Customise and share your data: The keys to democratising analytics
By Bernard Segarra July 5, 2016
- Marketers are transforming into true web analytics experts
- What you need to do to democratise your web analytics data
WITH data volumes that are booming exponentially, as well as diversifying analytics user profiles, the democratisation of web analytics data is in full swing.
A recent Gartner study emphasises the omnipresence and essential role of digital analytics within companies: “Every business is an analytics business, every business process is an analytics process, and every person is an analytics user.”
Gartner also affirms that marketers are transforming into true web analytics experts.
It all sounds good, doesn’t it? But what actions should you really be taking to democratise your web analytics data?
Read on for a few ideas.
The reality on the ground
Whether it’s for managing stock of an e-commerce site, optimising booking availability for a hotel reservation site, managing HR (human resource) activities, or improving marketing campaign performance, it’s necessary to rely on digital data.
Today, all departments within a company are hungry for data. New types of decision-making users are emerging – and they’re usually web analytics novices.
To get the data and expertise they need, they’re turning to digital analysts.
The result? Digital analysts are under pressure and overworked by ever-multiplying requests. As a consequence, serious bottlenecks are slowing down the decision-making process.
Free the digital analysts
The challenge here is to give these new data consumers enough independence and autonomy so as to liberate web analysts and free up their time.
Web analysts will then be able to focus on their core activities: Conducting advanced real-time performance analyses, investigating, testing, forecasting, recommending, and optimising.
Web analysts must go beyond simply observing and producing data in order to focus on proactive, high-value work.
To sum things up: “Less reporting, more analysis!” In the end, the digital analyst’s efficiency and image within the company will only benefit.
‘Verticalise’ your digital analytics data
If each department becomes a data consumer, then each user will need to own the digital analytics tool and truly make it his or her own.
How? By heavily relying on custom analyses.
Reports designed for business users must be adapted to their industry, job role, level of analytics expertise, and, of course, business goals.
As an analyst, it’s your job to design the framework for these analytics reports by exchanging with your end-users about their current needs and potential future requirements.
But remember, there’s no point in providing too much information. Stick to the essentials.
For example, a product manager for an e-commerce site will be able to get acquisition, conversion and retention data in his interface. He’ll also be able to compare his product’s sales and revenue with the site’s overall results.
Sharing is caring
Sharing is key to democratising your analytics. Your shared data should be clear and readable in a format adapted to your audience, so that decisions can be made without delay.
Here are a few simple examples of how data sharing can create value:
- Provide team leaders with templated management dashboards that they can enrich themselves, then share with their teams.
- Share real-time performance of articles with the journalists who wrote them.
- Regularly inform your media agency of your marketing campaign results.
As tools that democratise analytics data are helping business users access the information they need, the trend for ‘self-service analytics’ is developing in many companies.
But this doesn’t mean that digital analysts will disappear. Instead, their work will focus even more on high value-added activities like preparing analysis models, training others, implementing data governance strategies (managing rights and data usage rules), and ensuring the quality of processes … a winning strategy!
Bernard Segarra is editorial manager at digital analytics company AT Internet.
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