Screenshot Value of Comparing Time over Time

Instant Insights: The Value of Comparison

One of SumAll’s missions is to bring all the services marketers use into one place making it easier to see the trends and relationships between seemingly disparate data sources.

Comparing different types of data (and sometimes the same type) is a smart way to see the connections and understand what drives your business, providing long sought after answer like the value of a Facebook Like.

Let’s say you have a store on Shopify selling flowers, a Google Analytics account to see traffic to your website, and an Instagram account you use to promote your flowers on. One day you post your best sepia toned sunflower to Instagram, notice a spike in your traffic, and see that sales for that specific flower increased threefold. By seeing the data on one graph, you can quickly make the connections and change your behavior to increase the desired outcome – in this case maybe posting more photos of flowers that aren’t selling as well as you’d like.

Comparing different data types is an important way to see how independent facets of your business interact with each other, but you shouldn’t neglect comparing the same metric over a discrete time period. Month over month compares a metric over two or more consecutive months typically expressed as a percent to indicate the degree of change. Here are some best practices to get started with month over month comparisons:

  1. 1. To calculate your month over month degree of change, use this formula: Month2Amount/Mounth1Amount – 1. For instance, if you earned $100,000 selling cupcakes in June and $200,000 in July, your June–July month over month revenue change will be +100%.
  2. 2. The reason for the month long time period is because a month is long enough to minimize the effects of irregular components like weather and random chance but not so long as to make the comparison meaningless due to changes in the underlying business structure.
  3. 3. Calendar months differ in length. To accurately compare them the month over month numbers need to be adjusted accordingly.
  4. 4. Take note of the time of year. Calendar events like which days of the week fall within the month, seasonality, and holidays all affect the month over month ratio.

To easily compare any metric month over month, login to your SumAll account, select the dataset you want to compare, click on any area outside of the magnifier bar at the bottom of your chart, and set the time range with the date picker.

If you don’t already have a SumAll account, go to our website to sign up for one now.