Big DataWe’ve all heard about “big data,” and the importance of analytics, but do you know how to use this information to market your products online?

A recent Forbes article states that 37% of companies participating in a survey stated that they “desperately” needed employees with high-level analytics skills.  Furthermore, the author writes, there will be 4.4 million big data jobs available in the next two years, and researches estimate only one third of them will be filled.

The author argues that in order for modern companies to be successful in digital marketing and online analytics, they should work to efficiently execute the following four steps:

  • Defining your metrics and developing a plan
  • Collecting the data
  • Developing reporting features and capabilities
  • Ongoing analysis and implementation

Generally, Forbes writes that the majority of a company’s effort should be spent on analysis over collection.  Too often companies acquire data and don’t know what to do with it.  According to the article, 15% capture, 20% reporting, and 65% analysis are “reasonable ratios,” when spending time with data.

Another tip the author offers: avoid vanity metrics.  These are numbers like online page-views or social media follower numbers, which, Forbes states, don’t paint a comprehensive picture of a business, and can easily result in incorrect or incomplete conclusions.  According to the article, marketers should instead focus on things like conversion rates, repeat customers, and determining which channels are driving those returns and conversions, so as to most efficiently evaluate marketing efforts.

For digital marketers to be successful in a world continually shifting toward a reliance on analytics, the challenge will be to determine the most effective way to capture, organize, and draw conclusions from data.