Hope, Heroes and Startups: Spring Metrics
Creating Better Web Analytics
“Web analytics suck,” Spring Metrics founder Doug Kaufman said to about a 100 people at Tech Jobs Under the Big Top last month. “Yes they do,” was my immediate silent confirmation. “Why do we focus on web metrics when conversion metrics are what matters,” Doug asked as fifty heads shook yes in agreement.
I interviewed Doug over lunch near Spring Metrics downtown Durham office on June 3rd. “I wasn’t thinking of starting a new company,” Doug told me. After exiting clearTXT, one of the first mobile message delivery services for higher education, Doug returned to work on a pet project, AlleyDog.com, but quickly becoming frustrated.
Doug had a problem. Good and bad things were happening on his resource center for psychology students called AlleyDog, but what mattered most? Using Google Analytics to tease out what, where, when, why and who was frustrating, difficult, time consuming and data wasn’t real time. Frustration moved Doug to create the company he had no intention of creating and Spring Metrics was born.
“I didn’t want to make a common startup mistake,” Doug said, starting our lunch talk and instantly grabbing attention. “I coach startups now and so many of them don’t want to share ideas. I did the opposite, sharing my thoughts on solving my web analytics pain with anyone who would listen,” Doug shared.
He discovered traditional key performance indicators (KPI’s) such as number of unique visitors, time on site, average number of page views help but don’t immediately answer important internet marketing questions such as:
• What content, links, ads or site designs are creating conversions in real time?
• What data really matter to conversion?
• Where are hidden conversion funnels?
• What and where are actionable needles hidden in metrics haystacks?