Analytics & Digital Marketing Tips
If you don’t have clickstream data, you can’t analyze the detailed path/interaction sequences that users take on your website. This dramatically limits your ability to mine insights from your digital analytics data, and create true competitive advantage.
For most organizations, data is still in the guarded hands of web analytics vendors since access hasn’t been paid for, or steps haven’t been taken to extract the data. As human and computational resources are becoming more accessible and cheaper than ever, now is the time to leverage this raw data.
Good news! We are going to elaborate on why and how you can take back the ownership of your clickstream data.
Essential business questions like these can’t be answered effectively by common web analytics tools:
If you’re interested to answer these questions, you must have clickstream data.
Every time a user sees a webpage or takes an action that is being tracked on a website, a “hit” is recorded. A hit is simply a row of data which contains rich information about the hit and the visitor. A typical hit can include dimensions such as: date, time, user ID, browser, operating system, country, city, requestedURL, hostname, etc.
Clickstream data is composed of thousands, millions or even billions of hits that tell the story of how, who, and what visitors are doing on your website. This is what web analytics vendors use to provide you statistics about your website. However, the way vendor tools process and interpret this data (i.e. group/aggregate) reduces the analysis value it can provide.
We are in a booming cloud computing age:
Data is an extremely valuable asset. It can be used to gain competitive advantage, and the valuation of many popular companies is almost entirely based on the data they are collecting. If data is so valuable, why don’t you own ALL your data?
Many of the paid web analytics vendors provide this granular clickstream data (e.g. Google Analytics Premium via BigQuery, Adobe Analytics via Data Feeds, etc.) and it’s up to you to extract it.
Until you extract this clickstream data and use a more advanced analysis tool, you will be stuck answering only basic questions. Free your digital analytics data, to help you answer the questions that matter to your business.
If you are a Google Analytics Premium client, you can enable the Google BigQuery integration which will make the clickstream data available to you on a daily basis.
If you use Google Analytics Standard (free version), Google will not be providing you access to the clickstream data. You can query the API for certain data, but it is summarized and processed data. Fear not though; you are not stuck! One solution to get ownership of your Google Analytics Standard clickstream data is to use Blast’s Clickstreamr product which captures a copy of the same data that is sent to Google Analytics.
If you use Adobe Analytics, you can have your clickstream data delivered daily via FTP in multiple zipped files.
If you use Snowplow Analytics, you already own your clickstream data. This sophisticated event analytics platform leverages Amazon Web Services to scale. Data is stored your database (e.g. Hive, Spark, Redshift or PostgreSQL), and can be analyzed with advanced analysis tools (e.g. R, Python and SAS), and popular business intelligence tools like Tableau. Besides natively owning your data, Snowplow is differentiated by offering real-time clickstream analysis to facilitate data-driven applications or empower immediate decision making.
Owning your clickstream data has never been so easy and affordable! Some of the most popular applications of this data include:
Having a solid web analytics implementation with summarized data can bring value to organizations, but as your analytics maturity evolves you’ll find that highly granular, user-level data will allow you to answer far deeper and more valuable business questions.
Stop waiting for your analytics tool to build a feature to answer your business questions. Move into the limitless world of clickstream data analysis!
Follow our blog to continue the journey into clickstream data analysis! More posts coming soon.
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