Data Driven or Data blind and why I prefer being Data Smart

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” – Albert Einstein

Many marketers/analysts draw conclusions based on the data and tools available to them.

Now how I am so sure about that?

Because I often seen them saying something like:”do you have data to back up this claim?

While it is not bad to be data driven, it is worse to be data blind.

Data blindness occurs when someone can’t see anything beyond the data available to him/her.

When you take all of your business and marketing decisions based on the data and tools available to you, you are doing so with the belief that they provide complete insight.

Here is the bummer.

All of the data and tools available to you stop working outside the digital realm.

For example a speaking gig in an industry conference can generate lot of leads for your business (in short term or long term) but this is something which you can’t measure through your analytics tools. You don’t have any data to back up this claim.

But just because you don’t have any data to back up the effectiveness of the speaking gig, it doesn’t mean that it is a useless marketing activity. Same goes for social media campaigns.

Majority of analytics tools are good only in measuring the short term impact of a marketing activity i.e. someone visited the website from social medium and made the purchase within 30 to 90 days.They fall flat on the face when it comes to measuring the long term impact.

For example let say your analytics software is constantly telling you that Facebook campaigns are not generating any sales or they are not assisting in any conversions so you should stop the campaign and move on. But what if that Facebook campaign is generating sales and is assisting in conversions in the form of direct traffic.

If you blindly rely on the data and tools available to you, you will not be able to see the complete picture. You will most likely remain busy looking at short term picture instead of focusing on long term results.

We have this tendency to measure what is easy to measure and ignore all other factors which can’t be measured and which still impact the business bottomline. We have this tendency to blindly rely on one or two metrics like conversion rate and statistical significance instead of looking at the big picture to define success and failure.

For example, It is not that hard to increase your website conversion rate in few seconds. All you have to do is just pause all of your paid marketing campaings. But will that generate more sales for your business?.. No.

What that will generate more sales is increase in average order value and/or e-commerce transactions.

Similarly we have the tendency to declare success and failure based on statistical significance results alone. But just because a result is statistically significant, doesn’t always mean that it is practically meaningful.

Statistical significance will only tell you whether something works or not. But it is not going to tell you how well it works in a range of contexts’

One of the biggest drawback of statistical significance is that it conflates effect size and sample size. Because of this it can’t accurately quantify the size of the difference between two groups (i.e. experimental and control groups).

For that you need to calculate and rely on the effect size (or size of the effect)



Because of all these implications, whatever you do under conversion optimization must dramatically increase conversion volume (sales, leads). Increase in conversion rate is secondary and should not be your main aim. 

This is yet another reason why I never say or do conversion rate optimization. We are not here to optimize conversion rate. We are here to increase sales and decrease acquisition cost.

Related Post: 2 Powerful Reasons you should STOP doing CRO Right NOW


Not knowing how to use data/metric effectively is also a type of data blindness. 

When data is not used intelligently, it can result in taking bad decisions with high confidence.



Needless to say, great understanding of business triumph over every other metrics known to mankind, including your favourite conversion rate. This great understanding is what that separates data driven marketers from data smart marketers.

Once you are data smart, you would automatically know what data needs to be tracked and when, what to look at, what should be overlooked and where to look at in any analytics reports. You will get a clear sense of what your analytics tools and KPIs cannot do as what they can and where you should trade off.

Other articles on Maths and Stats in Web Analytics


Do you know the difference between Web Analytics and Google Analytics?

99.99% of course creators themselves don’t know the difference between Web analytics, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

So they are teaching GA and GTM in the name of teaching Web analytics.

They just copy each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

But Web analytics is not about GA, GTM.

It is about analyzing and interpreting data, setting up goals, strategies and KPIs.

It’s about creating strategic roadmap for your business.

Web Analytics is the core skill. Google Analytics is just a tool used to implement ‘Web Analytics’.

You can also implement ‘Web analytics’ via other tools like ‘adobe analytics’, ‘kissmetrics’ etc.

Using Google Analytics without the good understanding of ‘Web analytics’ is like driving around in a car, in a big city without understanding the traffic rules and road signs.

You are either likely to end up somewhere other than your destination or you get involved in an accident.

You learn data analysis and interpretation from Web analytics and not from Google Analytics.

The direction in which your analysis will move, will determine the direction in which your marketing campaigns and eventually your company will move to get the highest possible return on investment.

You get that direction from ‘Web analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

You learn to set up KPIs, strategies and measurement framework for your business from ‘Web analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

So if you are taking a course only on 'Google Analytics’, you are learning to use one of the tools of ‘Web analytics’. You are not learning the ‘Web analytics’ itself.

Since any person can learn to use Google Analytics in couple of weeks, you do no get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing GA.

You need to know lot more than GA in order to work in Web analytics and marketing field.

So what I have done, if you are interested, is I have put together a completely free training that will teach you exactly how I have been able to leverage web/digital analytics to generate floods of news sales and customers and how you can literally copy what I have done to get similar results.

Here what You'll Learn On This FREE Web Class!

1) Why digital analytics is the key to online business success

2) The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

3) Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

4) Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

5) The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

6) How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

7) How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.


My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers' purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years of experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence. The Digital Analytics Association is a world-renowned not-for-profit association that helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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