Call it infobesity. Call it infoxication. Or just call it information overload.

Whatever you coin it, too much data is an epidemic that’s afflicting communicators everywhere. In fact, in KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook, 84 percent of CEOs indicated their concern about the quality of the data they use to make decisions.

From your CMS to your CRM to Google Analytics to Marketo and more, there is far more access to far more info than ever.  Openprise released a study on marketing data management, noting barriers to data management success, which included:

  • Poor data use/accessibility (54%)
  • Poor data quality (44%)
  • Poor database integration (37%)

Big data and analytics can be amazing but paralyzing if you haven’t already identified what’s actually important to your business.

Here’s how to start your data diet:

  1. Make a Meal Plan

Most diets are designed to manage your caloric intake. Consuming information is no different. Do you know which KPIs your boss really cares about? Are you collecting those data points currently? And are they featured in your regular reporting? You can accumulate info endlessly, but without a plan that outlines why and how it will be used, you’re bound to end up overeating. The most important thing here is to sit down with your team and align your analytics with your business objectives. Sure, there are benchmark KPIs out there, but those who do it right, analyze the data they have, create their own benchmarks and can then show the results.

  1. Track Your Progress

Your website is a metrics mecca when meaningfully monitored. An easy way to do this is to set up goals in Google Analytics. Specifically, there are four types of goals you can customize and attach a monetary value to. It takes time to implement and can take time to perfect, but when done properly, can assign a real ROI to your online initiatives. Goal examples include:

Goal Type Description Example
Destination A specific location on your site loads Thank you for registering! Web page or app screen
Duration A session on your site lasts a specific amount of time or longer Five minutes or longer spent on a page that holds an article
Pages/Screens per session A user views a specific number of pages or screens Five pages or screens have been loaded
Event* An action defined as an Event is triggered Social recommendation, video play, ad click

*It’s important to mention that if you would like to have event goals within your Google Analytics, you will need to engage your development team. Event goals utilize an event tracking code that must be placed in the code of your site. For someone with a development background, this is an easy task, but if HTML looks like a foreign language to you, it’s best to engage an expert.

  1. Maintain in Good Habits

You’ll always be tempted to gather more big data and analytics because you can. Because it’s there. Just like chocolate cake. Resist the urge! Frequently revisit your plan and if a new analytic doesn’t align, don’t bite on it.  Focus your analytics on whether your audience did what you wanted them to do. It really is as simple as that so why gather any data that doesn’t reflect. They won’t notice the difference, and it will be cheaper for you.

Is your expanding info waistline a concern? Remember, it’s not about how much you amass, but the quality of the data, and most importantly, how you act on it to advance business objectives.