
I have looked online, and I have not found anyone who has defined a lifecycle for applying Web Analytics. So I have put one together here, very briefly. It is based on lots of other methodologies, such as the software development lifecycle and iterative development methodologies. The standard Deming Continuous Improvement Cycle phases are Plan, Do, Check, Act. I have mirrored these steps in my idea of a Web Analytics Lifecycle
- (Re)Define business goals
- Collect data to measure those goals
- Analyze the results of the metrics
- Adjust your strategy depending on your results
My next few posts will be discussing each of the phases in more detail.
Please leave feedback with your ideas about this fairly new concept. It is still in its infancy, and your constructive ideas are very important.