Zen & the Art of Spreadsheet Maintenance

by Elaina

For all the troubles I had in math classes as a child, I never would have imagined how much time I happily spend working on spreadsheets and numbers as an adult. Much of the change is due to how I don’t see these sheets as lists of numbers, but as stories about how people behave online.

I love looking through donor database reports, and the stories there of peoples’ motivations to give, and, sadly too often, what has turned them away. I love digging into my engagement numbers to see which social media stories inspired action from our audiences, and which drew in new followers. I love following people on their path through our website, and finding gems in the numbers that help us better care for our supporters.

Whether you use high-end analysis tools, a cobbling of free tools, or if you build spreadsheets to tell these stories, I encourage you to look past the follower/like numbers and dig into find stories you may not be expecting. Not only may you find that you like numbers much more than you ever thought you would, but you’ll definitely find information that can help you create more powerful and successful campaigns.

How about you? Are you in love with your analysis numbers? What makes you hesitate to dig in? What would you like to know about social media or marketing numbers that could help you better work with your audience?