The Art of Analytics: Getting Started

By Kate Alany, PBS Digital

Given that this is my first post on the SPI Blog, I thought the title “Getting Started” was appropriate, since I’m new to PBS and public media.  Since I came onboard in May, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to folks at several stations, which has honestly been…humbling. In these last several weeks, I’ve spoken with some of the most dedicated, passionate and creative people I’ve encountered in my career. I’ve had a great sense of pride about telling my family and friends that I work at PBS, but it’s my conversations with stations that helped me understand why that is! For those of you whom I’ve yet to meet, here’s my little introduction.  

I joined PBS to help build an analytics service for stations—that is, a service focusing solely on you and helping you use data to make better informed decisions about your digital strategies and products. I spent the last 8 years at Gannett doing consumer research, so I’m particularly interested in understanding people and not just behavior.  That’s been a part of our discussions as we’re working to define key aspects of the service. As we continue this process, your feedback is essential. I’d love to know more about your data challenges and goals, or simply meet you! I’m working closely with the SPI team so you can always reach out to your SPI representative, but please feel free to get in touch with me directly, at: or 703-739-5081.  I hope to hear from you.  
In the meantime, I’ll be posting here a couple of times a month on things like: tips and best practices, industry information, events, useful resources, and more!

For now, here’s a great post from Justin Cutroni (@justincutroni) at Google. Included in the post is information on creating a Digital Measurement Model (additional credits to Avinash Kaushik @avinash). 

Here at PBS, we shared this model during the Analytics Module of Bento Implementation Training, but it’s helpful whether or not you’re currently using Bento. Some of you may be just getting started with analytics, or maybe you’re further along but are interested in revisiting the question, “Why does our website exist?” Either way, a great place to start is by spending some time defining some Goals and Tactics (pages 1-3 in the attached document). Once you have clearly defined Goals and Tactics, you can begin mapping to what’s measured in Google Analytics and really focus in on the metrics that matter most to you.  Even if you don’t have time for a full-fledged DMM right now, I’d encourage you all to take a look at this model and do a little brainstorming!  If you have any questions along the way or just want someone to bounce ideas off of, please reach out!

Create a DMM (download)