05 Mar Business Intuition – Redefining Web Analytics
So I just finished watching InnSaei. As a guy that relies really heavily on data to make decisions, it was an epiphany. It managed to show me just about every mistake I’ve ever made in business in just over an hour. To sum up, I’ve shut out my business intuition and replaced it with graphs, trend bars, and spreadsheets.
Let me explain, in sordid detail, how I went wrong.
I Love Google Analytics
There’s nothing wrong with that. Web analytics still play a huge role in understanding the success or failure of your website. What I had come to believe though, with the help of a bunch of MBA’s over the years, is that it’s a predictor of the future. It is… but it isn’t.
Making business decisions on Analytics alone suppresses your intuition. All the instinct you have, and the wisdom you’ve gleaned over the years you’ve been open. It’s kind of your “gut”, but even better.
Innsaei (or your inner voice), would argue that you actually know better than Google Analytics does. That your 5 senses are better than any data, and in many cases, humans have stopped using them.
Let’s take a local business here, just outside of Miami. Casa Planta is a fantastic nursery and garden center that offers landscaping services. I’ve spent some time talking about their business with them over the past several weeks. But I’ve come to believe that they or any business shouldn’t hedge all their bets on Google Analytics. Here’s why.
Business Intuition Rules – Because the World is Dynamic
We need to let data augment our decision making, not control it.
Since the concept of innsaei (a Nordic word meaning “seeing from within”) invites us to use our 5 senses to understand our world, there is NO BETTER business to employ the process than Casa Planta. Go there. You’ll see what I mean. Your senses will come alive if you simply stand there and let them.
In connecting with our surroundings, our world, we understand it.
So Casa Planta will have a “feel” to it. And when they get that right, they will be successful. And they are pretty close already.
So how can Google Analytics hurt that, if we drive business decisions on data alone?
GA quantifies the past. At the same time, using the past to predict the future is folly. Consider that we live in Miami. If 10,000 people live within a mile of you, how many of those 10,000 will be the same next year?
Exactly. This isn’t a closed system. People move, new plant varieties get popular, the weather changes… All these things make up the ecosystem that our business intuition needs to be the governor of. It’s not that data isn’t important. It’s the weight we put on it that needs to change.
So Now What?
So what am I going to do now? Change a little bit.
I will still use Google Analytics to hold myself and Isla accountable. But I’m going to change how I feel about business. I’ll use my senses more where applicable, and I think that will modify my ultimate sense of purpose for myself and the agency.
If you haven’t seen the film, go do it. It’s on Netflix, and it’s super powerful. Have some thoughts on it? Feel free to share in the comments section below.