Learn more about analytics and research best practices, as well as real world examples and solutions for nonprofits.


Aug 24, 2015

The Riddle of Digital Analytics Solved

Digital EngagementWell, not completely.

But we at Analytical Ones at least have adopted a standard philosophy for approaching digital analytics and strategy. And I bet you will be surprised at what we recommend.

We’ve been doing varying degrees of digital analytics for as long as there has been websites. And as we have discussed before in early blogs, there are two main challenges with digital analytics.

  1. Not everyone captures the same data.  In direct mail analytics, we utilize the database that tracks donations. There are standard fields that every donor database contains that are extremely beneficial for analytics. In digital, even today, we don’t have that.
  2. Digital objectives vary by organization.  Sometimes an organization’s website is all about the gift. See the Michael J Fox Foundation website as a great example of a website that’s all about the donation. Most organizations split the website’s objectives into two: education and fundraising. And though these are two very important objectives, it makes optimizing the website for one objective impossible. And analytics is ultimately about optimization.

The bottom line consequence to these two challenges is it makes digital analytics expensive.

So here is what we recommend for EVERY organization: Hire a staff person who is designated to conduct digital analytics. The cost of hiring an outside firm like Analytical Ones is cost prohibitive because we have to do an extensive discovery process to understand what data fields are available.

Instead, let your in-house analyst collect the data and run the reports. AND if you need help make sense of the reports, then seek assistance to integrate it into your overall fundraising objectives.

This is really the best way to go.


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