9 Articles on How to Gain Insight from Your Communications Measurement Data

This is The Measurement Advisor’s Insight Issue, so we’ve gathered together our best articles to help you turn your piles of data into more than just trivia. To start, look over our two special issues on data:

Now move on to our nine most popular articles (according to Google Analytics’ pageviews) on how to get insight from your data:

1. How To Develop Your Own Social Media Engagement Index
We’ve described elsewhere in detail the process of creating your own Optimal Content Score for media coverage. It’s a way to rate your results based on what “good results” or “bad results” means specifically for your program or brand. Here is a similar approach applied to measuring engagement with social media…

2. How To Show Your Contribution to the Bottom Line
It’s one thing if you’re doing PR for an e-commerce company, but quite another “bottom line” if you’re working for a state agency (and still another if you’re a nonprofit on a mission to change society). So if you’re ready to scale back the complication and let your value shine, follow these 5 steps…

3. How To Develop a Customized Kick Butt Index of the Quality of Your Media Coverage
It’s been called an Optimal Content Score (OCS), the Media Quality Index, and, best of all, the Kick Butt Index. Whatever the acronym, it’s the answer you need when the boss says, “Damn it, do something, we’re getting our butts kicked!” or “Congratulations, you’re really kicking butt out there!” It’s a single number that reflects the quality of your media coverage, with quality defined by what drives your stakeholders to act, customers to purchase, or minds to be changed.

4. Stop Searching for ROI: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Is What You Need
I really, really, really wish we could do search-and-replace for the minds of all the writers and self-styled social media and PR experts out there who continuously confuse ROI with cost-effectiveness analysis. ROI is an accounting equation, but because it has so much Google juice, everybody and his brother use it in their headlines…

5. 5 Steps to Develop Your Customized Media Impact Index
The goal for your index score is to better understand which activities/campaigns/programs and content you’ve created—be it blog posts, press releases, media placements, or media tours—had the most impact on your audience. Thus, by necessity, there are a lot of moving parts in that answer. But if your goal is to get earned media it all boils down to four factors…

6. It’s the End of the Year, Do You Know Where Your Measurement Insight Is?
Getting measurement insight from a year’s worth of data isn’t that hard, once you have a clear definition of success and access to the data. More importantly, showing your business value is a much better use of your time than wrapping up all your activities in a pretty graphical package.

7. Four Tips for Clearing Out Your Broken and Meaningless Metrics
Chances are good that your reports contain at least a few broken, meaningless metrics that just aren’t helping your program anymore. Maybe they’re old, outdated, or obsolete. Maybe you’ve been trying to measure activities with data and metrics that are easily available but don’t really measure what you want them to. In any case, your measurement is weighed down by the baggage…

8. 7 Expert Analysis and Presentation Techniques to Gain Insights From Your Data
If you’re doing anything having to do with measurement these days, chances are about 100 percent that you’ll end up with a large pile of data. Problem is, most measurement platforms are great at spewing out lots of data points, but very bad at helping you interpret it. Never mind discover any insight…

9. Katie Paine’s 5 Guidelines for Which Numbers You Should Present to the Board
Just how many numbers you should present depends on your own situation. But here are some general guidelines, based on the role those numbers play for the board… ∞

About Author

Bill Paarlberg

Bill Paarlberg is the Editor of The Measurement Advisor. He has been editing and writing about measurement for over 20 years. He was the development and copy editor for "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit" by Beth Kanter and Katie Paine, winner of the 2013 Terry McAdam Book Award.