Analytics includes the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data by applying various formulas, algorithms and statistics. Analytics are commonly used to study business data with a focus on predicting and improving future business performance from various aspects. To effectively use analytics and understand how they apply to specific data sets, it is helpful to know some important terms used when collecting and analyzing data. Some of these terms specifically refer to web analytics and include terms to know when incorporating tools such as Google analytics for website performance.
Benchmarks – Measurements that indicate a specific performance metric at a specific place/time. Benchmarks allow comparison of metrics between like applications or websites.
Bounce Rate – A percentage of total visitors, which only views a page of a site before leaving or “bouncing.” In reviewing site analytics, this percentage is used to draw conclusions about landing page content, quality and the efficacy of calls-to-action.
Ecommerce – The process of purchasing/selling products or services using the Internet as the purchase point. Ecommerce relies on analytics and processing analytics to understand consumer behavior and to increase site conversions (purchases).
Conversion – Completed action from a site user such as filling out a form or making a purchase. Converting a visitor is often the main goal, so the percentage of conversions is often related to the overall goals or key performance indicators (KPIs).
Data – (from Wikipedia.com) Values of qualitative or quantitative variables, belonging to a set of items. Data in computing (or data processing) are often represented by a combination of items organized in rows and multiple variables organized in columns.
Data Visualization – The study of visual representations of data. The goal of data visualization is to clearly and effectively show specific information in a graphical display. The representation should be clear, concise, visually appealing AND functional to be effective. With the boom of visual social networks, infographics have risen in popularity and demonstrate one way of effectively showing data findings in a visual format.
Enterprise Decision Management (EDM) – The management of automated decision plans and deployment, used by organizations to manage interactions with various audiences. This is also referred to the process of “information-based decisions,” which are made based on a analysis of a combination of data sets, which could include consumer data insights, behavioral insights and historical insights.
Goal – The benchmark that indicates success for a specific action; the vision of the end result of a campaign or action. Goals can coincide with conversion rates.
Goal Conversion Rate – The percentage of visitors who visit a site and completes a goal or conversion (which equates to a sale in ecommerce). This metric is used to review behaviors and determine success/quality of traffic.
Landing Page – The entrance page/first page a visitor views during a session. If a campaign is pushing clickthroughs to a particular page or site with a strong marketing message, the landing page can be integral in determining and provoking specific behaviors.
Marketing Analytics – Specific analytics relating to the marketing function of a campaign. Marketing analytics are those needed to prove efficacy of the campaign and to measure the return on the investment (ROI).
Retail Analytics – Specific analytics that provide insights into a consumer’s purchasing behavior. These analytics are needed to determine the performance of products and to influence buying/merchandising decisions.
Tracking Code – A snippet of code added to the body of an HTML page, which captures information about visits to the page.
Unique Visitors – The number of non-duplicate visitors to a site during a determined time period (determined by cookies stored in users’ browsers). This is an important metric when reviewing a site’s influence or reach, and if it is capturing a new or retained audience.
Visitor – A user who goes to a website. Visitor information provides specific details into the demographics of particular users and possibly insight into behaviors, norms and VALS (values and lifestyles) of an audience.