In the last post of this blog series on being successful with digital analytics, I discussed a few different approaches to providing digital analytics support to internal customers. Many of the potential models involve training internal customers on how to access and utilize digital analytics data. In this post I will share some of the lessons I have learned around the area of training.

In the past twenty years, I have trained a lot of people on digital analytics and the associated tools (mainly Adobe Analytics). The main thing I have learned in doing this is that training non-analytics folks to use digital analytics tools is much harder than you’d think. As digital analysts, we live and breathe things like Visits, Unique Visitors, paths, cookies, dimensions, etc. But most folks on the business side only know their area of the business or a portion of the website. Most people in business didn’t learn about digital analytics in college (though that is changing now), so they have no formal training in web/app data.

In addition, each digital analytics tool has its own quirks that have to be learned (i.e. what is the difference between an instance and an occurrence?). You may have internal customers that have used Google Analytics in the past and are now being asked to use Adobe Analytics or vice versa. Plus, each digital analytics implementation is configured differently, and data points can have different names and definitions from one organization to the next.

So how do you overcome these potential training obstacles? One thing I have found helpful is to avoid training end-users on the actual digital analytics tool and instead revert back to your business requirements. Most people learn better when they are attempting to answer a question that is meaningful to them versus simply doing random exercises. Since you already spent considerable time documenting what business questions people have at your organization, you can build training around these questions. For example, I once had a financial services Adobe Analytics client that wanted to teach a bunch of end-users how to do a Venn diagram analysis in Adobe Analytics. Instead of showing them how the actual reports are built, I went back to their requirements and saw that they had asked for a way to create a segment of customers that were retired, high net worth and heavy investors. I realized that a good way for them to build that segment was to use a Venn diagram visualization in Adobe’s Analysis Workspace interface. I proceeded to walk them through creating the segment via the Venn diagram and they got exactly what they were looking for. They got the segment they wanted and unknowingly learned how to use the Venn diagram (another Miyagi technique!)

Another way to leverage all of the work you put into the business requirements is to record short 3-5 minute videos for each business requirement. Like the preceding Venn diagram example, you can show specific ways to answer the questions in your requirements list and record yourself using the analytics tool and narrating what you are doing as you go. These videos can then be shared internally on an intranet or shared folders. I have even put hyperlinks to the videos directly into the SDR like this:

If you want to be even fancier, you can create your own internal video podcast and let your internal users download the training videos to their phones or iPads where they can watch them during their commute!

Lastly, I suggest that your team consider having in-person or virtual “office hours” that your internal users can take advantage of if they need help or want to dive deeper into a specific topic.

Action Items

Your homework for this post is to:

  • Catalog any digital analytics training that you currently have for your end-users.
  • Consider conducting a survey to your internal customers asking them where they feel their skill level is and what they’d like to learn so you can start determining who you need to train and on what topics.
  • Create one short video on one of your business requirements and run it by some internal customers to see if they find it helpful.
  • If you are an Adobe Analytics customer and need to train your end-users on Analysis Workspace, check out this tips blog post I wrote last year.

In the next post, I am going to share some other ways you can help train your end-users by improving how you document your implementation.


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