Wednesday, 21 February 2018

What is Digital Analytics? Definition and Scope

Digital Analytics: Definition Brian Clifton probably gave the simplest definition of Digital Analtyics :
Digital Analytics: following digital “footprints” to understand the people and their experiences that leave them. -Brian Clifton


Avinash Kaushik gave a more comprehensive definition of Digital Analytics.

Digital Analytics (Web Analytics 2.0) is (1) the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition, (2) to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have, (3) which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline). -Avinash Kaushik


Let us expand Avinash Kaushik's definition:

1) Qualitative and quantitative data: Quantitative data: Measurable data like Visits, Sessions, Page views. Qualitative data: Data that cannot be measured in any numerical form. Surveys with open-ended questions and personal interviews are popular ways to gather qualitative data.

Example:
The below question is asked at the end of every support article in Google's support website. In Google's support website, visitors are asked if the article was helpful.

Google can measure the number of people who clicked 'Yes' and the number of people who clicked 'No'. This is quantitative data.

When a person clicks 'No', Google asks an open-ended question 'How can we improve it?'

Responses can provide valuable information but are not measurable.This is qualitative data.

2) Digital analysis is done 'to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers, and potential customers have'.

Step 1: Digital analysis begins with measuring and collecting data (both quantitative and qualitative).
Step 2: Reports are generated and data is analyzed to gain valuable insights into user behavior.
Step 3: Based on these insights, changes are made on the website to improve user experience. We collect more data (go back to step 1) and compare it with old data to see if user experience improved.

The above 3 steps are repeated continually to improve the online experience.

3)Digital analysis should result in your desired outcomes. Digital analysis should help businesses reach their goals. Each business has its own goals to accomplish. A blog might want to serve more advertisements. An e-commerce site wants more sales. An offline store wants more walk-ins. Analytics should tell you which marketing strategies and tactics are helping you achieve those goals.

What is the scope of Digital Analytics? Is Web Analytics and Digital Analytics the same?

Web analytics deals with data related to the website. It deals with the website's
1) Audience acquisition (search engines, social media, email, referral links etc)
2) Audience behavior on the website (Landing pages, Pages per visit, Time on website etc.)
3) Conversion: how much of the website traffic resulted in the desired outcomes.

How is digital analytics different from web analytics? Though web analytics deals with traffic acquisition from social media channels, it does not deal with user behavior on these channels. For example, your users could have liked, commented and shared your content on your Facebook Page. Even if they have not visited your website, they are engaging with your brand. Gone are the days when marketers would simply share links on Facebook. Now they upload content that is specially created for Facebook, like videos and posters. Such native content has helped increase engagement on Facebook. Your Facebook Page can be treated as a website on its own. Facebook provides detailed analytics for your brand page. Digital analytics deals with this data too, in addition to your website data. Apart from Facebook, your brand may be present on other social media channels like Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus. If you have created mobile apps for your brand, Digital analytics deals with user behavior data on these apps too. While web analytics deals with website data, digital analytics deals with data from all your digital channels.