Digital Analytics: Current Situation and The Promise it Holds for The Future


This is a part of a series of articles on Digital Analytics. Get links to previous articles here.

Digital analytics is inherently dynamic which means that the best solution for your business today need not be the best in future simply because there will be so many better options available at that point of time. From its humble origins through leveraged server error logs, web analytics has come a long way.

Currently, the prominent game-changers in digital analytics include concepts such as:

Big Data

Simply put, big data is nothing but sets of unstructured data that are too large and complex to work with using ordinary database management tools. Capture, storage, search, analytics , all become extremely difficult to carry out due to the sheer volume.

The primary utility of big data is the in-depth analysis it facilitates. Customer behaviour can be understood and predicted much more efficiently with the help of historical data. Behavioural analysis using limited data could end up seeming rather short-sighted and inaccurate. There are uses for big data analytics in every industry. For instance, healthcare, financial services, energy utilities and law enforcement are some of the industries that are benefiting from big data analytics.

The major advantages of using big data to your advantage include:

  • The ability to design customer-centric business metrics
  • Utilizing the business metrics to manage customer relationships
  • Using business metrics for employee goal setting and rewards system

Rollup Reporting

Rollup reporting is a nifty little feature that can enhance the insights provided by web analytics tools. What this feature essentially does is to present data from various views as required. For instance, assuming your company has branches spread across multiple locations, you could look at metrics from a bird's eye perspective of all the branches or take a detailed look at each branch. This provision can ultimately prove priceless for analysis and decision-making.

Unified View of Customer Relationship Management

While tracking customer activity online is helpful, it still remains a very restricted view of what actually goes on, like a horse that has blinkers on. In the real-world scenario, a customer could be engaging with varied touchpoints. He could be researching your product online and purchasing it from your physical store. She could be looking at your product catalog and placing an order online. Incidentally, the disconnect needn't always be regarding the online/offline scenario. Disconnects could exist amongst the different silos of data ie clickstream, CMS, CRM, search, social media, ad server & third party servers. Unless all these sources of data are considered and analyzed, the understanding of customer behaviour will remain incomplete and therefore predictions will become inaccurate. This is where unified view comes to the rescue. By integrating information from the varied touchpoints, your business is armed with comprehensive data which will enable smart decision making.

In future, web analytics trends are expected to pick up where things left off last year in the following areas:

  • Inclusion of qualitative data along with quantitative data in analysis
  • Increased need for actionable, performance-based metrics
  • Burgeoning importance of real-time analytics
  • Integration of online and offline channels in analytics
  • Highly customized web analytics to suit specific needs and specific audiences
  • Increased audience grading via web analytics tools
  • Analytics providers will begin to develop their own heatmap solutions
  • Improved analytics for multiple visits
  • Analytics for intranet to improve employee productivity
  • Better visualization tools for analysts


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