There has been a lot of brouhaha over the last couple of years related to how much of our personal data is collected and used via websites, our phones and even our “personal assistant.” (Alexa, are you spying on me?)
Data extraction and examination is hardly a new concept in the business world, though technology has improved to provide deeper analysis of “big data.” Online data empowers businesses to know more about their customers and prospects, and allows them to make strategic business decisions. And, Google Analytics (GA) is the behemoth when it comes to discerning online data.
With B2B marketing, Savoir Faire utilizes Google Analytics’ information to offer our customers a wealth of information about their customers, so they understand where to best spend their marketing dollars. A recent Fast Company article encourages users to abandon GA in favor of some newer privacy-focused analytics platforms.
One of the examples given in the article comes from a 20-year web designer who is uncomfortable with information gathered from GA including customers’ locations and ages. As far as we’re concerned, that’s rather basic – and extremely helpful – information for a business that offers any type of commerce. Who doesn’t want to know where their customers live so they can focus marketing efforts on geography?
To offer a rebuttal to that article, we’re offering five reasons why Google Analytics remains a solid option for businesses:
1. Superior Level of Data
Google Analytics is the top achiever when it comes to the level of data that can be pulled from your website. You will have greater access to information beyond the surface metrics that some of these newer systems tout, which can make a huge, positive difference between you and your competitors. Surface data, such as these other programs offer, is also simple to extract from GA, but there is a stigma that GA is challenging to use. Sure, it has its complexities as you get into its deeper functions, but you should not feel intimidated by GA. It’s no different than Microsoft Word. We’ve all heard the adage: Most of us only use 20% of the functionality. It’s similar with GA. Check out a previous blog post for some insight on how to easily gather valuable information from GA. Savoir Faire also performs customer analysis for many of our clients as a service, with GA being the primary tool used.
2. Surface Metrics are Simple and Offer Low-Value
Having access to the number of page views and visitors, plus average time spent on the site and page bounce rate can be valuable information, but those simple metrics only tell your business so much. If you really want to understand how your website is performing as it relates to your type of business, GA is a superior option to these newer systems. We look far beyond surface data for our clients, who typically have questions for us about things like customer interests and shopping behavior.
3. E-commerce Data Within GA is High-Quality
The analytics platforms mentioned in the Fast Company article offer shallow insights into customer data. If you have an online store – or even a brick and mortar location – these alternatives to GA are going to be of little use. It is imperative for business owners to gather data from GA to better understand how to successfully manage – and enhance – the business.
4. Google Analytics is Free
Some of the programs mentioned in the article have subscription costs, and even the free ones do not have as deep a pool of information as GA offers. GA has the benefit of integration with many other free systems that Google offers, as well as paid systems like Google Ads and Double Click. When you want a 360-degree view of how your business is performing, those additional systems add great value.
5. Privacy Concerns Go Beyond Analytics
Certainly, the privacy concerns consumers have are valid, but switching to an analytics system that only digs into basic data doesn’t solve the privacy problem. You are being tracked by big companies and large data aggregators every time you are online. Your smartphone is tracking you. Amazon is tracking you. iTunes is tracking you. Instagram is tracking you. You likely have old cookies on your computer before businesses were required to inform you about them.
We live in a world where the convenience provided by modern technology is extremely desirable, but when that technology turns your information into useful data, some people find it intrusive and feel they are being violated.
It’s tough to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to businesses knowing only some of your personal business.
Check out our Analytics Services and reach out with any needs or questions.