I am not a relaxed person. I spend the better part of most days monitoring our business. I look at statistics all day long.
Of course, some of what I evaluate is big picture. I get a monthly report that provides me with trailing 12-month graphs of a bunch of key indicators for each of our offices. Looking at those charts helps me evaluate our course and make corrections. My monthly reports are probably important and useful. They are “healthy.”
Today, I'm talking about the insane stuff I review. These are some of the statistics I evaluate every few hours all day long. This is the “unhealthy” data that probably isn't very helpful.
For those of you who feel compelled to obsess over hour-by-hour progress, I offer you these indicators. Each of these products provides data, but mostly they're fulfilling some other function. The data is a by-product of their primary purpose.
Google Analytics: I look at our website traffic in real time. I count the number of visitors and look at where they're spending time on our site and how much time they're spending on the site. Google Analytics is purely for gathering data. It doesn't do anything other than keep you informed. Google Analytics is powerful, free, and totally addictive.
AWeber: Our e-mail provider makes data available in real time so I can see how many people have signed up for our free e-course. AWeber handles all our outgoing marketing e-mail and give us access to a wealth of data.
QuickBooks: I keep up with our revenues all day long and check our payables constantly. I'm not a QuickBooks fan, but it works, and it gives me quick and easy access to data so I can stay on top of our progress.
AuthorityLabs.com: This site helps me keep up with our rankings on Google and Bing, but it only gets updated once each day. This is another purely data application, like Google Analytics. It does nothing other than provide data.
FeedBurner: I monitor how many subscribers I have for this blog. Of course, it does all the work of providing the RSS feed for this site, but I mostly use it for checking data.
CloudFlare: I get a different perspective on the number of visitors we're getting to our sites. This service does much more than provide data: it keeps our sites fast and online.
Wistia: I find out how many visitors have watched our videos and how much of the videos they've watched. Wistia hosts most of our videos, and we use it primarily because of the great data.
Libsyn: I keep track of the number of downloads we've had for our podcasts. This service is very reasonably priced and also provides very detailed reporting.
iTunes Connect: It gives me data about the number of users who have downloaded our iPhone app. I can get similar data for our Android app as well using the Android Marketplace.
Unbounce: I review data on our landing page split tests so we can see which headlines and other features of our pages are winning in our tests. This is an excellent service for split-testing your Web pages.
Salesforce: We keep all our client data in Salesforce, so I have a dashboard providing me with key indicators like call volume and consult numbers.
By the time I work through the reports on each of these services, it's time to start over again and see what's changed. Looking at data can consume your entire day. It's worse than Facebook.
I don't wish all this data on any of you. It's burdensome and not very helpful. If, however, you can't resist, now you know where to turn.