Wave goodbye to the analytics tools of the past

25 Aug 2016 | By Adam Walhout

 

 

To be successful in the years ahead, publishers have to start using data to their advantage and the right analytics and data management systems are key.

However, many publishers are unaware of how beneficial analytics can be to their bottom line and how many of the tools on the market have become outdated. By switching from a traditional analytics system to a tool called Cxense Insight, a major European news site increased click-through rates on their front page from 40-60 per cent – something that more publishers could benefit from.

 

“Real-time” doesn’t always mean real-time

A number of publishers are accustomed to old-fashioned tools that provide indications based on sample data. Many also accept it when vendors say “real-time,” but mean “in a few minutes or hours”.

While publishers should expect better and be driving the demand to get more from the tools they use to understand their audience data, technology is not always a publishers’ key focus. While media companies have focused on the business of creating content at an ever-increasing pace, leading technology solutions have rapidly moved beyond extracting generic traffic analysis. More sophisticated systems now exist that take the guesswork out of data to provide real-time insight into user behavior. The era of the true “insight solution” has arrived.

 

A modern analytics solution

What are key attributes publishers should look for in a modern analytics solution?

Real-time action: Real-time data analysis and real-time adaptation are essential for publishers aiming to deliver relevant and contextually appropriate content.

All devices: Users are equally comfortable using their mobile and desktop devices and expect their content experiences to follow them no matter the platform they use. A true insight solution needs to track action across devices – mobile sites, mobile apps, tablets as well as desktop.

Measure engagement and loyalty, not just pageviews and clicks: Time on site, time spent per article, repeat visits per month – these all deserve attention.

Analysis of content and audience: The leading tools analyse every page on a website and use sophisticated techniques to understand the meaning of the articles and the key terms within it. That means being able to analyse both structured and unstructured data.

Every event: Every event should be tracked to get the big picture and go beyond unrepresentative sample data.

Social media: Find out which content works on social media and promote it

It’s no secret that in-depth contextual understanding, real-time analysis and speed are crucial to achieving the publishers’ trifecta: audience engagement, loyalty and profits. The secret to winning all three is in-depth information turned into actionable insight.

 

Big data is complex, but analytics tools don’t have to be

Publishers can be forgiven for wanting to stick with analytics solutions they know and have relied on in the past. Big data is complex – and untangling it to gain easy-to-act-on information sounds like a huge project and thus often gets pushed back by other “more urgent” projects. But while most analytics tools have not kept up with the need of today’s consumers in the digital world, insight-oriented solutions exist. Cxense Insight specialises in breaking down data and serving up immediate, easily implementable, real-time actions to improve a publisher’s business. The process behind the scenes is still complex – there is a lot of data to manage but with an easy to use, intuitive interface using it is not complex.

 

 

For most publishers, making the change to Cxense Insight is an eye-opener: “We realized there was a need for much more in-depth information from our analytics systems. When the analytics system at that time was unable to provide this, we turned to Cxense. We can now collect and understand much more of the information gathered, and more importantly, act upon it instantly. This is something we have only found with Cxense,” says Bård Espen Hansen, Editorial Manager at TV2 Norway.

The system is also easy to set up and start using, no teams of data scientists are needed to get started with collecting data and using the customizable dashboards to understand it.

Adopting real-time, real-life insight, publishers can make their data work smarter, not harder.