Define: Digital Analytics

I enjoy doing interviews – listening to other people’s questions gives me a different perspective compared to the questions I ask of myself (and of data) all the time… This question came form Manu Jeevan as part of his interview for the Big Data Made Simple blog. It made me think about something that has been troubling me for some time…

What’s your definition of Digital Analytics?

When we refer to digital, we mean “connected to the Internet”. And anything that is digital leaves a foot print. Digital Analytics is about following those digital footprints to understand the people and the experiences that leave them.

Why do this?

Well, if you understand the online behaviour of people you can optimise their experience. That is, gain more leads, gain more customers, sell more things – or do all of these at the same level, but more efficiently.

I always emphasise the impact of optimisation with real-world case studies. What I have found over the years is that optimisation is not a little bit of tweaking here and there of the business’s bottom line. Quite the opposite! The impact is almost always hugely significant in terms of return on investment.

The 30 second elevator pitch… (or job description)

I have deliberately kept this definition simple – it is obviously not aimed at data scientists! The reasoning for keeping it simple is that I have often struggled with a 30 sec “elevator pitch” of what I do. My job as an analyst encompasses so many areas of digital – from design and architecture, to user experience, marketing and conversion persuasion. Ultimately, I need good clean data and at least 50% of my time is spent with setup (see for example my blog on how to remove referral spam).

So, if I cannot explain clearly and succinctly what I do to the average business exec (or for that matter my mother in law!), then I have failed to convince people that good decisions can only be made based on good data/information. I wonder if this explanation will work and put my mind at rest…

Do you have a different opinion of Digital Analytics?

Looking for a keynote speaker, or wish to hire Brian…?

If you are an organisation wishing to hire me and my team, please view the Contact page. I am based in Sweden and advise organisations in Europe as well as North America.

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  1. Christopher Skyi

    Digital Analytics — engaging in those activities that make one mindful of where one’s web traffic is coming from and about what one’s visitors are doing on one’s website.

    • Brian Clifton

      @Christoher – I like it. The only thing I would say is that digital/online is not necessarily about the web. Mobile apps for example is a “huge part” of the data that GA collects (according to Sagnik Nandy – Senior Product Manager at Google)


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