Reporting Hack: How to Tell a Story with Data




September 3, 2022


Hi there,

Announcement Of The Week:

The Reach and Frequency™ is a course our team and I created to teach soft and technical skill needed to be a successful programmatic ninja. The content is focused on Programmatic Activation, from fundamentals such as the programmatic ecosystem and media buying definition, to the tools needed to launch and run a programmatic media campaign(s), including optimization best practices and DSP(s) overview.

You can purchase each module or the full course depending on your education and self-development goal.

(share with a friend or co-worker and offer them 20% off any product with code newsletter20).


Actionable Insight: Reporting Hack

I’m often doing workshops focused on optimization and have added this reporting hack lesson, by popular demands.

When doing reporting, here are 3 easy questions to answer to help you cover your important insights to help any readers digest the data.

Simply said, the client mostly cares about:

  • What happened: Talk about a particular data point based on objective and KPI(s)
  • So what: Why did this happened, any optimization or seasonal/industry influenced?
  • Now What: Now that we know what happened and why, what will we do about it? And lay out next steps.

Ok Hélène, but sometimes we need inspiration to find something to talk about before answering these questions.

Here are 4-5 things you want to consider looking at when compiling a weekly, or monthly report:


1. Weekly Changes:

Include any WoW (Week Over Week) improvements meaning any calculated variances between the previous and current week/month/quarter/year/or all the above, you are reporting on.

Look for improvements or changes in CTR, CPA, CPM, or focusing on that primary KPI

Bookmark this site for easy calculation! (Because it is about working smart not hard)



If our KPI is CPA and our goal is $75 CPA

Week 1: $125 and Week 2: $105

Although our benchmark is $75, this week’s average CPA is $105 ($125 Last Week).

The 16% CPA decrease WoW is likely due to an optimization completed removing sites with no conversions and an average CPA above benchmark.

Example sites that were excluding are:


– to name a few.

Another Example:

If our KPI is Revenue and our goal is $1.8MM quarterly

Total quarterly Revenue is $1.03M putting us 58% to our total revenue goal of $1.8M and 54% of the quarter has passed. Ongoing optimizations implemented has helped the overarching Revenue to increase WoW.


2. Cause and Effect

Review recent changes completed in the last week, month, or even day!

Did we implement a new optimization, adjusted or removed targeting levers?

Did we shift budget to a performing tactic or audience or did we reduce budget from underperforming ones?

If your data is changing around the same time or right after any changes were made, it should reflect in your analysis!


3. The New-New

This is where you test new audience segments or tactics. Don’t be afraid to recommend the new -new!



When looking at your site list, see if you can pinpoint categories where most conversions are recorded.

i.e., let’s say 25% conversions are generated by,,… These are all news related sites.

Suggesting to target a contextual adgroup focusing on news related keywords can also be worth testing.


3.5. The New-New: Part II

Here are recommendations to add into a monthly or quarterly, thanks to our friends at Basis Technology:

Example: Native Retargeting

Example: Segment Retargeting pools based on visitation; heavy up on users who have visited the site within 10 days (or 5, 3, 1, or less than 12 hours)

Example: Re-engage with users who have not visited the site in over 30 days

Example: Create an audience based on users who watched a video up to 50% completion

Which prospecting tactic sees the highest CTR therefore filling the user funnel?



4. The High’s and Low’s

Which tactic is performing best? or worst?

Which audience has the highest or lowest conversion rate?

which creative message has the highest or lowest CTR?

Which CTV/OTT deal has the highest offline conversion?

Point out the outstanding highs and lows in your data!

Highlighting what worked and did not worked is important!

Take note of any seasonality or industry trends (i.e., Are CPMs higher during the holiday, therefore impression count lower?


This can also lead to new recommendations:

The best performing audience was the soccer moms with teens in their households with an average CPA of $xx (depending on your main KPI).

We recommend testing a new creative message targeting moms with teens and retargeting xx…..

According to Google Analytics, users on the master in business page have the lowest views, we recommend testing a specific message with a lookalike of the master page.


For more information on this, feel free to check out Module 7 of the Course where we dive even deeper into optimization levers and how to develop efficiency. At the end of the module, you will be able to answer:

1.) What is a strategy and what to look for to create one, including creating a media plan

2.) What is optimization and why is it important?

3.) How to optimize including best practices

Also consider watching this training videos on YouTube:

Optimization Masterclass on Programmatic Targeting Levers Preview

Programmatic Activation – How To Optimize Data Segment




Cheers to leveling up!

Your Programmatic Coach


About Helene Parker Consulting LLC, we offer programmatic media activation training and workshops. Here are some example of training topics you could offer your team!
Our mission is to help 1,000 individuals with little to no experience in marketing to become programmatic media traders and planner with The Reach and Frequency™ course (share with a friend or co-worker and offer them 20% off any product with code newsletter20).
Hiring the ideal programmatic ninja can become daunting these days and this is why we offer talent acquisition services helping amazing programmatic ninjas to find their perfect career opportunity.
If you are a candidate or a hiring manager, feel free to give me a call 757-613-9984 or email me at [email protected]
We are always looking for a referral or simply happy to chat the latest and greatest so don’t hesitate to book a call 😬