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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Facebook Insights Delays and Changes

All analytics solutions eventually suffer through "delays". We had some pain back in the early days of Webtrends Live when we might fall behind by a few hours (the solution was originally designed to provide data in less than one hour). Facebook has consistently had an terribly long delay of a "couple of days" for their Insights data since they launched their service. They are today telling Page admins:
Insights Delays
During the past few weeks you may have noticed delays to your insights data. We're sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused and want you to know that we're working to resolve these issues and make sure they don't happen in the future.
Their delays have been close to a week in recent weeks. Bummer. It's hard to run an effective Marketing campaign if your data is a week old.

They've also recently made some changes to their data...telling Page admins:
Improvements to Page Insights Data
You might notice an update to the data you see on the "Likes" and "Reach" tab of your Page Insights. We've made some changes to improve the accuracy of the information you have about the location of your audience.
Making changes to how data is calculated is always tricky.  It's hard to convey to your customers what you are doing, and it raises doubts about the accuracy of the prior data - and what else might change along the way.

My advice for the Facebook Insights team: communicate early and often.  It's always better to let folks know what's up early, and fall on your sword if need be.

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