InboundCon 2016 "How to Create Meaningful Reports" - Mark Sullivan

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How to Create Meaningful Reports

From Toxic Mold to Google Analytics

October 2016

Meaningful is the key word here.

Toxic mold & meaningful reporting???

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

I know what you all are thinking: What is this guy talking about?

Just wait

February 2015[INBOUNDCON 2016]

I was reminded of the challenges recently when I became ill.

This is me and my new family about a year and a half ago.

July 2016[INBOUNDCON 2016]Memory lossSevere cognitive impairmentDizzinessHeadachesExcessive urinationExtreme fatigue

By July of 2016 I was in a tailspin health-wise. And the doctors did not know what was going on.

10 weeks of testing yielded lots of reports[INBOUNDCON 2016]but none were meaningful.

By July of 2016 I was in a tailspin health-wise. And the doctors did not know what was going on.

Status Quo:[INBOUNDCON 2016]no change in action.

By July of 2016 I was in a tailspin health-wise. And the doctors did not know what was going on.

meaningful:meaningful report: What do we mean by meaningful?having a serious, important, or useful quality or purpose.communicating something that is not directly expressed.a report that empowers and informs decision making.a report that inspires confidence in taking specific action.

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Decisions are made on data. This affects your job, your clients decision to keep using you, and how you take action as a marketer.

If your reporting doesnt empower and inform decision making, then its not meaningful.

1. meaningful reports:

empower and inform decision making.

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

This is our rubric for judging our reporting work.

Does it empower and inform decision making?

2. meaningful reports:

inspire confidence in taking action.

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Does it inspire confidence in taking specific action?

Why care about reporting?

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

We spend a lot of time reporting.

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

And its going to get harder

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Challenges facing digital marketersExplosion of new tools, KPIsClosed-loop attribution remains elusiveTurning fire-hose of data into narrative

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Weak reporting is Poor choice of dataPoor display of dataMissing data

[INBOUNDCON 2016]characterized by:

Effective choice of dataEffective display of dataComplete data

[INBOUNDCON 2016]Great reporting is characterized by:

1. Choose the right data for your audience.

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Choice of Data[INBOUNDCON 2016]4 Complete Blood Counts3 Liver & Kidney panelsBrain MRISleep StudyAbdominal UltrasoundPhoto diary

Sometimes you dont know you have the wrong data until you collect a lot of it.

Choice of Data[INBOUNDCON 2016]

What are you doing for me again?Should I care about these numbers?

Heres a perfect example of the wrong choice of data for an oil change shop owner.

Choice of Data[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Lowest funnel metric available for this client.Right data for the right audience.

2. Display data in a way that encourages narrative.

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Display of Data[INBOUNDCON 2016]

I have no idea what this means but Im told not to worry.Data from sleep study.

Display of Data[INBOUNDCON 2016]

What decisions can be made from this report?This is awful, btw.

Display of Data[INBOUNDCON 2016]

I see a lot of this kind of reporting from agencies.Information density is usually not a good thing.

Display of Data[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Succinct and crystal clear.Always err on the side of simple.

From a tool called Measureful

If more complexity is desired by your audience, let them request it.

3. Include all relevant data to give context.

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Data Completeness[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Something is missing here.What happened?

Data Completeness[INBOUNDCON 2016]

Turned off all PPC ads for holidays.Timelines make more sense with event annotations.

Data Completeness[INBOUNDCON 2016]One critical annotation was missing from my health story.

I found (and cleaned up) a lot of mold in our bedroom shortly before getting sick.

What action did we take?[INBOUNDCON 2016]Moved into a tent Hired a certified mold remediator for testingReviewed indoor air dataStarted treatment planThrew away our stuffLearned a lot about mold!

For Great ReportingChoose the right data.Display it in the right way.Include all relevant data.Before you share a report, ask yourself

Does this help my audience make a decision?

[INBOUNDCON 2016]

How to Create Meaningful Reports

October 2016Thank you!

Mark Sullivan

@mpsulli