The Web Analytics Association (WAA) in the US has recently released its 2009 survey findings on "Tapping the Potential of Web Analytics for Public Sector and Non-Profit Sites".
The survey asked three questions:
1. How are Web site managers in the public and non-profit sector measuring the performance of their web sites?
2. Can any KPIs used by many non-commerce organizations be used to measure the impact, effectiveness, and contributions of all non-commerce Web sites?
3. Can we develop a series of benchmarks for the key dimensions of visitor online interaction with the Web sites in the public and non-profit sectors?
124 respondents completed the survey – 83% of those came from the United States,.
Some of the findings include:
- 60% only dedicate a few hours a week to web analytics – only 12.5% of respondents described themselves as web analysts and nearly 70% of organisations don’t have a dedicated web analyst;
- monthly reporting is the norm;
- traffic reporting is used by 82% of organizations;
- only 10% link web analytics to return on investment;
- US government sites track file downloads more often than others surveyed; and
- Segmentation is not widely used.
The report provides some thought provoking key takeaways for government web analysts:
1. Conduct high-value, deeper analyses
2. Focus your analytics evangelizing on people in your organization who stand to benefit from Web analytics and have shown an interest in using analytics.
3. Use voice of customer, usability testing, and focus groups in tandem with Web analytics
4. Build official and unofficial alliances
5. Give more thought to how people want to consume Web analytics data.
It is interesting to compare these findings with the results from the 2008 Australian Web Analytics Survey conducted by Hurol Inan of Bienalto. Of the 208 respondents for the Australian survey, 20% were from government. When analysing the government respondents, the survey found that 60% of government organizations looked at web analytics as not important or less important as other web functions. Most government analysis consisted of reporting traffic – no one reported using advanced analysis.
Hurol’s analysis concluded that "Government remains significantly challenged in terms of identifying the objectives
and KPIs of web analytics, and also lacks the key support of management."
There are many similarities between the US and the Australian studies. It seems government still has some way to go when it comes to really analyzing their data and applying their findings to optimising their websites.
If you want to read more about these surveys, the Web Analytics Association has made their report available from their web site for a small charge. A presentation of the report’s findings is also available for free!
The 2008 Australian Web Analytics Survey is also available from Bienalto.