Lies, Damn Lies and Google Analytics

I wasted 2 hours of my life last night wading through this web site’s Google Analytics.  Here is what I found:

7.32% of visitors spend more than half an hour (presumably they are fantasising about pretty cross eyed blonde girls)

I have had 7 unique visitors from the USA and 15 from Doncaster, which proves what a hot bed of intellectual curiosity Doncaster is.

Only 8.3% of visitors use Google Chrome as a browser, whilst the vast majority of visitors use Carphone Warehouse Broadband services (search me).

And it goes on…. and on….

All of this is of course totally useless, yet I still spent 2 hours looking at it.

As an operations analyst the only piece of information that I am really interested in is how many people have this blog set up as an automatic feed so they don’t miss it.  This is important to me because these guys are the ones who are interested enough in what I say to either recommend me to somebody else or pick up the phone and ask me to work with them.

This is the one piece of information I couldn’t get.

We are obsessed by statistics and 99% of it is useless.  I worked with a company that had 34 different ways of defining one FTE, they had lots of reports, but no idea how many people they employed.

There is a huge difference between the information you need and the statistics you can have.

Why do we make life so complex?


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