I thought I’d kick off a series of posts with one of the most direct and action-oriented uses of analytics: CRO.
The current crisis is tough on everyone. I recognise that even in the good times, charities, non-profits, and NGOs can struggle to fund, deliver, and justify their essential work.
We’ve all suffered losses in business, funding, and activity (not to mention the terrible human toll of Covid-19), so I’ve decided to offer some pro bono consultancy to any charities large or small who would like to explore the potential of data analytics.
Charities are undergoing digital and data transformations with increasing pace.
My new case study, courtesy of Scottish Book Trust, explores some of the data analytics work we did following the launch of their new website. We worked with Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Firebase, BigQuery, and Google Data Studio to structure and improve their insight.
Our work together encapsulates web and mobile app analytics, as well as looking at the wider measurement and optimisation strategy for Scottish Book Trust as an organisation.
Scottish Book Trust – an Edinburgh-based national charity that believes books, reading and writing have the power to change lives – launched a new website in 2019. They quickly realised that they needed rich web analytics data to evaluate its performance.
What did we do?
- Set up custom event tracking in Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager
- Completed a full digital analytics audit of Scottish Book Trust website
- Integrated Firebase app data with Google Data Studio using Google BigQuery
What was the outcome?
- Comprehensive and clear custom events now form the basis of Scottish Book Trust’s Google Analytics reporting
- We can now easily report on app data through Google Data Studio
- We are also working through a roadmap of analytics improvements
After launching our new website at Scottish Book Trust in 2019, we wanted to enhance our web analytics capabilities. Daniel very quickly got up to speed with our organisation and what we were trying to achieve. He developed a detailed analytics audit which we worked through with him to improve our setup and use of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Alongside this Daniel was integral to helping us improve our approach to our mobile app analytics.
We found Daniel easy to work with, approachable and very quick to deliver results.
Initially, Scottish Book Trust needed custom tracking in Google Analytics to evaluate website KPIs such as interactions with audio and video content, as well as content downloads and clicks through to external websites.
Charities often have a complex, broad set of activities, which is then reflected in the outcomes we need to measure. These can range from events and fundraising, to advocacy and providing valuable content.
Due to extensive experience working in the charity sector and with other large charity clients, we were able to progress quickly and effectively from the brief to a concrete work plan. Based on our initial consultation, Scottish Book Trust agreed that we should set up a more comprehensive range of tracking and carry out a web analytics audit.
Digital analytics audit & review
The web analytics audit is extremely helpful for any charity or organisation to review their current analytics setup and identify any opportunities and issues. An audit will typically focus on Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, touching on other tools such as Google Data Studio for reporting, dashboards, and visualisation, or Google Optimize for AB testing and conversion rate optimisation.
After reviewing the completed audit, we identified a list of analytics tasks by priority. These ranged from simple rationalisation and tidying of the Google Analytics account and tagging, to more strategic questions around an organisational measurement framework and approach to reporting.
Mobile app analytics
As a separate mini-project, Scottish Book Trust were also keen to be able to report on their mobile apps more easily. Separate apps used Mixpanel and Firebase, and we evaluated methods of creating dashboards for this data.
In particular, we found an opportunity to set up an automatic export of data from Firebase to Google BigQuery, which in turn allows Scottish Book Trust to easily pull the data into their Google Data Studio reports.
Over the course of a few months, we have completed some highly targeted and impactful analytics work, characterised by a relaxed, professional, and efficient working relationship. The work was carried out on an on-demand basis – no contract or retainer - and amounted to a few days in total.
We hope to continue working together and bringing value to Scottish Book Trust and all their beneficiaries through data analytics.
Data visualisation is all the rage. Some day in the near future, we will be done with spending endless amounts of time producing static reports in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, instead working with eye-candy dynamic reports such as those provided by Google Data Studio, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, and many others. These platforms allow diverse data sources to be linked in near real-time to a single report or dashboard, from where users can interact with the data.