Making your data work for you
Web analytics is the cornerstone of any brand's digital presence. Without it, you can't possibly know whether your online marketing activity is hitting the right people. Its use dates back to the internet boom of the mid-1990s, and as more companies established an online presence to reach customers and sell product, the need for robust data to optimize the online channel grew.
Fast forward to 2010 -- and web analytics continues to be big business. From my perspective, Adobe's purchase of Omniture and, more recently, IBM's purchase of Coremetrics are good signs. When the technology industry's bellwether, IBM, gets in on the action, you know there's some serious growth potential afoot.
But let's back up for a minute. What exactly is web analytics? Ask five different people, and you'll get five different explanations. No matter how you define web analytics, it needs to speak to your business objectives -- and ultimately, that needs to be the starting point.
If you're new to the analytics game -- or feel like you need a better understanding of the field in order to better coordinate your overall digital strategy -- read on for a discussion of the fundamental principles and starting points for successfully harnessing your data.