Understanding Data Types in Data Analytics

Year 2005 was arguably the most important year for data analytics.

In November 2005, Google launched their analytics service, after acquiring Urchin in April 2005.

Since then, data analytics has transformed the perspective of marketers around the globe.

Every time advertising ROI was discussed, below statement was quoted:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

 

Marketing cloud players like Oracle, Adobe & IBM are positioning their data analytics platforms just to address the above problem.

With data impacting every aspect of business, CMO’s believe their role is no longer restricted to brand marketing.

(Also Read: RIP CMO, VIVA CDO )

To understand this  further, we must know the types of data sets relevant in digital marketing.

Marketing Data TYPES

 

Data Analytics - Marketing Data Types

Marketing Data Types in Data Analytics

 

Usually, it needs an understanding of your customer journey, but most of the above data sets are common for various customer journeys.

For simplification, I have divided it into 2 broad segments:

Audience Data Analytics or Advertising Data

 

This data is usually acquired through multiple marketing touch points and it is also the most complex of all to interpret.

Most of this data is used for making better & faster marketing decisions.

You can divide audience data into following:

Market Research Data / Survey Data 

 

This data is acquired using primary and secondary sources to understand:

  • market competition analysis
  • audience behaviour in a category
  • offline communication effectiveness

It is extremely valuable for designing your brand communication.

Social Media Analytics Data

 

As more adults acquire smartphones, they’re spending an increasing amount of their time on social media.

Also Read : Time Spent on Social Media – By Nielsen

Social Analytics Tools

Social data analytics tools offers a deep insights about the life and preferences of modern day digital audience in the form of following data sets:

  • Audience Interest – what are their likings and dis-likings etc.
  • Affinity / Behavioural Data – Content consumption behaviour
  • Category Conversations – what are they talking about or discussing?
  • Brand Sentiment – benchmarking sentiment against different competitors.
Search Analytics Data or Intent Data

 

While social data helps us to understand their content consumption behaviour, search data helps us understand current market trends and brand preference.

First, to fully understand search data and its impact, one must know how to use Google Trends (see below)

Second, SEO data can be obtained from either the google webmaster tool or your own Google Analytics account.

This data further helps you to find out:

  • Key audience searches in your category
  • Competition brand preference
  • Content ideas for blog and social media
Website Analytics Data

 

If planned well (Read this post by Avinash Kaushik) , this data type can offer the most in-depth amount of insights to any marketing team.

Any website analytics tool (like Google Analytics or Kiss Metrics) allows you to find out:

  • Quality of your assets (like blog) and content (videos)
  • Quality of your landing pages ( UI and UX )
  • Audience customer journeys
  • Conversion Attribution (if you are generating lead or e-commerce)
  • Digital Marketing Campaign Effectiveness
  • Key Traffic sources
  • Return on marketing Investment

Customer Data or CRM Data

 

This data is extremely sensitive from a digital privacy standpoint.

It is very important to capture this data in the right format and keep it updated & consistent.

Top CRM Tools

Top CRM Tools

The customer data is often stored inside a CRM tools ( see above  )

Modern CRM tools can captures and store the following information in an actionable manner:

  • Customer PII ( Personal Identifiable Information like Name, Gender, Email, Contact etc )
  • Purchase Data – Details of all the products / service purchased
  • Loyalty Data – contains details connected to any customer loyalty program customer has subscribed to.

Digital data analytics can offer very deep insights, but only if you plan your data priorities in advance and also choose the matching tools at each stage of your marketing.

Digital Analytics – The Highway to Digital Intelligence

The success of any digital analytics hinges on the marketer’s understanding of his or her customers. Sounds familiar, right? But as marketers, we need to be aware of the fact that technology landscape has significantly altered in the last 5 years.

The way brands interact with their customers has changed and the ability to understand customers across digital channels requires a new approaches within digital analytics.

Digital Analytics

Traditional web tracking techniques were not designed for the breadth of channels, devices and speed that fuel today’s digital interactions.

Take Google Analytics for example, most of you would choose to believe Google Analytics is the ultimate platform for all your analytics needs, but actually that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Though it may be providing you huge amount of data related to the visitors on your website & mobile site, that’ll help you optimise your content & UI effectively, but it still offers a very limited approach if you want to scale your business operations in a growing market.

The basic DNA of the Digital medium is its state of constant change, and marketers need to look beyond the traditional analytics platforms and move towards more sophisticated Digital Intelligence systems which can provide you a much wider view including the competition, customer segments, social analytics, future trends, data across multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, wearables etc.

According to IMRI :

 Digital marketing intelligence is a process to identify prospects online, building reach and retain customers by leveraging the largest sample of online consumer behaviour with timely and actionable insights to drive ROI
The only point to which I disagree is that Digital Intelligence can’t be restricted to online data, we are living in a globalised environment where every 5th mobile purchased is a smart phone or a smart device and soon this number will outpace the growth of online. Online data sources like Comscore or Nielsen would have little impact to our marketing metrics and forecasts.
Incidentally, Compete is one of the very few companies who has already started working & providing such intelligence to brands globally. I understand that this research is not possible with pure digital analytics, which means at some point of time, we have to look out of the digital domain and merge data from offline sources as well.

Google Digital Intelligence

Larry Page, Chief Executive Officer of Google Inc, the biggest custodian of internet data on the planet, believes that the next few years would belong to Artificial Intelligence & related tech. In one of the ted talks (watch below video) he also talked about his core purpose behind acquiring Deepmind ( Founded by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, deepmind was one of the AI Startups in the UK until it was acquired by Google.

Facebook Digital Intelligence

Today, almost all the Internet & technology enterprise companies have an AI research lab or have acquired some startup in the space. Facebook has a complete division called Facebook AI Research that covers the full spectrum of topics related to AI, and to deriving knowledge from data: theory, algorithms, applications, software infrastructure and hardware infrastructure.

Microsoft Digital Intelligence

Microsoft Academic Research has got an illustrious research panel on Artificial Intelligence from top global universities including Oxford, Standford & MIT.

Cisco Digital Intelligence

In 2013, Cisco took their first steps into the future security solutions by acquiring COSE (Cognitive Security) in order to offer advanced security services to their customers that can detect complex network threats in advance and take preventive action of its own.

2015 could well be the beginning of the new age of Big Data & AI  that would change our perception as marketers forever. The question is, is your brand ready for it?