3 Data Sources to Boost Analytics and Business Intelligence

3 free data sources for analytics and Business Intelligence
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Decisions backed by data drives business intelligence. Business leaders who know how to collect data and apply insights from the data can better optimize their campaigns, which will directly impact the business profitability.

Businesses have access to several data sources and can use the data collected to build niche-driven campaigns that will improve their competitiveness and allow them to deliver products and services tailored to niche markets. As Jasmine Morgan writes: “Business intelligence is still a mighty advantage for any retail business to have when seeking to grow, stabilize and remove risks. It is also becoming cheaper to develop with more affordable technology becoming accessible and more people available with the skills to handle it.”

Here are a few ways businesses can collect the necessary data to boost analytics and business intelligence.

Google Analytics

For a free tool, Google Analytics provides incredible insight if you know where to look and how to apply the data correctly. On the surface, businesses will be able to see who is visiting their website and from which source. But it runs much deeper than that.

Google tracks individuals search history and patterns, meaning that they understand the behaviors and interests of people on the web.

In Google Analytics, you can see which referring websites or platforms people are coming from. This data can be used to build content, which can be used to drive more people to the website. Audience insights can also be applied to get more detailed information on people visiting your website. There is a good guide from ConversionXL, which shows how to configure the Google Analytics tracking and start receiving data that displays interests and behaviors in more detail.

It’s worth conducting an audit of your Google Analytics use to see if there are any data collection gaps that can be applied to your campaign.

Server log data analyzes website experience

Understanding the server log data is essentially heading into “big boy territory.” If you have a search bar on your website, you can actually extract the search queries and use that data to create new products or services that people are searching for but don’t actually exist. You can also apply those keywords to any search marketing campaigns that you have running.

The data can be captured by harnessing data from server logs. The ELK stack can be used to collect and visualize the data so that quick business decisions can be made. Some of the insights the server logs can provide include:

  • Where users are spending their time on the website.
  • The timestamps for when they are visiting the website and how long they are staying on certain web pages.
  • The type of web experience that they are having.

When it comes to business intelligence, the server logs can uncover issues such as business bottlenecks that may be caused by content that doesn’t perform or technical issues that affects the website’s performance. With the right tools, server logs can be analyzed regularly (daily, weekly or monthly) and a complete analysis can be conducted to extract vital insights that can be used to improve the website’s performance.

Facebook audience insights provides personal analytics

Facebook’s platform has data on individuals for over a decade. Their audience data allows marketers to understand the behaviors, traits and interests that they have online. Even with their messenger technology that scans the content of users’ messages or listens to their conversations, advertisers can then target the user with specific ads for the products or services that they have an interest in.

Facebook’s audience insights fill in the gaps and the data gathered from there can be used to find lookalike audiences on the platform or even off the platform. Data can be downloaded on customers and their interests can be segmented. This data will tell marketers exactly how their customers behave, where they hang out, the publications that they have an interest in and the events that they attend. The marketing targeting efforts can be granular, which will minimize budget waste and increase campaign ROI.

The great thing about these data sources are that they can be obtained freely. Google analytics, server log data and Facebook audience insights provide three different but very powerful ways to sharpen business intelligence. So, it is a matter of configuring a way to collect and analyze the data regularly to improve your website and business performance.

Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Email: ryankh14@icloud.com