Data can be a scary thing, especially if you’ve not been trained how to identify or use it. So, we spoke to one of ORM's senior data analysts who has dispelled the mystique around data and revealed how you can use it to your advantage.


We all know we’re living in an era of big data and that the amount we’re generating is growing exponentially, but this is nothing new. However, what is new is the type of data that is now accessible (such as unstructured data in the form of images, text and video) and the tools available to understand it.


What is the most common mistake businesses make when collecting data?

Typically, companies have an imperfect analytics data collection set up. Many have already added Google Analytics tags on their site and have thought ‘job done’. Yet, the problem with this is that they’re often collecting junk data, poor quality data or data that is difficult to use.


How can businesses identify and collect clean, workable data?

The first stage of data and analytics is implementing the right customised tracking codes on to a website. We normally recommend using the Google suite of tools, such as Google Tech Manager and Google Analytics. We implement them on a website and from there we configure and customise them to track specific parts, elements and features of it. Customisation allows you to obtain richer data that’s unique to your business or website. For example, it can help businesses identify and segment audience types and tailor the content on the site accordingly.  


How should businesses use their data?

Although each business is unique, we always begin to use data by setting clear KPIs. We establish what the website’s purpose is and then set data KPIs to measure the effectiveness of it. Some typical KPIs include: looking at the scroll rate, or proportion of people scrolling a specific distance (that indicates if they are positively engaged with an insights article or not), the number of people visiting the site, as well as whether those people return and if so, how frequently. We also measure recency, which is a good indicator of intent.


Do businesses need a data specialist to help them manipulate it?

There are two ways we can help clients use their data more effectively. We can do a deep dive analysis of a business or website, where we extract, analyse and interpret the data to make recommendations to the client. The alternative and complementary method is we can create a reporting dashboard, which presents the data in an accessible format, so that the client can analyse the data themselves. The dashboard takes data inputs such as from Google Analytics and then filters it, formats it, displays it, explains it, and makes it easier for anyone to use to make business decisions.


What are the benefits of bringing data into a reporting dashboard?

Data is the collection of information of how people are interacting with your digital estates i.e. your websites, apps etc. When you bring it into a central dashboard it can tell you what people are doing on your site, how they behave, how they interact, what they like, don’t like, what they find useful, or not useful, in a single view. The dashboard gives you a better understanding of your customers or potential customers and enables you to make changes to your site to make it better for the people you want to serve, whether that’s provision of information or persuading people to take a certain action.


How has ORM helped its clients use the data to drive business results?

We help clients to use their data to identify who their high-value customers are. We can then tailor their site so that it meets the needs of these users so that they have a good customer experience and will come back. We can also identify whether the content on the site is working and use the data recommend how to improve readability, scroll through rates and how to add value.


Come and talk to us about how we can help you to get the most out of your data and analytics.