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“There is no one right way” to use data and analytics

News organizations are increasingly embracing the use of analytics and metrics as part of editorial decision making, but what constitutes a sophisticated analytics strategy? And why are so many media organizations still using such a rudimentary approach to analytics?

Pages 12-18 of this resource use four specific examples from major news organizations to demonstrate there are myriad goals to set and analytics that can track whether your goals are being met. These newsrooms, like The Guardian, use custom software to understand their audience in the way that matters most to them. But the lessons learned here are still applicable to someone using a Google Analytics account. These examples demonstrate the importance of knowing what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to have more people come to your website? Are you trying to encourage people take an action, like sign up for a newsletter? Are you monitoring how often someone is interacting with your stories or editorial products? Are you serving someone with a specific message based on their level of engagement? The answer to all those questions, in the funnel model, should be “yes.”