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Friday, May 03, 2013

Big Data – A Game Changer for Web Analytics Professionals

Friday, May 03, 2013
                                                                                         Image courtesy: Data Interactive-Wipro

These days, the digital world is abuzz with big data, and real time analytics (RTA). As the days pass by, the talk on big data is getting big and bigger that has recently drawn the attention of biggies across the globe. They see a wide un-tapped opportunity, and start deploying resources to capitalize the ‘wave’ for a windfall gain. To my understanding, big data tsunami is bound to happen. Not to exaggerate, it could be, indeed, a multimillion opportunity for big and medium sized industry.  

Big data seemingly promises something for everyone –be they developers, data analysts, marketing & sales professionals, BI analysts or management. As per McKinsey Global Institute, there would be approximately 140,000 to 190,000 unfilled positions of data analytics experts in the U.S. by 2018.  

As a digital marketer, I perceive this trend as a big opportunity for web analytics professionals in particular. Today, we see vacancies for ‘web analytics’ professionals who use software such as Google Analytics, Omniture, Web Trends, Unica, etc. They pull the historic data to present them in a more visual form, create interactive dashboard using Tableau, Canvas or 3rd party tools, for easy understanding of management, and stakeholders. With the advent of big data, things will change in next few months.

The whole concept of big data spans four dimensions such as: Volume, Velocity, Variety and Veracity. Similarly, the role of web analytics would span for:
  1. Digital Web Analytics  (DWA)
  2. Real Time Web Analytics  (RTWA)
  3. Social Media Analytics –(SMA)
  4. Web Intelligence Analytics (WIA)
(Variety) Digital Web Analytics The role of DWA would be to analyze the historic data based on standard KPIs from different devices such as desktop, smart phones, iPad, notepad, iptv, iPhone, etc. Understanding the users’ behavior from a variety of devices are the key metrics to focus on.    
(Velocity) Real Time Web Analytics – Time is money. Just like stock brokers keep watching, and monitoring the real index of shares on daily basis, the role of RTWA would be to continuously monitor the ‘LIVE’ results of visitors’ interactions, actions, and behavior. RTWA can track the live results of how the new email newsletter, ad campaign or TV, conversions (goals) are performing, where the visitors are coming from, what causes them abandoning the cart, and strategy around sending an instant follow up email, and so on. 

(Veracity) Social Media Analytics – The inability of any software to accurately track the ‘‘viral’ of any brand from social media channels, has given birth to different software, and tools. The companies such as IBM, Adobe, etc. who have already developed various products that address the need for social analytics.

The role of social analytics is to gain expertise in using social tools, understanding social KPIs, users’ mentions, engagement, shares, likes, reach, demography, reviews, comments, posts, tweets, social conversions, sentiment analysis, behavioral insights, influencer analysis, real time behavior, and many more. The company like Accenture and IBM are already hiring professionals for this position,

(Volume) Web Intelligence Analytics –The role of WIA would be to analyze the ‘big web data’ to be collected from DWA, RTWA, and SMA. Combing the big web data, and presenting the same in a dashboard requires a lot of data mining technique, expertise in using tools such as SaS, SPSS, sound knowledge of visualization tools, statistical skills, some knowledge of Business Intelligence (BI) tools, database knowledge, advanced excel, etc.

Decide where you want to see yourself in a big data economy. If you miss, you miss forever. If you hit, you’d be a hit forever. Choice is yours!


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