Reporting Frequency

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Reporting Frequency

How often should you be reporting web metrics analysis to your clients? How much insight can you gain from daily reports? If its a new site launch, or some big campaign push perhap ...

How often should you be reporting web metrics analysis to your clients? How much insight can you gain from daily reports? If its a new site launch, or some big campaign push perhaps you can gain some insights. However a daily report is more or less just interesting information for the curious.

So the next interval you could report in is weekly. Viewing data trended daily over a weekly period can start to give you more insight into visitor behavior and highlight some opportunities. For example if you see a noticeable rise in traffic every Monday and a noticeable dip every Wednesday, it might be an opportunity to add fresh content on both Mondays and Wednesdays, to keep visitors engaged and coming back to see what’s new. However there is a “seasonality” to viewing weekly and not much more insights than this can really be gleaned.

A better view is looking at weekly trending over a monthly basis. This gives a wider view of the metrics and can really get at more insights into user behavior. Looking at the metrics over a monthly period gives you a better sense of actual user behavior, and can put specific days or weeks into context. For example, looking and how the data trends for certain metrics, and comparing that to any specific marketing you have done can help you see how successful your marketing efforts have been.

Take this chart below as an example – if you had just been looking at the daily or weekly reports for this site, you may not have seen how effective your spending has been at driving visits to your site.

Monthly Spending Effect on Traffic

Monthly Spending Effect on Traffic

While I am not advocating to never do daily or weekly reporting – I don’t recommend it on a long-term basis. Not only is it a waste of your time, but it leads to few true insights into your visitor behavior. If you have a client who is insistent on frequent reports you may wish to set up some sort of dashboard or other means for the client to view the data they want to see on a frequent basis. Just make sure that the client understands that the data is for their information and will not necessarily come with any context or analysis. I would also emphasize to the client not to ask too many questions around this data, but to wait for your monthly reports to provide true insight into the data.

Gabriele has been doing "Web Stuff" since the mid-1990s, and Web Analytics since 2005. She began with Omniture SiteCatalyst (now known as Adobe Analytics) and is now also well versed in Google Analytics. She has been building a team of professional analysts who have expertise in all the major analytics platforms, including Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, IBM Coremetrics and WebTrends.