User experience researchers and designers bring a unique perspective to Website analytics, because they want to understand what can we do to optimize the experience based on the information that we're gathering around, how people are using a website currently. So, at one of the highest levels, you really just interested in getting a sense of what people are doing on a site. So, getting a pulse on how people are moving through the site and also what the behaviors are on specific pages. You want to understand how different groups or segments are using the site because that could give you some indication around certain features and functions that might help them to achieve their goals in a more efficient and effective way. You want to understand what typical sessions look like, and as well what a typical ones look like. So, what are the flows where people are successful, where the flows that are not, and are people going to the places that you expect them to go to. Similarly, you want to get a good understanding of whether or not people are using the site in the way that you intended them to. So, are they clicking on the things that you think they should be clicking on or not? Website Analytics help you to understand how content is performing on your site. So, what is compelling or not working for people? How are people reaching content? How are they thinking about that content? So, that's where you would use search analytics for example. Where are people going after they consume the content? So, are they doing the things that you want them to do? Say for example, converting once they look at product information, or looking at additional videos after they viewed one video. Additionally, you want to get a good understanding of how to engage people. So, how long are they spending consuming content and what time of day are they doing that? Because these days, that tells you a lot about whether or not they're using a specific channel or platform such as a phone or a desktop computer or even a television to watch video content for example. In thinking about how it is that you are designing an experience around enabling people to interact with content, you want to make sure that you're getting an understanding based on the analytics around how people are getting to it, going away from it, and using it. You get a sense for what's compelling and what's not. What you need to do in order to create a better and more efficient means of enabling people to move throughout a site and as well, what you can do to make the experience of interacting with that content the best that it can be. So, you want to get a good understanding of both how people are moving through the site of flows, as well as what's happening in terms of interactions on specific pages. So, where are those barriers and areas of opportunity that you need to either optimize, design around, or create new features and functions to enable people to function more efficiently. So, one thing that you'll notice as you spend time looking at the analytics for your site is that, the way people use your site changes over time. So, this will happen whether or not you actually make changes to the site. So, there are a couple of things that you need to do to understand how people's behavior evolves over time. So, the first is understanding how that behavior is tracking and trending over time. So, are people increasing or decreasing their level of interaction or the amount of content that they're consuming for example. Also, you want to compare and contrast specific ranges. So, you might want to look at data from one month period or one quarterly period over another to get a sense for how is it that people are changing their behavior from time period over time period. So, when you are looking at your analytics, you need to create context for yourself. There are a few ways that you need to do this. The most important is that, you need to get a good understanding of proportionality. So, when you're looking at counts, you also need to look at percentages. When you're looking at percentages, you also need to look at counts because when you're looking at large numbers, sometimes even though those raw numbers might be large, the difference between those raw numbers may not be as large. So, keep an eye on proportions versus raw numbers. Additionally, you need to be familiar with your sites. In too many situations, I've seen teams look at the data but almost never actually look at the site. To be able to have the experience of the site come alive for you, you need to actually look at the content and understand, "Oh! So, when I'm looking at this number, it means that somebody went from here to there, or when I'm looking at this particular video, it means that somebody is watching this or that." It's very important to ensure that you are getting some understanding of when it is that people are having specific interactions on your site. So, essentially what that means is, there's certain things that people tend to do at certain times a day. You get up in the morning, you brush your teeth, you have breakfast, you go to work or you go to school, you spend your time throughout the day with other people or doing work at home, and then you come home in the evening, you relax, you maybe watch some television, and then you go to bed. So, because you have that certain schedule throughout the day, you also have a certain way that you are interacting with digital products throughout the day as well. So, you will see those trends and those types of behaviors in the data that you are collecting on your site. You need to be thinking about what's the relationship between how people are living their lives and the data that you're seeing on your site because what you can do is, create an experience that anticipates how it is that people expect to be using your digital products so that they are getting the right features, and functions, and information when they need it. So, you also want to be able to get a good sense of what the differences are between pages. So, when you're thinking about different types of content, or different sections of a site, and then also groups of users. You want to be able to socially set up information that's going to help you to understand what those differences are within your analytics as well. So, whether that is setting up reporting so that you've got different sets of reports that show you here are the similarities and differences between the performance of these specific parts of the site or pages, and maybe separately doing the same thing for different types of users. Draw in that comparison so that you can see not only at the highest level what's the average that we see across the experience but that underneath that, you're also able to understand how do those different groups or portions of the site perform by comparison to what it is that we're seeing across the entire experience. So, that level of comparison helps you to really see where there might be significant changes even at that highest level number. So, the experience across the site is not changing at all. So, while Website Analytics are very important in terms of helping you to understand, how it is that people are using a site, they don't help you to understand why people are using a site or having the experiences that they are. Website Analytics plays a dual role in helping you to understand the user experience. The first is, helping to point you in the direction of big questions that you want to understand some trends around how it is that people are using your site. So, it's almost like an entry point into doing further research. So, once you understand what people are doing, the next thing that you want to understand is "why", so that you can take action based on that behavior. The second way that you would want to use Analytics is, once you understand why it is that people are performing in a certain way or doing certain things on your site, you want to be able to get a sense of the scale. So, if I make this change, how many people is it going to impact? or what's the impact going to be on how it is that people are using the site in this really broad way? Performance reasons for example. So, think about analytics as bracketing your understanding of these are experiences. So, understanding additional areas of opportunity for us to dig deeper or, at the other end analytics also help you to understand the scale at which the changes that you're considering or the behaviors that you're seeing, and usability types of research are scaling up in impacting groups of users or an entire population of users?