Behavioral Analytics Made Easy

If customers make or break a business, it comes as no surprise that the best businesses know their customers more intimately than most of us realize; sometimes, more intimately than customers know themselves.

Consider the Netflix hit show House of Cards. Netflix created it, at a $100M budget, without ever seeing a pilot. Yet the streaming service insists the move wasn’t a gamble. Why? Because Netflix knows their 100M+ worldwide streaming customers. From the types of shows and actors their customers tend to watch to the title colors that appeal to them. Netflix’s success inspires all businesses to take behavioral analytics seriously.

So what are behavioral analytics and how can companies make them an integral part of their business model? In a nutshell: behavioral analytics comes down to recognizing “how” users engage and interact with products, so that we can identify “why.” That level of understanding is the only way to truly optimize a product or service so that it can stand the test of time. The problem is, customers can be hard to understand.

Figuring Out Your Users

With much of the available analytics software, your view of the customer journey is limited. You can see app and mobile data, but what if you want to know the effectiveness of your email campaign or of your support center? To figure this out, you may have to wait days for a backlogged data scientist to complete your analysis request, missing out on a key window to act on the data and drive customers to your product.

Enter Indicative: the leader in behavioral analytics. Indicative enables business users—from the marketing team to the product team—to follow a customer through their entire journey, and allows for a level of flexibility and complexity not possible on other platforms. You can analyze customers’ behavioral touchpoints across web, mobile, email, customer support and much more. It takes away the grunt-work so that every member of your company can use data to drive decisions.

Getting the Right Data

But as you set up your platform, you may face another challenge: getting access to your data. Which is pretty important, because the best analytics platform in the world is only as good as the data that’s in it. So first, determine what problems you want to solve or business questions you want to answer. That way you have just enough data—not too much, or too little. Do you want to know, say, which Google Ads perform best in which location? Then you need the zip codes where you targeted ads, which ads you used and revenue generated in that zip code. Map out every question you want to answer and corresponding data sets. Plan out all your questions—and the data you need to answer every single one of them.

Then, after you’ve done the hard work to identify each data set you need, it’s time to address another challenge: fetching data to get to the tools you need. Not only do you have to write new integrations to send data to a single location, like a data warehouse, but you are also locked in. If you are tracking specific data with one tool and a new, better one comes out, it can mean rewriting a whole new integration. Often, important data is lost in the meantime. Which means experimenting with a new tool—to determine if it truly is better—is a major hassle.

To tackle these challenges though, there’s a simple solution. Combine your behavior analytics platform with a data engineering platform. In its simplest form, data engineering is putting data in motion. So fetch those scattered data sets and load them to your data warehouse automatically. All it takes is one snippet of code, and you can toggle current tools on and off or experiment with new ones anytime. The best part is, every team within your organization can use their own tools to get the data to meet their own KPIs. Everything is connected within one ecosystem through a platform like Astronomer.

The Winning Combo

Your customers are telling you what they’re looking for every day through the actions they take online. All it takes is the right tools to access that information so you can figure out which steps to take to meet customers’ needs. With Indicative, you can track individual customers across the entire user experience and also take a broader view of your users. Understand what ads work and why to eliminate excess spending and hone in on the most effective strategies. Indicative makes analytics easy and Astronomer routes your data there automatically. Between the two of them, you’re cued right up for insights.

To quote House of Cards protagonist Francis Underwood (who really stole this from Winston Churchill), “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” If you’re going to constantly improve your product or service—to the point of perfection—you have to be free to make changes as they’re demanded by your customers’ behavior. Get the data platforms you need in place, so you know what your customers are demanding and have plenty of energy to focus on doing it.

UPDATE: This was published was published before the news broke (and continued to break) about the actor who played Francis Underwood. Nothing in this post is intended to reference that person, but focus only on the data management by Netflix that resulted in a hit show and a well-suited quote one of the show's writers borrowed from Churchill for a fictional character.

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