What are the benefits of analytics integration?
Improving accuracy of insights
One thing which differentiates an online business from a traditional brick and mortar one is the ability to have a greater insight into the behavior of its customers, visitors or any other people interacting with it. Because all this information is digital gathering, it is both easy and worthwhile.
The data about the website visits allows answering where the traffic is coming from, how often people visit the site, how much time each visitor spends on the site, etc.
The data gathered by the payment processor holds a trove of information about spending habits of the customers. It can provide a lot of knowledge. Things like the average order size, when are the peak times when people order, how often there are repeat orders, etc.
The email campaign software can tell which emails are the most read, which calls to action are the most likely to spur the readers to action, which users are the most engaged with the content which they receive, etc.
The day to day operation of a business benefit greatly from access to the information above. This information is even more important when doing any changes. With proper measurements in place, it will be quickly apparent if any such change makes the business better or did it missed the mark and turned into a waste of time and money.
But there’s a problem with all those analytics systems. In the most cases, each piece of data about the business lives in a distinct system, entirely separate from the others. It acts as a spotlight showing a different part of the company. It would be much better if one could turn all the lights at the same time and see the whole picture. That way there will be less of a chance for things to hide in the shadows.
It takes a lot of work to get the overview of everything which is happening in the business. Getting the overview involves a multitude of reports across several systems and even then, putting all of this information into a coherent view of what is exactly happening takes time and effort. In addition to that, it’s easy to make mistakes when combining this data.
What if there was a better way?
Because all the data regarding an online business already lives in computer systems, it is possible to combine them in one place. By doing it automatically and keeping the data continuously up to date, any interesting metrics calculated from it can be accessed as often as needed.
Below there’s a small sample of potential advantages of having access to such overview of the data about the business. The list is not exhaustive, as the particular benefits change depending on the particularities of a given situation.
1. Advanced reporting
The main reason behind gathering all analytics data into one place is to get better insights into the various parts of the business. One example is by having better reports which reflect in a more direct way what is happening. Better information leads itself to the improvement of the decisions taken, which is the ultimate goal of having analytics in the first place.
2. Cross-channel marketing
Marketing is essential to all businesses, and nowadays there is a multitude of marketing channels available to help to grow the business. Each of those channels comes with a different approach and a different way of tracking it effectiveness.
It is rare to use only one of those marketing channels at a time. Multi-channel marketing is the norm, but there’s a problem how to track the effectiveness of such approach. Without data integration, it is almost impossible to know what are the interactions between the channels. It could be that those interactions are positive, in which case everything is great, or it could be that they are actively hindering each other causing the waste of money.
3. The best tool
Each analytics system comes with a set of tools to analyse the data. The quality and ease of use of those tools vary widely. Some of them are intuitive and allows for quick access to the exact information or even present it out of the box. Others tools consist of a seemingly endless combination of forms, report creators and hidden options.
Other than the differences in the ease of use there’s also the problem of having to learn multiple such analytics tools.
What if instead all the data could be directed to the place with the most appropriate tool for the job. Sending the result of combining the data is the most reasonable way of approaching it, and this gives the ability to work with data in a more efficient manner and thus to extract more value out of it. There’s no need to be restricted by what a particular analytics system provides.
The advantages of having access to the combined data extend beyond those three provided examples. Tailoring the data integration solution to the needs of a particular business provides the ability to take advantage of the uniqueness of the situation of each company. Those highly accurate insights give the possibility to make improvements in a better and faster way.