Data-Driven Strategy For Online Business – Overview

Guest Post: “Data-Driven Strategy For Online Business – Overview” 

“Data-Driven Strategy For Online Business – Overview” By Maaz Ahmed (maazahmedcs@gmail.com)

Everyone has a God-given right to be data driven, and with web analytics you can learn how to exercise that right

Hello readers! I am Maaz Ahmed. A former employee at MarketLytics in Karachi now moved to Bayreuth, Germany for advanced studies. Online businesses are growing frequently in Pakistan and competition is becoming tougher every day. Investors, entrepreneurs, startups and even big businesses are moving online in Pakistan at very fast pace. The offline world is not going anywhere, but the internet is becoming central to every aspect of our lives. Now there is all sort of businesses selling different stuff online.

This article is especially for people who owns or runs an online business in Pakistan and are not able to succeed. Don’t worry I have a tip. I know how online businesses win in the first world I have worked with the best. Let me show you how.

But first, let’s talk about the tale of mine. Professionally speaking, I grew up in the world of web development. I worked part-time as a web developer during my studies. During this period, I was very disappointed to see that we do not extract and transform loads of data that can easily be used to drive business decisions that can achieve business goals. But then I stepped into the sea of web analytics a whole new horizon opened to me. Thanks to the books of Avinashi Kaushik (Web Analytics 2.0), Eric Peterson(The Big Book of KPIs), Matt Bailey (Internet Marketing – An Honour a Day)  and Simo Ahava (www.simoahava.com).

So, what comes to mind when we hear about the word web analytics?  No, we don’t hear about it in Pakistan. You know why? Because we don’t practice Data Analysis in our online businesses. You know why? Because most of the online business efforts in Pakistan can be accurately classified as faith-based initiatives. And why not? That’s exactly how we make decisions for our offline efforts, and when we move online, we replicate those practices. But in outside world, they do not rely on faith alone.

In the modern world, the Online world is the most data-rich environment where data, math, and analysis is the foundation of business decisions. Business Managers use data to control the market effectively, to truly connect with their audiences, to improve the customer experience, to invest in resources and how to improve the return on investment, increasing revenue, or even winning elections. Everyone has a God-given right to be data-driven, and with web analytics, you can learn how to exercise that right.

Let’s just forget all the stuff I said above, how about we discuss the solution? The super trick first world businesses use to reach their customers online is that they use web analytics. Web analytics is the process of monitoring user activities on your website or mobile app. If you want to become successful online you should be data-driven. You must gain insights that help the business decisions that can be used to computerize and optimize business processes. Remember Data-driven companies treat their data as a corporate asset and uses its influence for a competitive advantage.

People of Pakistan! it does not matter if we live in Karachi, Berlin, Abu Dhabi, or New York, We have access to many free web analytics tools like google analytics. All you must do is install it correctly on your website or mobile app and then bam! You will have all the information that can be used to ensure online business decisions, from tactical to the strategic. Those decisions may range from, what content should go on which page, how to purchase the right set of keywords for search marketing campaigns, how to find the audience with the perfect demographic and psychographic profile for business and how to delight visitors when they get to our website.

But one thing to keep in mind is Web analytics is all about Data, a lot of data, yet still a very small number of insights. Yes, a very little insight. The online business has a simple lesson, there is a big amount of data, but with many fundamental barriers to take intelligent decisions. If a big circle is the amount of data we get, let just say through google analytics. Lots! lately, though, we realize that the zit at the bottom of the circle is the amount of insight we get. Why? Because almost circle is filled with user activity, some of it is competitive intelligence, customer experiences analysis, and very few insights. This realization feels like such a disappointment, especially for some business that has just started using web analytics.

But the trick to success is to focus on the “Critical Few”. Every successful web analysis of a business starts with a very simple question; “Why do we exist?”. In a world where we are blessed with more data than our requirement, it is often easy to skip past that question and just jump to the conclusions. After all, conclusions are so easy to make. The key to glory is to analyze those critical few, bold business decisions, then measure the success. The process starts with asking yourself three basic questions, what are the most important factors for your business success and What is the biggest threat to your existence, and how do you know whether it is already harming you? The answers lie somewhere in your web analytics data, just dig deep.

I hope you enjoyed reading the overiew of Data-Driven Strategy for Online Business. 🙂

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