Enough is enough. When are you sending too many reports?

We all have those clients, bosses, business owners, etc that gets bitten by the analytics bug and all of a sudden wants to know every detail of his or her campaign every week if not everyday or hour.

I have a client who is a very large publicly traded corporation and they provide their Board of Directors and their upper level management with weekly comparative reports of their web sites performance. Seems like a great idea for a companies marketing dept. to share the performance data with other departments right?

Wrong. Providing a comparative week to week report gives an incomplete skewed picture and you should never do it.


The report in question shows that March 16th - 22nd experienced a decrease of visitors, downloads, page views, signups, etc compared to the previous week (9th - 15th). They naturally called me frantic and wanted to know what’s happening, so I began my investigation.

The first place I began was not the PPC account, nor did I check to see if they lost position organically. I pulled a visitor trending report first and compared the 16th - 22nd to the 9th - 15th week day by day. Immediately I notice that each day received roughly the same level traffic everyday with the exception Friday the 14th which received more than double the amount traffic than usual. Then I started pulling other reports that also supported the fact that the 3rd week of the month was not down at all they just had a good day the week before.

My suggestion is this, when your client, boss, partner, etc ask for reports that frequent tell them no. Explain that it can skew the overall picture and stand firm. I provide PPC campaign reports once per month and allow the client to request one interim report per month for any timeframe over 30 days as well as unlimited historical reports and quarterly, yearly etc..

Week-to-week and day-today data should not be ignored, it is a tool. As such a tool should be in the hands of someone who can use it not in others hands where it just casuses paranoia for them and unneeded stress for you.