Analytics Are Only As Good As The Insights You Act On

Clients in India often ask me whether they are truly harnessing the power of digital data and how to become a successful, data-driven organisation. Here is what I tell them

In my last post about the three most common types of organisational structures at enterprises in India today, I touched on the importance of the analytics team. Digital analytics encompasses the collection and analysis of visitor data across myriad platforms—Web, mobile, the Internet of Things, and more.

That a ton of business intelligence. Clients in India often ask me whether they are truly harnessing the power of digital data and how to become a successful, data-driven organisation. Here is what I tell them.

Choose A Digital Analytics Solution That Captures Data From All Devices

The first step is obviously to choose a digital analytics or clickstream solution that can capture data from any device. This can be your mobile app or chatbot or any other connected device. When selecting digital analytics technology, keep in mind the quality of data, future scalability, and the ease of running ad-hoc analysis. Be sure to understand the clear steps to a successful digital technology investment.

Define Dimensions And Metrics

Dimensions are non-numeric values that offer a way of segmenting data—for example, from which city or browser a search originated, time variables (such as day or month), and product category. Of course, it also is important to define the dimensions specific to your business. For example, a multistore retailer may have key dimensions for apparel that include price, colour, size, sale price, cart addition, and wish-list status.

Metrics are numeric values that quantify the dimensions— for example, visits, visitors, orders, and revenue. It is important to take the time to understand what your business needs to track about its digital assets. Also, take the time to review best practices within your industry. Be sure to attain sign-off on all dimensions and metrics with your digital analytics implementation team before going live. If you don’t get this right, it’s garbage in, garbage out.

Set Operational Reports

Now the real work begins. After implementation, it is important to set up basic operational reports for different teams to help them make better data-driven decisions.

Along with traffic and conversion, your marketing team may need to measure return on investment, attribution by channels and devices, temporal comparisons, and comparisons against targets as they optimize their channel mix. Similarly, product teams will be interested in the conversion funnel to understand where visitors are dropping off; they will then need to come up with suggestions for improvements.

Identify Trends And Deviations

After the basic reports are in place, teams will need to focus on high-level findings. Basic reports typically help with identifying any deviation from the norm. But just knowing this isn’t sufficient–it is important for teams to explore what is causing the deviation. For example, basic conversion-funnel reports may indicate that conversion has been flat for the past six months. But looking deeper, the team might identify that conversion is particularly low for the mobile app on a specific device on the 3G network.

An analytics solution that lets you drill down through multiple dimensions on the go is extremely useful in identifying why a certain trend has arisen and devising a solution. Invest in training your team to use digital analytics both to report and generate insights. Beyond reporting, such insights are essential for optimising the customer experience.

Act On Insights For Real Impact

Once internal teams are comfortable using digital analytics data for day-to-day operations and deep-diving into deviations, it is important to use analytics to find actionable insights.

For example, let’s say a general insurer wants to show how it’s driving profitability from digital interventions. A metric for this may be the percentage of unassisted conversions. That leads it to explore the flip side—where call volume is high but conversion is low. It finds that to be the case for purchasing insurance for travel to the Middle East. Looking deeper, the analytics team learns that although the Middle East comprises 30% of travel insurance searches, it has no dedicated category for travel insurance to this region. Product teams can then act on this insight to build dedicated category assets for travel to the Middle East.

Clearly, digital analytics are nothing but theory unless the insights arising from it are used for real-time intervention for immediate business impact. Some ways to establish the business impact of analytics include integrating analytics with a personalisation engine on your digital assets, or marketing automation tools for push marketing, or a marketing optimisation engine for improved marketing ROI.

In the case of an online retailer seeking repeat business, it is first important to understand whether the repeat rate is higher for specific segments and, if so, how it can be replicated across other segments. With that data in hand, the retailer may build a propensity model to help predict which of the thousands of products a particular customer is likely to buy so it can send a customised offer for that product to that customer.

Now, many existing customers search for new clothing or accessories on the mobile site. If this data isn’t incorporated into the propensity model, an important and highly relevant parameter will get missed in predicting customer behaviour.

Finally, it is imperative to build a data-driven culture within your organisation. Data analysis should not be not exclusive to the analytics team; it is a task for the entire business. A mature organisation will implement a cross-functional analytics team to best utilise the power of digital analytics.

Kaveri Misra will host Sneaks at Adobe Symposium 2019 India, where you can learn more about the latest marketing and advertising trends, hear from local and global brands about their digital transformation journeys, and get inspired to become an experience maker. Register now.