How to Define the Scope and Outcome of Your Customer Analytics Initiative

By Jeff Sauro

The first stage is goal setting: where you define the scope and outcome of your project. Don’t overlook or rush through this stage. Collecting customer analytics takes time and money. You can easily exceed your budget if you compiled the wrong data.

  1. State the goals of the initiative.

    Think in terms of the intended outcome (for example, an increase of 10% in revenue of a product line over the next year). The more specific you can be, the more attainable the endeavor.

  2. Write down the questions you want to answer.

    Data is meaningless unless it’s collected for a reason. Articulate what business questions you’re hoping to answer. Avoid being vague and large in scope. Start small and specific and itemize your questions.

    You want to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

    Some examples of questions customer analytics can answer include:

    • Which product feature should you add to this product?

    • What is preventing customers on the website from completing a purchase?

    • What labels should you change in the website navigation?

    • Why are customers not recommending a product and how can you improve positive word of mouth?

    • What percent of high-income mothers are aware of the brand and website?

    • Who are the most profitable customers?

    • How long until a customer makes a repeat purchase?

There’s a good chance you aren’t the first person to collect and use customer analytics in your organization. Look for past initiatives, past projects, and what worked and what didn’t work. The documents, results, and people involved in past initiatives will save you a lot of effort and prevent you from reinventing the wheel.