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Crtitical Analysis For Internet Marketing Success

Jul 2, 2008
Creating a culture of process improvement, whether you are operating an online venture or traditional brick and mortar establishment is vital to success and increased profitability. There are many tools available for defining, measuring and analyzing a business process to identify potential problems and more importantly find areas of improvement. Although several methods exist for data analysis, in this article we will review the use of charting tools.

Charting tools have been around for quite some time, popularized by the wide spread Six Sigma initiatives at major corporations like General Electric and Home Depot, help reduce costs and waste while at the same time improving quality. Armed with accurate data sets it is easy to see with the use of charting tools how processes are performing and when they are out of control to make necessary corrections.

Some of the more popular data analysis tools available are run charts, control charts, paretos and histograms. Although each has a different purpose, for example a pareto could be used to track and identify historical customer complaints with a given product while a control chart can be used to monitor the variability of a process.

Pareto Charts are an excellent way of graphically representing the 80/20 rule as it applied to nearly all process-related problems.

A Pareto Chart is built through a process of segmenting the range of available data into related groups. For instance, if you wanted to investigate why online shoppers were abandoning their cart before checkout, you could segment the data as follows:

* Shoppers who dropped out when their credit card data was requested

* Shoppers who dropped out when their address was requested

* Shoppers who dropped out when their telephone number was requested

You would then identify and add new groups to the chart until you had listed and identified every step in the checkout process where cart abandonment was experienced.

With the use of a chart like a pareto it is very easy to begin to visually identify problems and establish trends without having to rely on anecdotal or heresy testimonials. From an overall business performance perspective these charts can be systematized and compiled into periodic visual style dashboards making it easy to quickly review key business metrics without having to get bogged down in data analysis paralysis.

Another additional yet extremely valuable perk to putting together data charts is it usually forces the need to break down and document the business process into well defined flow charts and procedures. These types of flow charts and in depth documentation make it very easy to locate non value added steps of a process that can be eliminated or identify other low hanging fruit that with a little work or improvement can reap large benefits.

To stay competitive in most businesses today, especially when it comes to the cut throat world of Internet Marketing, the never ending cycle of improving processes is critical to continued success and profitability. Establishing a culture of continuous improvement with the use of data analysis and charting tools can help to ensure the business is operating at optimal performance.
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Killer strategies for unlocking productivity and making massive quantum leaps in profitability can be found at The Kaizen Business.
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