Google Analytics (and similar) gives you a ton of numbers on every conceivable axis.
For me, I get lost in the options, filters, and numbers. How do I turn this pile of data into actionable choices? Which of this data is important? Which custom reports should I build to see it?
Analytics Metrics Website Google Reports
Everything I know about analytics, I learned from the following two posts:
Web Optimizer Case Study Vanity Metrics vs Action Metrics Biggest takeaway from these is that A/B testing is what the situation calls for 9/10. And for that, there's Google Website Optimizer.
Two things I would recommend:
There is so much good information about analytics from these two sources. Avinash works at Google but he does a good job of writing about analytics without a particular toolset in mind.
Here's a few of my opinions on the topic:
Would love to hear what other suggestions people have.
I'd recommend picking up a copy of Avinash Kaushik's "Web Analytics 2.0". It's a great read and will definitely generate some ideas on how to convert a pile of data into actionable insights.
It's a bit of a "heavier" read than many marketing books (including mine) but well worth the effort.