Data quality

3 March 2020 | 3 minutes of reading time

Do you recognize this? According to Google Analytics the revenue is 30.000 euro. But your own back office system shows that it should be 40.000. According to Magento there are 45 contact  forms filled out, but your goals in Google Analytics show that this should be 70. When you made a report on the 2nd of January about the most recent financial year, the revenue was 500.000. However, when you repeat this process now this same revenue is 495.000.

You know that web analytics do not match 100%. But do you think 75% is too little? Where do you draw the line? 90%? 95%? Or should it be more than 100% because you know that there are always a few web orders that get canceled?

You are given the fact that your systems are not properly connected. You can read and write with Google Analytics, but SQL is not really your thing. Or the other way around, SQL has no secrets for you, but you have no idea where in Google Analytics you can find the data, and if you can find it you wonder, how did it get there?

Help is near!

These questions are exactly the ones which we like most in the field of data analysis. Exploring where the missing link is. Researching why some orders and/or customers are reported in one system, but not in another, is one thing. However, finding the causes of this is a second. Bringing clarification. Filling in the missing links or coming to a point where there are only small incidents left. Being able to recognize in which situation you can expect a match of 100% and when you can never fill this gap, forcing you to accept when good, is good enough.

I can imagine if this seems very boring and tiresome for non-analysts. Yet, for me a situation like this is a puzzle of which I have to find the solution. A real challenge that needs hyper focus. Sometimes it is looking for a needle in a haystack, sometimes it is less complicated, but it is always important to use your common sense. It has happened many times before that I took my laptop with me to lunch because I just did not want to stop. Or that someone tells me an entire story without me noticing. Or that I think at 10 PM, it’s time to go to bed. Only to find myself in bed by 12:30 AM.

However, when I finally find it, I feel amazing! The puzzle has been solved. There is clarity. Everything is right! OCD? Maybe ever so slightly 😉    

A few real examples:

  1. A large web shop had its own internal reporting system. The components which together determined the gross revenue did sum up but were not recognized. This resulted in discussions and years of untrustworthy data. Within 1 day we found the gap and managed to solve it.
  2. Another large web shop with an internal system and SAP database.The sales report that was mailed around multiple times a day was holy. However, it did not really match with the summation of the order amounts. The difference? After a few days we constructed an analysis file. Every consecutive discussion on the precision of the report could be shut down quickly because the analysis report could clearly indicate which orders did go through and which did not.
  3. It turned out that for at a large premium brand selling in traditional stores there was not a single revenue coming in at the data warehouse on Sunday’s. Because having a revenue on Sunday was not a regular occurrence, the amount was relatively small. Nevertheless, missing the revenue from Sunday in the database was crucial for this company. 
  4. In the buying process of traffic via affiliate sites the wrong input was delivered into the feed. This caused many euros to be spend on non-profitable traffic.

Do you have an issue in connecting multiple of your systems? Feel free to contact us. We are happy have a look with you.

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