Why is this so much more useful?
A majority of membership organisations such as institutes, councils, associations and unions exist solely for the benefit of their members. Given that this is the case, the online operations of these organisations need to reflect this and the KPIs and measurements need to reflect this also.
At the most basic level this analysis provides a simple but useful overview of the members and how often they use the website. Rather that reporting on the amount of sessions that each member type was responsible for, the "Active Users" report; reports on the amount of people from each member type that visited the site.
Key Questions: Does the "Active User" report reflect our member make up? If not, what does this difference indicate about how closely the online operations reflect the organisational goals? Are you offering as much value to the less-engaged members? How can you offer more value to them?
Most organisations nowadays tailor their offline communications to their different member or persona types to some extent, the most personalised communications are generally the most effective at engaging the member.
An organisation such as Coeliac UK has multiple distinct member-types that have very different reasons for being members and as such will need to receive different communications from Coeliac UK. Someone who is a Coeliac UK member because they suffer from the disease probably shouldn't be grouped in with someone who is a Coeliac UK member because they own a restaurant that serves gluten free food, when it comes to analysing "How members interact with the site".
Your organisation launches a new scrapbook feature that allows members to add important pages to their members' area to allow them to easily access this page again in the future.
Your member base is made of five very distinct types of professional, which will be used to segment the traffic as the first port of call.
Having launched this new feature, with linked CRM and Google Analytics data, you will have the clearest picture possible of how the new site feature has been received by the different professionals. What you might find is that four of the five types of professional are getting a lot of value from the new feature but the remaining professionals are not using it.
Knowing is half the battle, and when you are armed with a fully configured analytics profile with CRM Data, understanding why one certain type of member doesn't use the new site section should be quite easy to ascertain.
Your membership organisation has a membership gender breakdown of 2:1 female to male, respectively.
When you examine your "Active Users" report in Google Analytics, and segment by members' gender, it shows that the active user gender breakdown is over 3:1 female to male, respectively.
The disparity in these levels shows that either:
A) Members who are female are engaging with the website particularly well
B) Members who are male are engaging with the website particularly poorly.
What this report doesn't give you is confirmation of either of these statements, but at the very least it gives a starting point for future exploration of this phenomenon. Armed with the ability to dig deeper into the data using these two segments, you should be able to understand which scenario is most likely to be true and take measures to improve the level of engagement.