Your tool is not important

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Worried about picking the "right" analytics tool? Don't. Here is why.

Despite what the ads, vendor booths, or talking heads will tell you here are some truths about analytics tools; Google Analytics won’t give you optimized campaigns, Adobe Analytics won’t improve your conversion rates, Amplitude won’t increase your AOV.

Don’t get me wrong. Having an analytics tool that works for you is important for your success. Being able to visualize and explore results to find insights is critical.

However, it does not matter if you use Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Matomo, Amplitude, Piwik, Heap, or Mixpanel. Pick a digital analytics stack that works for you and focus on the critical components that WILL ensure you get the insights you need.

These are the components that guarantee your success in analytics:

  • Accurate data collection
  • Defined business metrics
  • Willingness to optimize / test based on results

Data Collection

It also doesn’t matter which tag manager you use. Could be Google Tag Manager, Adobe Launch, Matomo Tag Manager, Piwik Tag Manager, even Tealium (eww).

What is important is that you have control of and maintain your data collection. Your data should maintain its definition and consistency over time.

Changing CSS, new site or app features, or updates to your checkout flow can all change the data you collect which can cause your insights to be based on flawed data.

Maintain your tagging with a critical eye for change and ensure you continue getting accurate data that will define your important business metrics.

Business Metrics

For a business to be able to improve, we must identify the important metrics that need to change. If you are in e-commerce that might be AOV, Basket Size, or Conversion Rate. If you monetize content the right metrics could be Engagement Rate, Page Views per Session, or Total Time.

Define the important metrics for your business and relentlessly focus on them. This is critical for analytics success. Most analytics tools will have dozens or a hundred or more different metrics. Focus on the metrics that make a difference for your business and use those for optimization.


This is where the rubber meets the road. An analytics tool will not make the decision to change based on results. The commitment to optimize comes from a business leader.

It is easy to look at a dashboard or test result and say “That’s interesting.” It is hard to fight your own gut instinct or fight for a change against the consensus of others.

This culture of optimization based on data is the most important component in successful analytics. Even if you have accurate data and clearly defined business metrics, if your organization does not have the courage to change then you have nothing.

Leverage the analytics tool you have

I hope your take away is that you don’t need to be concerned with which analytics tool you use. Focus on maintaining your data, defining the right metrics, and embracing change based on what you learn. Then dig into your analytics tool to explore and define insights.

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