So, you’ve probably heard of this thing called “analytics.” You’ve probably also heard of “big data." But do you truly understand their importance and the impact they have on your company’s success?
How Do Big Data and Analytics Tie In To the Big Picture?
“Big data is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured,” according to SAS. Gary King, the director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, says we must all be part of “the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, [that] will sweep through academia, business, and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.”
King also believes that big data, in conjunction with analytics, can help you better understand your customers and their behavior, aid you in direct marketing, and help you understand the world and everything in it.
Without Analytics, Big Data is Just Numbers
You probably don’t realize just how much information the simple act of someone searching for, choosing, and going through a website gives you. And, let’s be honest, that person probably doesn’t realize they are giving themselves away either.
In order to make any use of this data, you must have someone to do the analytics. This is the process of sorting through and examining all of the data you receive from various sources and using that information in an insightful, useful, and actionable way.
If you want to get the most out of your data and analytical efforts, you must first decide what information you want to know and what you want this information to change. Do you want to raise your brand awareness? Increase your ROI? Improve your sales and conversions? Increase traffic to your website in general? When you know what you want, you can then hone in on these areas to ensure that your analytics are deeper and more specific there.
How to Measure Analytics
There are general things you can look at to determine the successfulness of your website, including looking at information about visits, unique visitors, exit percentage, and bounce rate. Knowing these basic metrics can help you in general areas, such as determining if your website is engaging enough to entice visitors to return.
These metrics can even help you discern important information, like if one CTA is more impactful than another, if your audience is hungry for information on a particular topic, or if people are having trouble navigating your website.
If you want deeper insights, look at your visitors’ behavior. You can also create goals and events in Google Analytics to help you truly understand the effectiveness of your online efforts.
From this basic foray into big data and analytics, I hope you can realize just how big of an impact data, that is correctly gathered and measured can make on your company. You have free, easy access to so much information that it will actually cost you NOT to spend some time sorting through the information tools like Google Analytics can provide.