Measurement plan: In this stage we should define the KPI’s for your Scorecard and Dashboard. It should include the company strategy, objectives, tactics, and KPI’s. You can’t manage what you can’t measure repeated Robert Kaplan over and over again.
I would add to this quote, you shouldn’t measure what is not relevant to your strategy. Probably for offline projects is different because measuring is synonymous of outrageous costs, but in online you could almost measure all the people online experience without so much effort. So one of the most valuable advices I could give you is to not measure everything. The Analytics Professionals heard daily our clients ask to measure “all the information we could get from their sites or campaigns” but we should remember that, not all the data is information (but produces cost anyways), not all the information is useful for every single project, and finally as much data we have as much noise we get.
a. Tracking architecture: Your defined the KPI’s going from the strategy level to the data level. Now you should define the tracking architecture from the data level to achieve the required information to the strategic level. It’s vital a complete understanding of each tool’s backend (ad server, analytics, mailing servers, SEM servers, etc.) otherwise you wont be able to know what does the tracked information mean. Remember that for example Unique Visitor is a “virtual” metric that will be defined by the timeout definition (daily, weekly, monthly) and the time base (monthly, rolling) and by the IP tracking (is different for a Logfile analyzer than for a Page Tagging system). Please don’t forget the Tracking architecture document.
b. Constant measuring: Measuring (and reporting) in every case has two objectives, decision making and controlling. In order to define the period time for reporting, I always recommend companies to define the required period they need for decision making and controlling, and that’s the reporting period. Having daily reports, for example, just because is possible is not only ineffective, it’s going to drives you to incorrect analysis and finally, to misinterpret the information which wont help you at all to take the right decisions.
c. “Findings” and “Key Learnings”, and recommendations: After you have the report with the analysis you should get the most important findings (understanding the present), define the key learning (generating historic for future decision making) and recommendations (next steps). The idea understands what is happening, how we could use in the future our learning, and finally, what actions we are going to take in the future to be more efficient (I suggest to learn Peter Senge’s Book “The fifth Discipline”. The problem is not that you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it’s the same problem you had before).
d. Adjustments: While you measure your success you have a better understanding of your business so you could adjust your measurement plan, or even goals to your business reality. I recommend to not taking your measurement plan and goals as untouchable things, otherwise you will be at the end prisoner of it.