What tracking myths do business owners falsely believe when they are setting up analytics?
Misconceptions about your tracking system can be huge obstacles when you’re setting up analytics! These become the reason for slow progress in your tracking, sometimes resulting in a warped view of your business and poor marketing decisions.
So what do you need to know (or unlearn) about tracking to make the most of your analytics?
In this guide, we’ll debunk the three most common tracking myths that many people believe:
Let’s dive in!
Web Analytics Is Free
But is analytics really free?
While analytics tools are free, you need to invest time and resources to collect reliable data.
If you’re doing analytics on your own, you’ve probably already spent significant time and possibly money just to learn how to get started. And if you don’t manage your web analytics on your own, you’ll have to hire someone else to do it.
Once you understand how your tools work and get an overview of the tracking process, you’ll still need to put in a significant amount of resources in order to get the most out of it.
Firstly, you’ll need the correct data that is relevant to your business. You then need proper insights and analysis of that data. These can take time and money on their own.
This data will give you an idea about any changes that may be needed in your business. And once you know the right path, then comes the implementation.
To do this, you’ll need a proficient person who knows how to collect clean and accurate data for your business. You’ll also need someone who can analyze this data, lobby for the changes required, and make the change happen.
So you’ve already invested your time, money and resources just to get started. And as the scope of analytics increases, this investment will only go up!
It is safe to say that analytics isn’t free. Analytics tools can be free, but analytics is much more than the tool.
This takes us to our next misconception.
The Tool Does All the Work
A lot of marketers are guilty of believing that their tool does all the work for them.
Your analytics tool is a great starting point for collecting data, but meaningful analysis and presentation is up to you!
The tool surely gives you the capability to measure the right data and makes that data accessible. But it can’t analyze and present that data. You’ll need some resources to do that for you.
This also holds true for small tools that are capable of gathering some awesome data for you.
Even for those tools, you’ll need someone to set up the tool, visualise and analyze the data, and come up with effective solutions to change the course of action.
In some cases, you can automate some of the functionalities of the tool. New AI features will even generate some basic insights and highlight certain trends for you!
But it can’t replace the person in front of the computer who makes sense of crucial information and then packages it for the business owner. The human analyst is still more reliable for nuanced, critical analysis that will help an online business flourish.
In the end, tools and analysts go hand-in-hand to make the most out of the analytics setup.
My Data Will Always Be Accurate
Lastly, there is a prevalent fixation with accuracy in the analytics industry. But what are we really expecting when we’re looking for “accurate” data?
You can collect great and useful data, but it won’t necessarily be 100% accurate.
To understand this, let’s first consider how the data is collected.
Google Analytics then uses its own methods to process this data and present it to you on the interface.
This data is highly processed and has undergone some rule engines. It is shown to you in a different, somewhat biased view. So it is difficult to define “accurate” when we don’t have the ground rules written anywhere.
This is the reason that developers find that the data in an analytics tool is often different from the data in the back-end.
Our aim here should be to look at the trend analysis instead of obsessing over the accuracy of data. (And it’s always a good idea to factor in a margin of error!)
Thus, analytics is not 100% accurate. Rather, it is highly contextual to the environment and to the tool that you’re using.
That’s it! These are the tracking myths that are generally believed by the new marketers/business owners—but now that you know the truth, you’re prepared to be a more effective analyst and marketer!
But bear in mind, analytics does require due diligence before starting out and it requires dedicated efforts as the scope grows. Also, remember that striving for accuracy is a never-ending pursuit! The goal of analytics should be to analyze trends and implement the changes accordingly.
If you’re a new marketer, we have a guide on habits for a data-driven marketer to help you get started.
What other tracking myths have you heard of? Do you have any Mythbusters for us? Let us know in the comments below!