Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

One of the more frustrating aspects of any digital business transformation initiative is determining why things are not turning out as planned. There’s usually a lot more trial and error than most Digital CxOs would care to admit, simply because they typically lack a method to qualitatively evaluate how a process is evolving.

Amplitude, to address that issue, today announced it has added a Session Replay capability to its Digital Analytics Platform along with an experimentation capability due out later this year that makes it simpler to test digital experiences involving, for example, changes to a Web site. The company also plans to make available later this year a Visual Tag editor to automate data collection and instrumentation of processes.

The overall goal is to provide Digital CxOs with a platform through which they can both quantitatively and qualitatively analyze processes, says Katie Barnett, principal product manager for Amplitude. “We want to make the data more tangible,” she adds.

Digital CxOs have always been able to collect quantifiable metrics fairly easily, but understanding how, for example, the way an application is constructed is regularly tripping up end users and is much harder to determine without any ability to actually see what is occurring. In the absence of that ability, Digital CxOs wind up conducting time-consuming surveys that don’t always pinpoint the exact source of the problem. It’s always going to be lot less cumbersome for all concerned if Digital CxOs can just see what’s occurring for themselves.

The truth is most of the metrics that Digital CXOs track today are more quantitative than qualitative. It’s important to know how many tasks were completed in an hour but that data doesn’t provide any insight into why more tasks were not completed. There is no substitute for seeing what is occurring. That’s critical because too many Digital CxOs are still making decisions based on theory rather than evidence. Then they wonder why employees and customers are not behaving as anticipated. Short of standing over their shoulder as they struggle through a process, it’s going to be a lot easier to simply watch a replay of what’s occurring.

Once they have that evidence in hand each Digital CxO will need to be prepared to have an honest conversation with themselves. For any internal facing application, the first instinct is almost always to invest in more training for employees. While that might be the issue, the fact is that it’s just as likely to be how the application was constructed. There may be a pressing need for a software update to reengineer the transformation that was supposed to make everyone more efficient.

Externally facing applications are, of course, more challenging. The average end user is not going to participate in a training initiative, so optimizing these types of processes requires a lot more A/B testing. Unfortunately, this is one area where far too many organizations fail to make an adequate investment.

As always, every decision a Digital CxO makes should be supported by data. The important thing to remember is that not all data is of equal value when making those decisions.