The Advantages of Online Data Analytics
All businesses are driven by data even if the owners and managers of those businesses are not aware of this fact. There are multiple streams of data coming in to your business every day and there are ways to capture that information and put it to use. Ignoring this information will put your business at a disadvantage in the greater global marketplace. Luckily, there are many tools and techniques that you can put to work instantly to increase your business intelligence. Online analytics tools are some of the easiest to use and can be deployed very quickly once you have selected the ones most applicable to your organization. In fact, you may have some Internet-based analytics tools working for you right now.
Why use website analytics?
The data your business requires for efficient and competitive operations has to come from many sources. The Internet has become one of the primary arenas for businesses to gather information. As a resource for information, the Internet has several advantages over other mediums. As a portal for data collection, your website enjoys the following advantages:
- Volume – The Internet experiences a high volume of use each and every day; some of that use includes your website. You can use cutting edge website analytics tools to make sense of the use that your website is receiving. Because websites receive so much use, you can collect a great deal of information that way.
- Minimal downtime – Though Internet service outages occasionally occur and there is the chance that your website may be inaccessible while maintenance is being conducted, you can expect there to be relatively little downtime. Data collection can continue at a pace unmatched by other, non-Internet, portals.
- Passive collection – Once the data collection software and website analytics tools have been deployed there is little need for active participation on the part of operators. In other words, you can sit back and allow the software to perform its function. There is no need to pay people to actively collect data in the form of surveys or user reports. An extensive amount of information can be gathered by just a few analytics tools.
- Continual operation – Website analytics enjoy minimal downtime thanks to the nature of 24/7 information access; these tools can also operate continually since little downtime is required and no human operators are required to monitor the function. Continual operation also gives you a precise look into the hours of peak access, the geographic location of website users, and other access specifics. This information can be used to improve website design and allocate server resources.
Can I get information from non-Internet sources?
Data does not just come from Internet resources; it can come from anywhere that information is generated. Point of sales systems are some of the most sophisticated and widely-used data collection points. The information collected by modern computerized point of sale systems can tell you which items were top sellers, which products were low performers, and other useful pieces of information as well. While point of sales systems offer businesses a great deal of valuable information, not all organizations make use of an extensive point of sale system. So while this method of data collection is undoubtedly valuable, it may not be a primary means of data collection for you.
What do I do with this information?
Making sense of the data collected by your analytics programs will require some dedicated time and effort. Businesses often opt to work with specialists in order to get a clear perspective on what they’re website data is telling them. Many businesses use their analytics information to improve customer service, website content, and the website end-user experience in general.
As you can see, an important part of modern business BI comes from the Internet. As the electronic side of doing business becomes increasingly important to every organization, the need for quality online business intelligence tools is only poised to grow.