PBS , founded in 1969 , is a private , not for profit organization in the field of internet education ( www.PBS.org ). PBS.org has different sections like NOVA ( dedicated to science and engineering ) , Nature , Kids . News Hour etc . and individual producers develop content for these sections . Its members are non – commercial licensees that operate 353 different member stations . The interactive arm at PBS helps the producers and local PBS stations to create and promote these different sections .
Objective of the Web Analytics project
PBS wanted to implement a uniform Web Analytics system for analysis and reporting for PBS.org . A collection of web analytics tools were already installed ; but they had proven ineffective and difficult to maintain . The objectives were dual :
- Have a centralized place to monitor the performance of all PBS sections and give an overall view of the performance of PBS.org
- Allow the producers of programs to view the performance of only their program’s web performance
- Track Key Performance Indicators like registrations and video views
Approach taken by PBS
Amy Sample , Director of Web Analytics , PBS , led the project .
Amy and her team selected Google analytics as the analysis and reporting tool for this purpose . They engaged Lunametrics , a Google Analytics Certified Partner to customize and implement the solution for them .
Lunametrics chose the following implementation path:
- Create two account codes : One for the entire website that will give overall view of the website performance and one customized for each producer that will give him access to only his section.
- Use advanced features to monitor the KPI of video views, such as event tracking
- Set up goals and funnels to monitor the KPI of registrations.
The Google analytics standard solution did not have restricted access so all producers would have had to dig their own data from the massive data of all shows. Lunametrics developed a custom solution for this.
Lunametrics created two Google Analytics account codes on each page. A primary account code which had access only to Amy and her team. This allowed Amy and her team to see the entire enterprise data at one place. Thus, they could monitor the performance of the entire PBS.org and improve it. The second account code was so designed that the producer could see data related only to his program and not any other program.
Thus, PBS got the website performance governance as it had desired and the individual producers could monitor and improve their contents and take suitable decisions to improve the goals decided.
Lunametrics then carried out a training program for the interactive arm of PBS and the individual producers on Google Analytics. Thus, the interactive team equipped with the metrics and the know – how could now refine their online efforts and the individual producers could monitor the performance of their shows on – line and make dynamic adjustments to their shows.
Results of the project
The Google Analytics tool provided a robust and meaningful platform for decentralized decision making. It led to a transformation of the online effort of PBS.org. Instead of static monthly reports, they could get timely day – to – day information and respond to the market conditions rapidly.
The following outcomes were observed after the installation of Google Analytics:
- Traffic increased by 30 %
- Due to improvements in the registration process, registered users grew by 30 %
- Due to new understanding about video consumption, two new video portals – PBS Video and PBSKIDS Go were created.
Further, the tool thus established is flexible and extensible so that it has evolved over the years. They have added more advanced features to the original implementation – mobile usage and video streaming. PBS users have got sufficient knowledge and practice of using the Google analytics tools so that they continue to add and build uppn the original to their advantage.
Learnings from the project:
Modern day organizations have quite a large complex structure with a complicated relationships between the various entities. Such organizations require a standard analytic system throughout. While centralized control is required , decentralized decision making is necessary for agile response to changing market conditions.
Furthermore, the analytics tool should be equipped with lot of advanced features and should be flexible to suit different organizational needs. Besides, it should have the infrastructure to train and support the users. Google Analytics is one such product.
PBS selected the right product and the right implementation agency – where they achieved all their goals and got satisfactory results as they had desired.
For internet based organizations, selecting a proper Web Analytics tool and properly implementing it is absolutely vital.
Image Credits: PBS