Digital data – analytics are not just for nerds
In this article, Owen Buttolph, Business Analyst at MediaCom Edinburgh, discusses the importance of website analytics and provides a brief overview of two approaches to analysing digital data.
There is a saying that is worth returning to now and again:
'Ask a question and you feel foolish for 5 minutes. Don't ask it and you'll be foolish for a whole lot longer.'
This may be a bit blunt and melodramatic but the point is still very useful. And when it comes to the world of digital media there are lots of opportunities to feel 'foolish' and plenty of questions to ask. Getting to grips with new and changing technologies and media formats for example. Compounding this is the way digital media is portrayed. We are continually told that the future is digital, that speeds of data generation are exponential, that if a business isn't careful it risks falling behind the digital revolution, and so on.
In the advertising and media industry, we like to think we are ahead of the game and there are indeed many digital experts and leaders among us, but there is still much to learn. Claire Wood, Chairman of IPA Scotland noted in her inaugral address earlier this year that investment in training is key and we should be aiming for 'digital evangelism' - we are of course not there yet.
I don't profess to be a digital leader, or even expert, but in my job as a business analyst in the world of multi-media communications, gathering and understanding digital data is becoming central to my work. Making good use of it is something I must not only understand but become fluent in for my clients.
Hiding behind the hype there are a myriad of opportunities to use digital data to provide actional insight and many of them are basic. This is why, and this goes for anyone in marketing, you should think of the world of digital not just as one that offers you a multitude of two way engagement channels but also as your data friend - and a generous one at that.