Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik famously wrote that all data in aggregate is "crap". Time on site. All visits. Total revenue. None of it tells a good story. As Avinash says, the only way to get insight from data is to segment it into parts.
For example, it is mildly useful to know a website receives 15,000 Sessions (visits) per month. That aggregate metric gives you a rough idea of the scale, however, not much else. If you knew that over 50% of those Sessions came from Organic Search, then you’d start to get some insight into what makes the website tick. Clearly, content marketing and SEO are an important part of the story for such a website.
Breaking down Sessions by Acquisition Channel (e.g., Organic Search, Referral, Social, etc) is an example of how we can start segmenting aggregate data – Avinash’s recommended path to enlightenment.
But once you are enlightened, how do you communicate those insights to others? Using the right data visualization helps.
In Part 1 of our series on representing website data, we looked at different ways to visualize time-series web analytics data. In this, the second part of a three-part series, we look at aggregate data for fixed periods of time – how to segment it and how to best represent the segmented data to communicate your insights.