[thelist] Sales and Visits

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 13:48:47 CDT 2010

On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 2:19 PM, Fred Jones <fredthejonester at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have here a chart http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcpssp27_0gpcvjjck
> showing how many sales a certain site made over the past few months.
> They sell web hosting so it shouldn't be a seasonal type of thing.
> Column B is the actual sales, Column C is how many Visits according to
> Google Analytics. I made Column D "Sales * 50" so that it's close to
> Column C just for comparison purposes. Then the graph is basically C
> and D.
> It would appear from this that there is virtually no correlation
> between C and D.
> Of course this is a fairly small sample, but still, it seems surprising, no?
> Well one issue also IS return customers--several sales last month were
> from return customers... But even so, Jan and Feb don't quite make
> sense...

Who knows? This is the problem with most reporting. "Sales" could mean
just about anything. From what you are saying, it sounds like "Sales"
is the total dollar amount of new orders and renewals/repeat orders.
How long does it take to complete a sale? What date is used to
determine if the sale is in June or July? Is that the original contact
date? The invoice date? The payment date? The recognition date? Why
did traffic spike in Jan and April? Are there other areas of the site
not related to hosting? Etc.

BI/Reporting, unfortunately, is an area that everyone thinks is easy
and is usually an afterthought to core IT functions of
hardware/application procurement and custom software
development/maintenance. It's unfortunate because BI is *not* easy,
and the fact that everyone thinks it is explains why BI solutions that
are created tend to have low adoption rates by end users.

There is actually a report released by Forrester about a month ago.
The product I manage ended up looking pretty good in it, so we bought
the rights to reprint it, but it's a good objective report on the
subject in its own right. https://www.balancedinsight.com/forrester/

(If you don't want to register, ping me directly and I can send it to you.)

Matt Warden
Cincinnati, OH, USA

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