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Digital Analytics

The when and how of investing in Analytics

15/03/2013
The when and how of investing in Analytics

Attending to how things are developing lately, it seems quite likely that every company that is not using analytics yet will reach sooner or later the moment where it finds itself facing the big question... Does my business need Analytics?? Which will lead further down the line to subsequent considerations: How much would I need to invest? Would that be a steady investment, or just an occasional one? Would it be better to hire somebody and keep it on my staff, or externalizing may work?

For an e-shop or e-commerce site, analytics is outright indispensable, so answers may come quite easy. However, investing in analytics is increasingly becoming a fundamental basis for every company with online pressence.

Investment in analytics is usually in line with the business turnover. Besides, Analytics use stable resources after it's implemented. Along several cycles, analytics investment will remain stable, while the company's turnover increases - achieving at some point the moment when a new investment will be needed in order to adapt current analytics to the new business needs.

Analytics, marketing and advertising

Often investment in Analytics is deemed as complementary to that into marketing, for the resources used by this department are radically optimized by means of an Analytics integration.

Agents of Analytics work

  • The analyst is the professional that formulates the appropiated questions to the data, and provides an answer for it. She or he is in charge of interpreting the data and transforming it into useful practical knowledge for the business.
  • The data miner is a technic figure that guarantees that the analyst has the needed data to perform her or his duty. This profile is responsible for the integration of the web or app with the metric software, and, along with the analyst, to define the architecture of metrics to be implemented.

This theoric division is not so defined in real practice: analyst should be able to understand data collection, as well as check their veracity, meanwhile the data miner must know and undestand the app/web and the data the analyst needs. Both must work in close communication and colaboration.

The analyst and data miner figures are becoming increasingly specialized

Wait, so... does that mean that I would need to hire an analyst AND a data miner?

Most big companies have already an analyst position within their staff. However, due to increasing complexity and quantity in the collected data, an specialist in data collection is needed. We will know that we could make a good use of some data mining work when:

  • quantity and complexity of collected data (from different platforms, etc) and/or our web updating frequency demands a great time and resources investment to the analyst, hindering his focus on the interpretation and analysis
  • user experience is being negatively affected by tagging and analytics implementation.

When the need of someone taking charge of the data collection is clear, a new question arises: Would it better to recruit somebody into my staff, or an external service would make it? In Analytics, independent, external providers hold some advantages. They bring in some fresh, privileged perspective, and it's easier to guarantee they'll be in permanent formation. Also, external data miners may help avoiding the perpetuation of inner bad habits, and the independent double checking brings prevention over the occurrence of human mistakes.

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