Getting a high return on investment (ROI) from analytics can sometimes be a challenge: it can be hard to determine what to apply analytics to, what tools to use, and how broadly to integrate them into your organization. However, there are a few vital steps that companies can take to make analytics integration seamless, maximize their analytics ROI, and ensure long-term success with their chosen analytics tools:
- Plan ahead: Companies should have short-term and long-term plans for the integration and use of analytics within their business operations. Companies should determine how they want to fit analytics into their existing operations, and how they will integrate it further in the future as their businesses go through changes. Companies should consider overall efficiency and effectiveness: how will the use of analytics revolutionize their business practices, and how does the business plan to effectively reach the anticipated ROI? What will be most effective to track and measure, and how will analytics enhance the business’s potential for success? These plans should also ideally include the projected costs of analytics and comprehensive budgets to avoid overspending on unnecessary ROI depends largely on a company’s ability to successfully and effectively plan and implement analytics tools.
- Integrate analytics on a wide scale: Integrating analytics throughout the entire organization and familiarizing all employees with analytics will allow the organization to run more efficiently and will ensure maximum utilization of analytics, analytical reports, and analytics tools. Employees will be reluctant to use analytics tools that are not user-friendly or that introduce significant complications to their every-day tasks and projects; therefore, analytics tools should ideally be integrated into the established workflow, and employees must be properly trained on the use of these tools for an organization to fully reap their benefits.
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- Communicate: Companies should not rely strictly on analytical reports and statistics; they should also keep an open line of communication with analysts who can provide greater insights on the data gathered. They should actively work cooperatively or in partnership with analysts and analytics departments to allow for better decision-making and insightfulness.
- Make informed decisions quickly: Companies should utilize the insights and reports they get from analytics tools in a timely fashion. Though it is tempting to fill as many informational gaps as possible by collecting more information before acting, companies must be able to make fast and informed decisions based on the information they have at hand rather than accumulating more—often unnecessary—data. This can be made easier by including actionable items on each analytical report generated and including actionable items in long-term analytics plans. Companies should also set boundaries on data collection and put a limit on the duration of data collection.
- Measure what matters: If measuring the number of Facebook likes your company’s page gets is not essential to its success, don’t do it. ‘Vanity analytics’ and focusing purely on social analytics can distract from established goals and real progress, and often focus on things that do not directly correlate to increased customer retention, customer satisfaction, or revenue. Companies should instead focus on engagement, especially when it comes to marketing analytics: look at how people engage with your company and its online presence instead of how many likes or retweets you get to determine how to attract and retain customers.