Perhaps every successful business today understands that the world we live in is not only becoming more and more digital, but it is also data-driven. And this is where analytic tools come in handy.
Simple steps like finding and showcasing a unique aspect that differentiates you from your competition, or understanding and optimizing your customer journeys are only some of the fundamental factors that can bring your business to success.
Moreover, as a good business owner, you already know that the products or services you are offering won’t appeal to everyone. But, analytic tools allow you to get to know your audience better, they help you discover how your users interact with your offerings, so you can subsequently adjust and rearrange your plan accordingly.
But you don’t have to be convinced just yet. In today’s article, we will deep dive into what analytic tools are and why are they such a crucial part of your path to meeting your business goals. Also, you will also find an overview of 5 analytic tools examples to help you find the ones your business needs.
Let’s dive in!
What is an analytic tool?
Before we start exploring the ”why” question, it is first essential to understand what exactly an analytic tool is, because saying that it helps draw you closer to your audience is a very broad term.
So let’s start by defining the concept of business analytics:
Business analytics is the process of using quantitative methods to derive meaning from data in order to make informed business decisions.
Simply put, analytics represents the action of collecting, interpreting and applying useful data to your plans and processes. For example, data analysis tools are especially useful for marketers as they allows them to tap into who your customers really are and where are they coming from. You can also learn which content drives your traffic, which channels perform best and so on.
The idea is that, with an analytic tool, you will be able to make well-informed decisions based on real data, instead of “listening to your gut feeling”, which in most cases can turn out to be counterproductive.
But, be aware that there is a difference between various analytic tools – not all are the same. On the one hand, web analytics provide you with information on your website’s performance, such as loading time, whereas marketing analysis tools are focused on measuring aspects like monthly traffic.
To get a complete overview of how your business is performing online, it makes sense to consider a combination of analytic tools.
Why are analytics tools important for my business?
Investing in analytics is worth the time and effort since your business will benefit big time from the outcomes in a long term. Let’s explore the top reasons why are they so important and what they allow you to do.
Learn what brings people to your website
Analytic tools can show you not only how people come across your website, but also what actions they do on your website, and what kind of content is responsible for bringing you traffic.
In addition to this kind of information, it is still important to give your audience the space to communicate with you. The fact of the matter is that analytics equip you with useful data, but eventually, it still remains on you to figure out what the users like and don’t like.
Find out which of your keywords are performing the best
We all know that choosing the right keywords is not about randomly picking words that sound good to you. Nowadays, you have options to make decisions that are supported by real data about the popularity of different keywords.
It is always helpful to keep in mind and consider the relevance of the keywords you intend to use with what is the user actually looking for. Choosing relevant keywords is the fundamental aspect of your way to having a successful digital presence.
Tracking how your keywords are performing is one thing, but deciding which keywords to include in your list is whole another world. For example, Google Trends can help you with this task by revealing the popularity of different terms searched by users in various regions.
When it comes to tracking the performance of the particular keywords, tools like Google Search Console might be a big help, since it shows you how your website is performing online.
Keep track of your key performance indicators (KPIs) and update them based on your data.
Tracking your performance and comparing it with past results has right away several benefits. You get an overview of how your business is performing, but more importantly, you can see where there is a space for improvements.
This way, you are more likely to bring meaningful advancements and solutions to your business, plus the decision-making will be data-driven and not just a guessing game.
Predict the future
Well, not really. It’s not a crystal ball. But, Analytics does allow you to roughly predict how the future performance might look like, so you can adjust your actions accordingly. It allows you to see different patterns which you otherwise might overlook.
5 analytic tool examples
1. Google Analytics
Let’s start out by introducing the most popular (and free) tool by Google – Google Analytics. Established in 2005, Google offers this service for over 15 years now.
The analytic tool allows you to see the performance details of individual pages of your website. You can learn more about your website’s traffic, how long people stay on-page, where are they coming from, but also, the demographics of your visitors.
All these findings can help you boost your SEO, which is perhaps one of the crucial points that can subsequently affect your bottom line. Besides identifying what should be done differently, you also get a meaningful insight into why things are a certain way. According to Google, the older version of Google Analytics is about to be discontinued. Soon, only Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will be available. If you haven’t used Google Analytics yet, you should learn how to setup GA4 instead of downloading the original program. Keep in mind that you can transfer your Google Analytics data to GA4 at any time.
2. Adobe Analytics
Another option you can consider as a website owner is Adobe Analytics. Similar to Google Analytics, you will be able to get real-time data, along with accessing historical insights, which is useful for evaluating the performance and the progress you have made.
What is interesting is that you can view your data holistically. This means Adobe analytics allows you to put data from different channels together, so you can get a better and more complex insight into your current situation.
The predictive analytics function makes it possible to automatically go through a great extent of data that human beings wouldn’t be able to do. Predicting the future can help you make prosperous decisions.
3. Matomo Analytics
Matomo is a good alternative to Google Analytics. However, the difference is that you have 100% data ownership. This way, you can be sure that the data is not used for Google’s own purposes.
Generally speaking, the tool is open-source and therefore free to use, if you have your own hosting provider or host the website on your server.
A heatmap function gives you the possibility to see where your user clicks the most on your website, which allows you to customize the pages correspondingly.
In some situations, you might think the design and overall layout of your website can’t be any better, but this data tells you something different.
If this is your case, don’t be hopeless, this is just an opportunity for you to turn things around by learning analytics!
Mixpanel is a powerful analytic tool that among other things, makes it possible to observe the conversion rates and how long users remain on your site, and at the same time, you can also find information on where and why your visitors decided to leave.
Mixpanel is free to use up to 100k visitors on your website. If you want to benefit from more advanced features, you can pick a plan starting at $25/month, or simply contact the sales team to custom a plan specifically for you.
Kissmetrics is an analytic tool that puts emphasis on behavioural analytics and points out that your business depends on people – your users. You can choose between SaaS and e-commerce plans and the prices start at $299/month.
You can easily find information on which products are currently most popular among your customers or learn about the lifetime value of your customers. This analytic tool is most suitable for marketing teams.
There are not many successful businesses out there that are not using analytic tools. Analytics provide you with all the crucial information you want to know about your audience.
You can learn what are people most interested in when they come into contact with your website, and who are these people. Knowing your audience makes it a lot easier for you to meet your business goals.
Moreover, there are many great analytic tools that equip you with understandable and clear visualizations. You can also find out how mobile-friendly is your website, which is undoubtedly important nowadays since search engines are favouring mobile-friendly websites.
We hope this article provided you with useful information, encouraged you to use analytic tools more actively, or even motivated you to start and learn analytics!