Access to data is readily available now more than ever. Almost any activity that you engage in can be tracked. From social media usage to patterns in shopping habits, more companies are developing software to quantify human behavior. As a business owner, it’s important to start using these data tools yourself to make informed decisions for your brand. As the new year is approaching, here are a few data and analytics trends to look out for in 2015:

1. Mobile Data

Early on in 2014, Internet usage on mobile devices surpassed Internet usage on computers. More potential customers are searching on-the-go with the desire for instant results. So, not only is it important to look at website data as a whole, but it is imperative to look into how users are interacting with your website based on what device they are using. You want to make sure your website is responsive, easy to navigate, and displays information properly on mobile devices otherwise you risk a lower conversion rate. Additionally, it won’t come as a surprise if we start seeing Analytics software tracking even more mobile data such as visitor identification details and how often users view content below the fold.

2. E-commerce Data

Today, most customers research online before making a purchase. This involves looking through e-commerce websites to see if businesses sell the products that they want online. The ease and convenience of shopping with just one click of a button is becoming more and more common. As a business owner, if there are products that you can easily sell online, you will want to look into enabling that feature for your website if you have not already done so. Then, by using data platforms such as Google Analytics’ Enhanced E-Commerce, you can see data on every single product and purchase. This allows you to accurately judge which products are most popular, knowing which products need improvement, making adjustments to improve cart abandonment rate, and much more. By making calculated changes to your e-commerce website, you easily increase your return on investment.

3. Paid Advertising Data

Many platforms are implementing ways to allow business owners to engage in paid advertising online. Because a majority of people use search engines as well as social media to make decisions about their purchases, these platforms are starting to monetize certain features. These include Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, forms of remarketing, and much more. Not only is the space for first page organic rankings becoming more competitive, but the space for placing your advertisements are also becoming more competitive. Every click and / or view of your ad has a cost, and business owners will need to consider pay-per-click and general paid advertising budgets for the new year. By having your business shown twice on one page: one time in organic results and a second time in paid results, you increase the likelihood that a customer will visit your business. Additionally, paid advertising gives you access to another layer of data, allowing you to see what potential customers search for, which ads they click on, which keywords are more popular, and more!

4. Access to more data in general.

One common factor that we’ve seen in the aforementioned is that we are receiving more data in general. Every kind of interaction online is being tracked and analyzed in a much greater amount of detail than it ever was before. From customer click through patterns to organic search queries to mobile behavior, business owners will have access to more and more data as time goes on. Everything online is being developed at such a high rate that we will always need more data to keep up and make intelligent decisions for our online brands and businesses. In 2015, expect more detailed reporting and analysis from any and every online platform that you can interact with.

5. Learning human behavior through data.

Last but not least, data will be less and less about numbers and more and more about what it means for human behavior and decision making. Sure, you may be ranking on the first page of Google, but are you actually converting customers? Are people making purchases, calling your business and / or walking through your door? Where and when are they abandoning their online cart? Are you receiving more ROI via mobile or via desktop? How are you quantifying human interaction for your business? Learning how to look deeper through the data in order to see how it directly affects your business and your profits will become absolutely imperative.

2015 is just around the corner, and every business will be re-evaluating their spending efforts. It is important to consider how much you will be spending on data alone and what the estimated return will be from those spendings. Whether you are upgrading your website analytics solution or you are engaging in more paid advertising, make sure you are tracking and analyzing data properly. Stay ahead of your competition. Start the new year honing in on how the data you have available represents human behavior and how you can better influence it to create a more positive customer experience.

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