September 15, 2010 / by Carly Wilcox

I had the pleasure of attending the Web Analytics Association (WAA) Symposium this week and really enjoyed the wealth of information shared.  I didn’t start out my career thinking I would become  so involved with analyzing data,  but now it’s what I live and breathe daily.  I have been immersed in everything related to social media data for the past four years and it’s exciting to work with our partners on the integration of Web and social analytics.  The power of Web analytics technologies combined with social media data or Social Intelligence is opening up new insights which were never possible before.

Social Intelligence plays a huge role in understanding the attitudinal aspects of consumers.  Making sense of what people are saying, when they are saying it, and then using that information to inform business decisions is crucial to the online customer lifecycle.  When Social Intelligence is combined with Web analytics this gives you the power to holistically understand your customer in the online world. Yes, you know consumers who purchase from your site must like you, but what about you do they like?  Or when they don’t follow through to the purchase button, what behaviors are causing that?  Consumers are leaving their opinions everywhere, in greater quantities than in a traditional survey, and this combined with Web analytics such as traffic data creates a powerful story.  However, you need to make sense of that data to strategically grow your business.

This need to make sense of the data was a big theme at the WAA event – the data (as long as it’s reliable) is important, but the people (the analysts) helping understand the impacts of the data are really what matters.

As we find more and more ways to integrate Web analytics with Social Intelligence the need for the right team of people to evaluate trends and summarize actionable business insights becomes increasingly important.  The 360 degree view of a customer is critical to understanding your customer and providing a relevant and meaningful service.

I look forward to learning more from the WAA and would like to know your thoughts on whether you think online analytics will become an accepted term for the integration for Web analytics and social media data?

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