Life and everything else around us is changing so fast that we have to constantly make decisions that initiate a chain of events. Each and every piece of data that we need to use will eventually be available on the internet, and accessible in real time.
Smart businesses have been using data for a very long time. More often, before the businesses open their doors for operation or launch new products, data analysts are put to task. The information that these analysts work around is important because it helps the businesses answer some of the most important business questions that might come up from time to time.
The sheer nature of the volume of data available can easily overwhelm an individual. However, businesses have mechanisms in place to get accurate information on consumer demographics, purchase patterns and so forth. These are some of the areas where data driven decisions have to be taken into consideration.
Important steps to data driven decisions
Digital web analytics is important to so many businesses and will continue to play an important role in the business sphere through this year and into the future. There are different terms that you might perhaps have come across used in referencing this procedure; analytics, business intelligence or even big data. A lot of decision makers have come to appreciate the important role that web analytics plays, and this further strengthens the need to appreciate a data driven approach in business operations.
Before you are able to make data driven decisions through web analytics, there are three important steps that you have to take, as we will discuss herein:
- Keep track of everything
- Keep repetitive work automated
- Get answers to business questions
Keep track of everything
More than 97% of institutions these days keep track of web data. For you to actually be in a position to make decisions based on data, you must get a true picture of whatever is taking place on your website.
Google Analytics for example is the analytics tool that is commonly used by so many institutions, especially schools. Through this, the institution is able to keep track of any kind of data out of the box, and the only thing the analyst needs to do is to set it appropriately.
Just in case you are not sure of how to set up your analytics tools and accounts properly, get someone who is proficient in the task to help you out. This can help you avoid mistakes like setting up separate tracking accounts for all the websites that you are monitoring, while you should have simply set domain and subdomain tracking.
With the increasing use of media campaigns for one reason or the other, it is also important that you consider tagging the digital campaigns you are working on or with, so that you are able to see a clear picture of the footprint of the visitors that yield from the campaigns. Remember that irrespective of the tools that you are using for communication or marketing campaigns, once you set up accordingly, it is easy to tag call-to-action links.
Keep repetitive work automated
Most of the analytics tools that you will come across could easily have you drowned in the vast sea of metrics. There have however been improvements in the user interface for a lot of the tools, but looking at the report could still get you lost, especially if you lack the technical skills.
Having already taken into consideration the details that are necessary for data tracking, you should then consider investing more time into creation of goals. These would include things like the number of online forms that are completed, the amount of time that has been spent on page downloads and so forth.
These have to be aligned together with your priorities as a business or an institution. If you do not have these conversion goals set and determined up front, it will be close to impossible for you to see whether the visitors to your website actually do what you need them to do on the website.
Just in case you do not have the time luxury, some of these macro conversions will be worth spending more time on. From there you can break them down to micro conversions, and use these to map out the bigger picture.
Get answers to business questions
The easiest way to look for answers is to analyze web traffic data. This is why account managers will often get questions from time to time about the number of page views and visitors. These are things that you should not be dealing with. In fact, you can simply use custom dashboards to handle them automatically, and instead, invest more of your time on other things that are more relevant, like getting solutions to questions like the following:
- Do we have to print out more catalogs like we have been last month?
- Should we have the redesigned website enhanced for mobile browsing?
- What content should we include in the navigation menu to further entice the needs of the visitors?
If you start your analysis with a business question like the ones we have shared above, you will easily figure out the kind of digital information that can help you get the answer you need, then go and find the appropriate data.