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19 September 2017

Is Your Organization Ready for Advanced Analytics?

How can you tell that you’re ready for advanced analytics?

The bosses thought that website traffic analysis was only for the geeks. After intense efforts you convince them that this data helps ensure online success. Now, at last, you have added Google Analytics to your website pages and it is up and running. The higher ups have come to appreciate the value of analytics data. They learn where the visitors come from, how long they stay and other useful information. This knowledge reveals ways in which you can make the site more appealing. But getting more advanced analytics can also help measure how improvements boost visitors and cut bounce rates.

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Foresee Major Market Trends

Advanced analytics goes far beyond simple traffic analysis. It enables you to build models for website optimization and forecasting future trends. Online marketing strategists use it to explore a range of possible scenarios. For example, suppose your organization issues a newsletter once a month. At the moment 20% of visitors to the website subscribe to it. You want to know if this rate would improve for a newsletter issued every two weeks. Advanced analytics enables an assessment of how visitors are going to respond. In this way you can develop strategies more likely to improve site ratings and boost sales.

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Win over Management

It is a good time to think about advanced analytics after the basic version is running and its value proven. Yet the decision makers might still be skeptical about the need for deeper data mining. How can you sell the idea?

Start with a simple explanation of the concept with as little techie jargon as possible. Focus on how advanced analytics furthers online business goals. Present a typical scenario relevant to your organization. For instance, suppose you are planning a major event and want to maximize attendance. An advanced understanding of visitor preferences helps you decide the program and location.

Explain how practical it is to configure advanced analytics on Google. For example, show them how easy it is to configure reports to meet your specific needs. Describe how well dashboard customization filters out the most relevant website data. There is no need to list every step involved. Aim to show the smooth transition between basic and advanced analytics practice.

Assemble a Professional Advanced Analytics Team

The need to recruit advanced analytics experts might be harder to sell, but it makes a difference. A top team must include someone who prepares the data and a statistician who knows how to analyze raw data. You also need a person who understands what these results mean from a business point of view. As Carsten Bange points out, it is also vital to have a “data artist” who knows how to present the results to managers.

In some organizations the skills required exist among current employees. Otherwise they will need to recruit staff or engage the services of an agency. True, it will cost, but the value added justifies the investment. The information is available but without an advanced analytics team it is inaccessible. Advanced analytics is no crystal ball but if you ask the right questions it shows the way forward. A professional team helps you know what to ask, and they “put analytics to work for you” to provide the best answers.

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Maximize Data Relevance

Advanced analytics is very popular. Jim Hare, Gartner’s research director, writes of how it has changed the face of business in the last decade. Today it has become essential for new enterprises who want to: “disrupt established markets and beat their incumbents — whether selling books, renting movies, borrowing money or even building a professional sports team.”

It might take some effort to persuade the higher ups, but the results speak for themselves. If you want to extract the most relevant website data for your organization this is the road you have to travel.

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