With the average person now generating as much as 1.7 megabytes of data for every second that they spend on their devices, businesses have access to a veritable feast of information that they could only dream of a few years ago. While increasing stipulations regarding data usage and the phased elimination of third party cookies does need to be taken into account when dipping into these repositories, data done right can ensure entirely above-water analytics that even sceptical consumers can’t begrudge. This, in turn, brings faster growth within easier reach for even businesses just starting out. The question is when you’ve never delved into analytics before, how exactly can you anchor these otherwise raging seas for real results?
In reality, as you can likely guess from the sheer amount of data that even your budding business has already created in its time at market, this is a goal that’s often easier said than done. Unfortunately, while a failure to get on top here might not have been a major issue when other companies were also struggling to get to grips with big data, ongoing competitive advantage across any industry is no longer possible without factoring for what consumers are telling you without words. As such, instead of leaving analytics in a tangled web, true success in a modern age relies on your ability to more effectively anchor analytics in the following ways.
Strengthen your systems
Siloed systems that crash, lose data, and generally fail to work for you are perhaps the first and most prevalent problem when it comes to analytics overall. In fact, failing to get your tech right is almost guaranteed to result in entirely useless data without a sniff of analytics, or efficient usage, in sight. When starting out, businesses especially want to make sure of the most streamlined tech stacks possible, enabled by collaborative, cohesive tools that integrate seamlessly to take care of as many business pain points as possible in their individual packages.
Further to this, ongoing maintenance or IT support is essential to ensure that those systems stay up and running at all times for enabling the efficient and easy use of the benefits that they have to offer. You certainly won’t have to worry about potentially costly downtime that leaves you unable to understand your audience, or even the risk of missing (or worse, compromised) data after another move from one platform to another, when you’ve finally implemented these system-strengthening pointers with the benefit of expert oversight at all times.
Identify existing and potential analytics capabilities
Technical barriers and a general lack of understanding can leave effective analytics frustratingly off the table, especially when businesses are just starting on their journeys. After all, if you don’t truly know what you can do with analytics right now, how can you possibly utilise them?
Overcoming this issue is, of course, about understanding the capabilities that you already have, and how exactly you can enhance them. Nike is a fantastic example of this, having put together its own self-service business tools for analysis and visualisation that removed the technical barriers otherwise threatening to hold them back. To get on that same page, consider your in-house technical expertise as it stands, your current data sets, and your access to analytics in general. Then, consider how you can improve each to enhance future data usage. For instance, if like Nike limitations in technical understanding are preventing you from accessing efficient analytics right now, tailor-made tools or outsourced expert oversight could be the ideal solution for slotting seamlessly in that gap and bringing analytics into check at last.
Learn how to drive your decisions
Too often in business, analytics are considered as the be-all and end-all of effective data usage. In reality, though, raw analytics don’t necessarily help you to take control of anything in and of themselves. That’s because analytics that highlight consumer trends, niche markets, and buying behaviours, are only truly useful when applied alongside actionable insights. After all, what does it mean to you or your marketing drive that a consumer spent twenty minutes searching for a certain product? Nothing, until you also consider where that consumer has come from (search engine/social media/geographic location), what they ultimately buy, and any other products that they also view.
Investment into tools that offer insights as well as analytics is essential for achieving this goal, as is the ability to learn how exactly those insights should inform your decisions overall. Tools that enable one-source outlooks of all online platforms, traffic, and interest directly alongside overall key performance indicators (KPIs) are especially valuable in this sense. In-house collaborations that enable sales teams to pair and share with marketing professionals, etc., then further these focuses to guarantee informed, holistic solutions that more easily target your every decision in mind of what you’ve learned.
Implement ongoing solutions
One-time insights that are applied to singular marketing drives can be undeniably valuable, but the convolution and ultimate confusion you’ll experience with this one-off focus will ultimately get in the way. This is especially the case as lasting consumer loyalty, and the lifetime value (LTV) that it offers increasingly relies on brand consistency. Only by consolidating your analytics efforts within ongoing solutions that help you to join effective dots, track progress, and follow consumer trends can you ensure ongoing results in real-time.
Broadly speaking, the right tools can help here, too, but harnessing an increased understanding of target audiences, lasting consumer behaviours, and any analytical changes is also crucial. Dedicating the same teams to focuses like social media marketing, search engine rankings, and beyond, especially enables a more tailored understanding of how analytics, and their use cases, can help each element of your company in the long term.
Analytics aren’t the confusing consideration they can often seem. In actual fact, they have the potential to be one of the most simply efficient ways to ensure effective efforts at every stage of business. Just make sure that you’re anchoring them in the right ways by keeping these tips in mind at all times.