These days, you don’t have to be an analyst to benefit from analytics software.
We’re living in an age of Big Data, where companies like Amazon use predictive models and dizzying amounts of statistics to target audiences with precise messaging. But these types of projects aren’t just the domain of enterprise companies – organizations of every size are using analytics to drive decision-making.
According to a 2015 IDG Enterprise survey, 80 percent of large companies and 63 percent of small and medium-sized businesses planned to launch data projects in the next 12 months, with the majority investing in data analytics. The reasons are clear: Data helps companies take the guesswork out of business decisions. Analytics enable you to:
- Track and predict user behavior
- Optimize sites and applications
- Determine pricing and inventory
- Weed out poorly performing content
As data analysis reaches into every aspect of business, many of the employees using these tools don’t fall into typical analyst roles. A quick look at G2 Crowd user data supports this: we more than 2000 user reviews of analytics products on our site – way more than the 246 G2 Crowd users who have “analyst” related job titles.
With today’s tools, everyone from PR gurus to call center employees can tap into the power of their data. Here’s a rundown of the best analytics software for each department.
The Department: Marketing
The Software: Digital Analytics
Has your conversion path taken a wrong turn? Digital analytics software can show you the way. These tools help you collect and analyze everything Internet-related, including site traffic, enter and exit pages, user activity and search engine keywords, and compare your stats with competitors. Depending on your needs, you can drill down into real-time usage, trends over time, or audience segment by geography or device. Since many products offer freemium pay models, you can afford to compare data in multiple platforms to ensure accuracy — and optimize your site accordingly.
The Department: Demand Generation
The Software: Lead Intelligence, Predictive Analytics
Who is your ideal client? What and when do they want to buy? Lead intelligence and predictive analytics software provide the answers to those questions. With lead intelligence tools, you can discover valuable data about your leads that may influence their purchases, such as the content they visit on your site, geographic location, gender, interests and social media profiles. Predictive analytics tools examine historical data to identify how likely it is that something will happen in the future. Based on your customers’ past behavior, you can figure out who’s more likely to buy which products and discover cross-selling opportunities.
The Department: Outbound Marketing
The Software: Call Tracking
Calls to businesses from smartphones will reach 162 billion annually by 2019, according to BIA/Kelsey. With call tracking software, you can track those offline touchpoints as easily as online ones. These tools attribute calls to their sources and can integrate with your marketing or CRM software, so you know exactly where a phone call fits in to your customer’s path to purchase. Some versions offer conversational analytics, which you can use to tailor marketing messages to your prospects or assess the effectiveness of your sales team.
The Department: Operations
The Software: Analytics and Forecasting
How much should you charge for your new product? What’s your most profitable sales channel? Invest in analytics and forecasting tools and find out. With business intelligence software, you can monitor metrics that matter to your business, gain insight into your bottom line, and make more informed decisions about inventory and pricing. Automated reporting frees you up to focus on other tasks, and mobile capabilities put answers at your fingertips when you’re on the go.
The Department: Social Media Marketing
The Software: Social Media Analytics
Uncover everything from the reach of your last tweet to your biggest Facebook influencers with social analytics software. These tools give you the scoop on clicks, reach and engagement across your social media accounts and provide detailed demographics info. With the ability to view post performance individually or in aggregate, you can pinpoint your best content. Many analytics tools come as part of a larger social media suite so you can manage related tasks like posting, listening and customer service in one fell swoop.
The Department: Public Relations
The Software: PR Analytics
Where did your last pitch get picked up? Don’t let that Financial Times mention come as a surprise – track your public relations efforts and shape future strategies with PR analytics software. Get insight into sentiment, geographic penetration, pull-through of your key messages, social media mentions, and coverage compared with your competitors or the overall industry. These platforms also enable you to monitor real-time coverage, determine which keywords are most effective in your releases, and source viable media contacts. Some versions come with integrated press release platforms for easy one-stop pitching.
The Department: Software Development
The Software: Mobile App Analytics
If you think you’ve developed the next Uber, mobile app analytics can show you what’s working and what’s not. These tools track user activity across the spectrum, from initial download to in-app conversions, and provide data on exit pages, session length, logins across multiple devices and more. Segment your audience by location, gender or other factors, and perform A/B testing to find out what resonates most with users. Some mobile app analytics products also offer testers for your apps so you can spend more time on development and less time on quality assurance.
Data is here to stay, so make the most of it. It doesn’t take an MBA to crack the analytics code, and the benefits are big: more insight into customer behavior, greater confidence in day-to-day decisions and a better grasp on what the future may hold. With the proliferation of analytics tools in the marketplace, there’s a solution for everyone. Check out G2 Crowd’s analytics product reviews for more ideas on how to decode your data.