Narrative Science is a local Chicago company that turns complex data into visual layouts. Andy Crestodina, Priciple and Strategic Director of Orbit Media in Chicago, recently wrote some impressions on the company, and what it means for the Internet. Below are his insights as a guest blogger:
New Views Into Analytics: Infographics and Text
Google Analytics can be hard to explain. The information is important, but a lot of eyes glaze over at the sight of all those charts, graphs, and numbers. It all looks so complicated. But there are some new ways to make Google Analytics easy to understand for any audience: your clients, your boss, or even your mom.
Let’s check out two tools; one lets you turn Analytics into paragraphs of text and another lets you turn Analytics into an infographic.
Turn Analytics Into Text
Want to read your Analytics in plain English? There is a Chicago-based company that can help. Narrative Science has created a tool for turning numbers and charts into narrative stories. The product is called Quill. It works for sports data, financial data, and yes, Google Analytics.
It’s a concise, readable summary that you can send to your clients’ clients or to management. They can also be regularly sent as emails that are easy to read on mobile devices. Here’s what it might look like:
The product is in private beta, so there are still a few kinks with the Analytics API, but support is available. And although Narrative Science claims that the output is “as good or better than your best analyst,” I suggest you dig deeper to find the real insights, especially since Google Analytics is often inaccurate.
If you have a busy, mobile audience who wants quick information, use Quill.
Turn Analytics Into an Infographic
Here’s one that’s taking the interwebs by storm: the Visual.ly Google Analytics Report will transform your Analytics into a lovely little infographic. No design budget required.
It’s very simple to set up, but the data in the report is limited. It shows pageviews, visitors, engagement, and traffic from search and social sources. But take this data with a grain of salt, since website traffic sources in Analytics can be misleading.
If you have a visual audience, or if you want to use Analytics results publicly in marketing, use Visual.ly.
Here’s an example:
There you have it. Analytics data without the Google Analytics!
Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, an illustrated handbook for content marketers. You can find Andy on Google+ and Twitter.