Analytics and measurement are everywhere today. At a recent MN AMA meetingRob Silas from Magnet360 shared his perspective on making sense of analytical data. Rob outlined three key steps to uncover actionable insights that lead to ROI.

  • What (are you measuring)?
  • So, what (does it mean)?
  • Now, what (do we do with this information to drive business)?

When you know “what you’re measuring,” it’s critical your organization has the right tools in place to gather data. Beehive spends a significant amount of time evaluating data collection tools to track and measure trends and performance so we can help our clients make smart, informed business decisions. Here’s a look at what we’ve learned. Where to start. Searching “monitoring tools” will return 288+ million results. Even if you are slightly more focused, the monitoring tools landscape is pretty well summed up in this Business Insider graphic. It’s daunting, for sure. AMA_MonitoringTools_large Beehive follows these three steps to get focused and ensure the tools in our box monitor and measure what matters most to each of our client organizations.

  • Know the budget. Confirm a budget range early. These solutions can be affordable or very expensive.
  • Identify key features based on your metrics. Know clearly what you want to monitor and measure before you begin the search for the right tools. Know the key features you require, and rank their importance, as you might have to eliminate some along the way.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no. Think strategically and critically. Functionality is important – and so is cost. Take the time you need to make a smart decision for your company. Ask for free trials and sample reports that demonstrate how the data will be collected and reported. If the overall value – data, reporting and cost — doesn’t align, keep looking. It’s a buyer’s market.

The tool features Beehive uses to measure output for the majority of our clients includes:

  • Media coverage by type and channel
  • Social engagement and conversation tracking
  • Social and traditional audience impressions
  • Content tagging and filtering
  • Social sentiment analysis
  • Filtering by media type
  • Social influencer and media list building capabilities
  • Analysis report building and data exporting
  • Ability to conduct ad hoc research

A deep dive into the tools has led us to a core set of three that meet the majority of our clients’ current needs. Cision/Radian6VocusCritical Mention AMA_BlogPost_Graphic_2-01 We complement these core tools with a dozen or so others, based on a client’s need to go deeper into a specific issue, audience, industry or competitive set. But, 90 percent of the time, these three meet Silas’ challenge to answer the three key questions: what, so what and now what. What other tools would you highly recommend – or avoid? I’d like to hear from you.

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