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2014 – The year of analytics

But, how many brands invest heavily into online assets, yet fail to reap great returns from these investments as they don’t monitor or understand the customer experience?

2014 will be the time that insight led analytics truly takes off, providing brands with all the information they need to improve experiences across multiple channels and platforms, and helping data overloaded marketing managers and web analysts to better understand how to make improvements, rather than just how many visitors are reaching which pages. We see three big trends for 2014 – 1) a shift from demand for analytics to insight, 2) increasing appetite for visual dashboards and 3) a better understanding of user experience, driven by advanced heatmaps.

Analytics or Insight?

There has long been confusion in the marketplace between analytics and insight. Analytics monitors performance, whereas insight allows you to improve performance. We’re seeing a growing trend of major organisations coming to us to help them address data overload. They have too much information available from analytics, but the platforms they are using offer no actual insight, just historic data. A shift to desire for insight rather than traditional analytics is the biggest trend for 2014 and sophisticated heatmaps are making visual platforms much more desirable than flatter reporting tools.

Visual dashboards

Consumerisation of IT is leading to a major shift towards demand for interfaces that are much more visual, with simplified dashboards and at a glance insights. Big data on its own can be confusing and even daunting, so the biggest opportunity is for platforms which simplify data to make patterns and trends much easier to spot, then ultimately advise the user on what they need to do next.

Advanced heatmaps

Another big area of growth for analytics in the actual analysis and insight into user experiences. Attention maps, which show where people are looking, teamed up with scroll maps that illustrate how much of the page is being viewed, can help brands to identify which pieces of content are most influential, and map these against which parts of the page will be seen the most. These, added to object and click maps showing gaps in the webpage allow content owners to ensure that user needs are being well served. One example of this is when a visitor regularly clicks on the contact us link from the contact us page – this indicates that the information already there isn’t meeting the website visitor’s needs. In support of this, InformationWeek reports that 44% of readers say predicting customer behaviour is the biggest factor driving interest in big data -

2014 is the year marketers need to innovate, to use technology to automate and deliver better customer experiences, but also better returns. And we can’t wait to help them.