When the editors of The Drum asked several top-management marketing experts in February 2013, "What's the biggest challenge for web analytics in 2013?," here's what they've identified for the year:
- The expectation of Web analytics is getting beyond just the Web and the clicks and into "business data that shows the performance of the digital channel in a broader context and how it relates to their customers and their overall value"
- “Turning data into insight” -- Understanding the value of content, creating it and improving it
- Businesses’ lack of expertise in using the tools and leveraging the data. "No matter how much money and resource you spend buying and implementing analytics, it is only as good as the analysts using it," said Conrad Bennett, VP of Technical Services EMEA, Webtrends
- "Enabling multi-platform unification of all data"
Mike Shaw, head of media at comScore UK, elaborates on the last point -- the need to unite tracking across all platforms:
"Consumers are quickly becoming platform agnostic in their digital media consumption, which comScore refers to as 'the rise of the Digital Omnivore.' It's the pinnacle of convenience for consumers, but an utter headache from an audience measurement and advertising analytics standpoint. Analytics providers need to adapt to this changing digital world to become a trusted resource for understanding cross-platform consumer behavior..."
It looks like many businesses will continue to integrate online and offline operations, ceasing to view them as separate. This means analytics will continue being multi-channel and cross-channel as big data grows, and content creation and ownership gets "smarter."
As the Eye on Analytics Blog advised, in its end-of-year predictions for the digital analytics trends for this year, choose well, and have faith:
"[O]ne best practice remains eternal when it comes to metrics -- ensuring you choose the right metrics that most clearly, directly and accurately track your business strategies. [...]
[D]on't think of your metrics and analytical capabilities in terms of a rearview mirror but rather as a powerful predictive tool that can help you make decisions that drive the business forward. The whole point of investments in analytics and BI (business intelligence) is to identify emerging opportunities, gain advance insights and make decisions that will enable you to shape the future in such a way a that business performance is enhanced."