Digital Data Analytics & ZoomOwl: A Primer
In this post, get an understanding of digital and web analytics and how data is measured and used to improve business ROI. Learn also the important facets of the digital data–the key motivation behind ZoomOwl.
For a long time, I was planning to create a blog on digital analytics. Data has always been to my rescue, when I have to state facts, prove a point, or to get upper hand in an argument. Analytics on the data, naturally, can give you insights and be used in many ways. During my decade-long career as a marketer, I have learnt that data is the one key aspect of business that drives sales and boosts revenue.
“Digital data analytics” takes data one step further by incorporating means to measure almost everything digital—the interactions on your website, conversions on your landing pages, sales on your product pages, interest on your email campaigns, and installs of your mobile apps. All the data coming from your users can provide you with unique insights that can drive your revenues up.
When I get this question, I always reminisce about the definition put forward by one of the gurus of analytics, Google digital analytics evangelist and author of Web Analytics 2.0, Avinash Kaushik. According to him:
“Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes (both online and offline).”
You need to pick the definition apart to understand it. I have highlighted important aspects above, and am going over them in detail below.
- Qualitative data: As you know data can be qualitative as well as quantitative. Qualitative data cannot be measured. For instance, the color scheme you use on your website is a type of qualitative data. It can’t be really measured, right? However, it can have some level of impact on your visitors, can’t it? A good session replay tool can help you analyze qualitative data effectively.
- Quantitative data: Unlike qualitative data, quantitative data is concrete and measurable, using any of your measurement techniques. It can be easily associated with numbers and be represented in charts & graphs. For instance, the number of visitors that arrived from a particular Caribbean island in a particular month that you counted using Google Analytics can be one of your quantitative data.
- Business: When we talk about business, we essentially mean every aspect of it. This can be your entire marketing assets, such as your website, mobile apps, social media profiles, downloadable goodies, etc. These are all assets with qualitative and quantitative data associated with them. And these data can be analyzed in depth to generate business-level insights.
- Competition: Every business knows the importance of isolating and studying the competition. It is an essential part of your marketing. Any business that doesn’t know where it stacks up in the competitive space is bound to lose valuable insights. The question is what kind of techniques your marketing team uses to analyze the competition and what kind of insights they are able to generate using them.
- Continual improvement: The improvement across your key performance indicators (KPIs) is continual, which means you take a step-by-step approach with improvement in every step.
- Online experience: Yes, we are talking about “digital” analytics. That’s why the experience is online. All the business aspects we discussed above are online. In digital analytics, we are not dealing with offline aspects, such as the number of business-relevant interactions you had at your last business event.
- Customers & potential customers: Obviously your customers are your revenue-generators. And your potential customers are the targets. Analytics will tell you what your customers are doing on your digital properties, who your potential customers are, and what the potential customers are interested in.
- Desired outcomes: These are known in the marketing circles as “conversions.” The conversions are the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your business. For instance, if by your marketing activities you are able to achieve 20 sales last week, you can say you got 20 “desired outcomes.” These desired outcomes need not be only sales, but can be newsletter sign-ups, social media profile likes, or a download of one of your whitepapers.Please subscribe to ZoomOwl, and we’ll see in the future how each of these desired outcomes can be measured exactly and used on a chart to show how they influence your business’s profits.
- Offline & online: Now we come to another major aspect of digital analytics. It may be obvious that its effects are felt online (through conversions on your landing page, newsletter signups, etc.) But the effects of digital analytics can also be felt offline. For instance, using an AdWords ad that has a location extension, you can direct a user to your restaurant. It’s an offline visit as a result of an online interaction. Such offline outcomes also must be tracked and measured accurately.
That pretty much sums up digital analytics, doesn’t it?
When it comes to tools, we have a lot to talk about. Digital analytics uses so many different types of tools. For webmasters, what comes to mind immediately is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is not just for websites, it is also for mobile apps. It’s one of the most complete, albeit free, suites for analytics you can get. Some other analytics products are Adobe Analytics, Facebook Analytics, IBM Analytics, Clicky, CrazyEgg, StatCounter, etc. Each tool has its own advantages, special features, and demerits.
Beyond websites and apps, there is social media. Your engagement on the social media and the visits that happen due to that has also to be tracked and measured. For this, there are tools offered by the social media platforms themselves. One of the most complete and feature-rich is Facebook Insights, which is right there as a tab on your Facebook page.
Let me talk about why I created ZoomOwl. My name is Lenin. I am a marketer with quite a bit of experience. I have built websites, created content, run email campaigns, run online advertising campaigns using Google Ads, run social media advertising campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn, set up tradeshows, and done a lot of vendor management. From all this experience, I happened to identify one key thing—it’s the data that drives growth. In order to understand your audience, you need to understand the data that they generate. Once you understand and make sense of the data, you can turn your marketing into magic.
I remember a particular video that I was watching a few days back. This video is a key motivation behind starting this analytics-focused publication. This video started off with an interesting premise. It’s one of those image-based videos with narration in the background. I found it going somewhat uninteresting after a couple of minutes. And as I was about to close the browser tab, the video all of a sudden changed and started progressing in a more interesting and exciting direction. I ended up watching it full afterward.
This particular incident made me think why the video got more interesting right at the moment I was about to close it. And I could think of only one reason. The creator of the video must have looked at its statistics. He must have averaged out when most of the abandonment occurred, like a couple of minutes into the video. This knowledge might have led him to modify the video slightly, by inserting an exciting snippet about a few seconds before the average abandonment time. Then he might have checked the results and seen the abandonment rate had decreased. To us, viewers, the effect is nothing short of magic. And what achieved it is digital analytics.
Come back to ZoomOwl, subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on all social channels. I will bring you some exciting and thought-provoking content in digital analytics in the coming days. ZoomOwl’s content will be valuable for all kinds of people—individual webmasters, bloggers, small businesses, and large corporates.