Data, from acquisition to utilization, can be found everywhere around us. Information about our text messages and calls are stored in our phone provider’s database. Our Facebook interactions are used in studies evaluating human emotion and interaction. And we, ourselves, use software to track how many “likes” we received on our photos, how many visitors are coming to our website, and more. As time goes on, we will only continue to gain more and more access to data especially data involving our everyday interactions. To better understand certain features of data, we have compiled 10 common industry terms below.

1. Analytics

Analytics is a broad term used to describe the process of acquiring and analyzing sets of data. It is used to evaluate effectiveness, identify potential trends, and monitor changes for improvements or anomalies. It also commonly refers to the platform you are using to gather data (e.g. Google Analytics).

In digital marketing, a more specific form of analytics that is essential to tracking the success of a business’ online reputation is called website analytics. This involves gathering data such as types of visitors, where your visitors come from, how many visitors you are receiving, which pages they are clicking, and how long they are staying on your website.

2. Algorithm

An algorithm is a clear, logical set of rules usually performed by a computer in order to produce the desired result. For example, Google’s search algorithm involves hundreds of rules that are used to determine which websites will populate after a user performs a search. This algorithm involves rules that take into account keyword density, quantity of unique content, quantity of backlinks, and much more.

3. Big Data

Especially in recent years, the term “big data” has been thrown around so much so that it’s become a buzzword in the tech industry. Generally speaking, big data is used to describe the process of accumulating, analyzing, and monitoring extremely large amounts of data that are being generated at high speeds in a variety of formats. By finding patterns and trends, this can be used to predict human behavior and interactions. One example of big data application is with They must be able to process millions of back-end operations, support all sellers and customers, handle millions of searches for products, and interact with countless third-party sellers.

4. Data Integrity

Data integrity is the process of continuously maintaining the accuracy and validity of data. This involves correcting data errors, software bugs and glitches, and any other types of malfunctions that may arise in order to ensure that the end result is quality data. It is also important to make sure that the database you are using to store these findings have data encryption, a backup method to store copies of data, and access control to determine who can and cannot view and / or edit the files.

5. A/B Testing

A/B testing is a calculated and controlled experiment used to determine if Version A or Version B of a given product will produce better results based on data. For example, in website design, you can create two versions of the same website page to see which one will generate more customer conversions. This usually involves changing color scheme, page layout, advertisement placements, content placement, and images. By measuring visitor interaction, click-through rate, bounce rate, and more, you can determine which version of the page is more effective and therefore the one that you will be using from then on.

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Version A
Version A

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Version B
Version B


6. Real-Time Testing

right now 2Real-time testing is exactly what it sounds like: performing tests in real-time to ensure that everything is running smoothly and error-free. This is especially important for generating proper results when using software systems. A very simple example is when you are building a website for your business. Let’s say you want to implement a tracking code in order to gather data about how many visitors are finding your website and how they are interacting. In order to make sure you’ve implemented this code properly, what you can do is visit your website and click around. While staying on your website, open up the tracking software you are using and check to see that it is registering 1 visitor (that’s you!) to your website.

7. Acquisition Reports

Acquisition reports in website data refers to how visitors stumbled upon a website. Did they get there through a Google search? Typing the website URL directly into their browser? Some form of online advertising? This is all detailed through acquisition. This allows business owners to see which parts of their marketing campaign are successful and which parts need more work. For example, if you have a sizeable Google Adwords advertising budget, but you aren’t receiving a lot of visitors or conversions, you may want to revisit the keywords that you are targeting and / or adjust other features of your PPC campaign.

8. Referrer Spam

Referrer (or referral) spam is the tactic that spammers use to generate fake visits to your website. Their goal is to have their website URL show up in your website analytics so that you click back to their website. Additionally, some websites like to publish a list of their most recent referrers, and if they include the referrer spam on their list, that spammer gets a free backlink. This also means that even more users are susceptible to visiting that spammer’s website. If you are hit with referrer spam, make sure to remove it from your website analytics otherwise it will skew your visitor data. Below is an example of a list of referrer spam:


9. Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics, especially as it pertains to customers, is a measurement of how users participate with your business whether it’s on a website or social media platform. There is not a universal formula for determining engagement since it varies by platform, by what industry your business is in, how you convert customers, and more. For instance, common ways to measure social engagement on Facebook involves looking at Likes on your page, Likes on your posts, how often your page gains Followers, and how often your posts are shared. Then, you track these metrics over time to determine whether or not your social media campaign is engaging and therefore effective to users.

10. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit a website and then leave without clicking onto another page of that same website. For instance, if a customer landed on visited and exited without clicking to the Home page (or any other page), it would register as 1 “bounce”. Some people are concerned with having a high bounce rate, when in fact the average bounce rate for a website actually falls between 40% – 60%. Additionally, some bounces are not always a bad thing! Sometimes, it’s just due to the fact that your visitor found all the information they needed without having to navigate to another page.

Interested in broadening your vocabulary even further? Don’t forget to check out 15 SEO Terms Everyone Should Know and 6 Marketing Terms Every Business Owner Should Know.

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