by John Fernandez
A buyer should be looking for 3 things in a digital analytics solutions:
- Insight. We need to distinguish between reporting and insight. Many solutions give you reporting, but can you actually use that data to make actionable decisions that are going to help your business?
- User Experience. Unless the buyer is a Statistics Ph.D., the usability of the system is very important, otherwise the end users simply won't use the solution.
- Ability to View Multiple Data Sources. Nowadays we like to think of the entire buyer journey, which is in multiple systems, from the advertising data sources, to the website analytics, to marketing automation, to sales CRM and beyond. Being able to bring those datasets together is key for understanding your buyer journey.
The biggest issue right now for analytics is that there's an enormous amount of tools and data, producing a huge amount of reporting, but marketers are drowning in data. We need insight, desperately. The difference between the two is that reporting tends to be backwards-facing, but insight wants to look forward, not just "What happened?" but "How can we do better?" I think that the areas of predictive analytics are very interesting and we'll see a lot more.
A lot of companies are going to be asking more from their analytics solutions. Executives aren't interested in Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations that can be manipulated either intentionally or inadvertently to skew data. Dashboards which are pulling directly from the source are the go-to for users and executives alike - just look at any Sales bullpen and the dashboards pulling direct from CRM. Again, this is where usability is key, not just for the analytics professionals, but managers and executives want access to the data too!