Last week the first German Google Analytics Summit took place in Hamburg (http://www.analytics-summit.de). Certainly, a must-attend event for the online marketing crowd but for eCFOs, controller and such this event should have been a must-attend as well.
I was astonished when Moritz Habermann, senior key account manager at Google, asked whether there were any controllers present. Out of 350 attendees none raised their hand – so nobody from the financial analysis side was present. This is a huge mistake. Google is at its hard a data collection and analysis company that has many uses for financial focused employees. No longer can data sources like Google be for “marketing & sales” only. I really liked what Moritz continued to say – he mentioned the difference between financial KPIs and KPIs collected by Google Analytics and similar tools. The difference is that financial KPIs show success/failure at the end of the month/year but that non-financial data allows for day-to-day monitoring and steering of the business.
He still portrayed financial and non-financial data points as separate things but in reality they are the two sides of the same coin. It is essential to combine these data points! Google Analytics or other tools such as the Track Board from Trakken (http://www.trakken.de/) are great tools for an eCFO. A business analyst should focus on displaying non-financial and financial KPIs in such a fashion that a business can be monitored, steered and managed by just looking at a single dashboard.
I am excited to see the next conference and I hope that more finance guys will start focusing on Google analytics and other web tools.