5 Benefits of Better Analytics
If you're like the majority of Internet professionals, reviewing an analytics account is about as much fun as stepping on a rusty nail. Yet it is one of the most important activities you can engage in (and you probably know this), as there is no other way to gain the insights required to drive your business to greater profitability.
If analytics isn't a priority for you or your enterprise, however, all you will likely really need is a little convincing to see the "virtual" light. That's not very hard, of course, as the benefits of greater involvement in measurement and optimization (fueled by all those powerful analytics tools) are clear and well documented. If your late in seeing the value that a more analytics-focused enterprise can provide, just consider the following and you'll be eyeballs deep in meaningful digital numbers before you realize it.
Keep in mind that each and every analytics provider (like those mentioned in Website Magazine's recent list of Top 50 Analytics Software and BI Solutions) offer up a range of "views" into your data, the methods and manners of presentation. The thing to keep in mind is that buried within the often immense amount of information are those key performance indicators that every enterprise, in every industry, can use to track their general performance and discover opportunities for improvement.
On the whole, the benefit of giving your analytics initiative more attention is that it can transform the culture of your company, making it more confident, more decisive and more nimble. Your competitors will take notice when you spend less and do more with the resources you have.
Flow of Information: For the initiative to pay off, analytics must be integrated into (and actively tracking) each and every process of your enterprise and accessible to every member of every department. When information (data) is structured to intentionally and continually provide insights on performance, the effort proves rewarding as business processes can change in response to market shifts or user demands. Set up weekly or bi-weekly reports on key performance indicators for every employee/department and watch what happens when meaningful information starts flowing through your enterprise.
Utilization of Resources: Better analytics means better decision-making (as you'll see) and that is very evident in how data influences the technology and marketing-related choices that enterprises must make. But there's another benefit - enterprises that implement a strict analytics initiatives will find that their resources are often more closely aligned to their strategies (as a result of ongoing monitoring of key performance indicators). Essentially, as result of that information flowing through the digital enterprise, Web workers are able to make the most of resources they have at their disposal.
Transparency & Openness: Communication and accountability are the offshoots of transparency - no one can hide in an enterprise that is, plainly and simply, focused on improving itself - because numbers just don't lie or mislead. To ensure each and every member of your digital enterprise has as much access to key performance indicators as your data scientists do, explore how metrics in one department, influence key performance indicators in another. Transparency leads directly to accountability, and with that, you'll build a team that internalizes the objectives of the enterprise.
Smarter Decision-Making: Trusting your gut is one way to make decisions - but it may not be the best. While data doesn't lie, it can be perceived in a variety of ways. When empirical data is just a few clicks away, instinct can (and should) take a virtual back seat. It is common to use historical performance as a guide to influence current decisions, but why not supplement it by using real-time data as well?
A Strategic Future: Forecasting Web performance can be incredibly difficult, but analytics solutions provide the most feasible way to engage in an effort of this kind. What analytics can show is potential (particularly when coupled with other data sources). For example, would you have known three years ago that Pinterest would have played an important role in your online marketing? If you were carefully monitoring your traffic referrals at its launch you most likely would have.