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Website analytics can guide project planning and prioritisation

Using data reporting to effectively map a redesign from A to B

Due to a last minute meeting invitation in New York to discuss a new digital project, we found ourselves in the airport lounge downloading 1.5 million lines of data ahead of a midnight flight from London. During the flight we used the data to generate reports that derived trends and insights from the client’s 100,000+ web pages.

Our client was discussing an active migration project with representatives from digital marketing leadership and IT. The migration project involved template changes that affected the webpage’s structure, components on the page, and how the the components worked together. Ultimately, it wasn’t just a reskin; they were changing the entire content architecture and layout options available.

We were invited to deliver analysis and insights that would assist with their project planning and prioritisation. The goal was to understand where their investment would have the biggest impact, through the development of automated tools or manual remediation by staff.

So that everyone was looking at the project from the same starting point our analysis of the current system provided specific detail down to geography, component type and content type. The trends included page usage, inventories and templates on every page, type of content and content objects (videos, graphics, charts and text). We also ran a comparison against the new system template to assess and compare the existing landscape with the potential future model.

Who has time to review 1.5 million lines of data?

We generated a number of automatic scripts to analyse the lines of data to enable us to turn 1.5million lines into six charts and several recommendations to help our client shape and fast-track the roll-out of their new design.

The findings allowed for meaningful, evidence-led conversations throughout the workshop from planning the transition, to agreeing on template sets, to the new design. From an IT perspective, the reporting provided a broader understanding of the user requirements and challenges in the change and adoption process.

Following the workshop our client implemented a series of cost-efficient solutions by commissioning a project to automate a significant portion of the transition centrally. This required less resources for regional territories to achieve a consistent result within the project timeframes.

Titbits and takeaways

When deploying a new template, it’s critical to map all the elements in your early planning from A to B — including mapping how the new site or system will be used, understanding how the current site or system is used, and understanding the user base (centralised or decentralised).

Identify and document the discrepancies between standards and quality — will your new design have higher resolution images or different lengths of content? What might the process need to look like to prepare for that?

After a ‘working’ flight from London to New York and a full-day workshop you must seek out the most amazing Indian street food in NYC - Kati rolls!

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