Digging deeper into the ups and downs of comparative data


Analytics on phone

According to Wikipedia, opzioni binarie azioni italia ‘Simpson’s paradox, or the Yule–Simpson effect, is a paradox in probability and statistics, in which a trend that appears in different groups of data disappears when these groups are combined.’

A clear example can be found in an example from a website’s Google Analtyics reports, where we compare the success rates of two products. Consider these stats:

Product A Product B
Product page views 500 trading auto binario truffa 500
Purchase confirmation page views 190 simulazione trading online 212
Conversion rate 38% opzioni binarie chebanca 42%

This simple table shows that Product B is the more successful product with 212 sales for every 500 people viewing product B on a web page. If you read this summary, as a manager or director, you may be inclined to push product B further in order to increase overall revenue. However, if you drill down into the stats a bit further, they can often lead to a completely different conclusion.

The table below shows the success rates of the same two products, this time revealing they are actually both displayed on two different pages.

Product A Product B
Product page views (page A) miglior broker opzioni binarie per principianti 127 316
Purchase confirmation page views (page A) buy Pregabalin 300 mg cheap 68 161
köp Viagra 200 mg på nätet 54% 51%
Product page views (page B) binäre optionen programme 373 184
Purchase confirmation page views (page B) goptions service 122 51
Do data entry from home 33% 28%

And combining the two:

Product A Product B
Product page views (combined) 500 strategia perfetta opzioni binarie 500
Purchase confirmation page views (combined) 190 binäre optione anbietter 212
Conversion rate 38% how much can you earn on forex 42%

As you can see, the results are far different, bringing a paradoxical conclusion. Product A has a better conversion rate when seen individually on both page A and page B, yet product B has a better conversion rate when you consider both pages together.

Such deeper results may make you reconsider which product is the better one. It can also open up whole new strategy options in terms of trying different products on different pages and monitoring the results. In this example, it’s not that easy to decide which is the better product but it definitely shows that you shouldn’t take important web page analysis at face value. To dig down further into the data and develop a better and more detailed understanding is crucial to getting the best out of analytics. There can be some interesting facts and figures lurking beneath, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Being skeptical is important, dig as deep as possible into the data, making sure the data is trustworthy and understanding how the results are linked to your website, will allow you to make the right changes in the long run.

Andy Jones
Andy is co-founder and lead developer at Arcimedia Web Agency. He is based in Lichfield, UK.

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