The Future of Analytics

Home/Posts/Browserweb, Conversations/The Future of Analytics


Almost everyone is familiar with Google Analytics.  In the past there was very little competition as far as small business tracking their website traffic.  Today, it’s a completely different story. First, however, let’s review the 4 main types of analytics.


What’s Happened? (Historical)

This is what you get from your web server through tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture) or similar. You can quickly understand “what happened” during a given period in the past and verify if a campaign was successful or not based on simple parameters like page views.


Why Did That Happen?

If you want to go deeper into the data you have collected from users in order to understand “Why some things happened,” you can use business intelligence tools to get some insights.

It is basically a type of analytics that gets into the root cause analysis and data detection and investigation.

It focuses on determining the factors and events that contributed to the outcome.

In order to find out the root cause of the problem the analysts perform some basic techniques including drill-down, data discovery, data mining and correlations.

The industry is split on it’s value as it is very laborious work that has limited ability to give you actionable insights.

It provides you with a good understanding of a limited piece of the problem you want to solve.


What May Happen?

Predictive analytics is an area of data mining that deals with extracting information from data and using it to predict trends and behavior patterns.

Often the unknown event of interest is in the future, but predictive analytics can be applied to any type of unknown whether it be in the past, present or future.

If you collect contextual data and correlate it with other user behavior data sets, as well as expand user data beyond what you can get from your web servers, you enter a new area where you can get real insights.

The result is you can predict what will happen if you keep the status quo.


How to prevent negatives
and promote positive events?

Prescriptive analytics is the area of business analytics dedicated to finding the best course of action for a given situation.

Prescriptive analytics is really a mashup of both descriptive and predictive analytics.

Once you get to the point where you can consistently analyze your data to predict what’s going to happen, you are very close to being able to understand what you should do in order to maximize positive business outcomes and prevent potentially harmful business outcomes.





If I have to be frank, small business clients were way too slow to even catch on to even the basics of Google Analytics and the power of historical data let alone be ready for the new analytical tools descending upon us.  In part, that is also due to the time required to delve into an overwhelming dashboard of analytics and reports for the newbie.

It’s like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.

Not only do you have the sheer volume of reports, you also need to get to grips with the acronyms and terminology from CPA, CTR, CPC to bounce rates, referral spam and filtering traffic to get to the real data and remember to schedule tasks, as it will impact your digital assets.

However, with the boom in the last few years of digital awareness as people and corporations struggle in a tight economy to attract potential buyers and convert those all important leads into customers, this required materially rethinking – and discarding the old ways and habits – in some cases.

Clients are becoming more educated in digital marketing and descriptive analytics should be the first – and for the majority, the main area that you initially focus on pertaining to your online website propert(ies).


A popular question is: How do you track who your website visitors actually are?

Until now, it’s been a commercial and rather costly offer from companies like Leadfeeder and Leadenhancer.

However, you’ll be excited to review, download and test this newly released add-on for Google Analytics from FastBase.

It provides full and free access to detailed information about the companies that visit your website.

The new add-on has become increasingly popular with Google Analytics users and provides thousands of new leads for businesses every hour.

With the new add-on, you can quickly download the complete list of company’s visitors directly to Excel or CSV file.

In addition to providing detailed company data, the add-on also provides contact information for specific company employees including email addresses and LinkedIn profiles.

The new add-on will give more than 49 million Google Analytics users the opportunity to generate leads that specifically identify the companies that are engaging in Google Adwords campaigns or are visiting your website directly.

Data provider, Fastbase Inc., supplies all company information and contact data in real-time to the new add-on.

The new add-on is free for all Google Analytics users.

In summary, if you’re looking for more analysis and contact information from B2B website visitors, this plugin is one for you.

It is relevant to any business that has an interest in B2B customers.

Just a note, it will have some false flags, like some of your “leads” will actually show companies that are actually the offices of your “personal” shoppers and may include your ISP and other companies that you can filter out.

All in all, it’s a great set of data to help you analyze visitors and especially if you’re running paid advertising campaigns.


In my earlier posts I discussed the need for clients to think seriously about “automation” and how they document and analyze the sales process from start to end.

Part of this process is taking the analytical information (which includes new lead data) into a CRM system.

I know for a fact a substantial amount of my small business clients are NOT using a dedicated CRM.

Now is the time to integrate this into your digital workflow, it’s an investment that you will recoup.

There are many CRM options in the marketplace and so if you need assistance feel free to #sayhello (@browserweb on twitter) or email me personally if you have any questions or comments.


Mark Burke, a Digital Media Company