What is Visual Analytics, and why you are looking at data the wrong way
Updated: May 7
The current landscape
There are so many different web analytics tools out there, all geared at helping you see the big picture to get the best out of your site. While some are great at crunching the numbers, they often lack the visual context of your website and how your data maps to it. Other tools are great at offering session replays that recreate individual customer experiences, but struggle to quantify behaviours for your whole audience. Visual analytics solves both by connecting the two together.
What is Visual Analytics?
Visual analytics combines the power of traditional web analytics, with the visual context and interactivity provided from session replay and heatmapping tools. This side by side with accurate and scalable metrics from your website, empowers your team to make data-driven decisions quicker. By joining together the quantitive and qualitative data, your key business metrics are embedded in your visual reports, which offers many benefits:
Your website reports are now both visual, and accurately quantifiable. Being able to see everything also makes it easy to share ideas and talk the same language throughout teams.
Everything is captured so all user experiences and metrics can be searched and recreated. You can also ask tailored questions and drill down on visual reports.
You can quickly and effectively recreate the exact issues that customers are facing.
Why you need Visual Analytics to better understand customers
The most important thing to ensure your website’s success is to combine both quantitive and qualitative measures seamlessly, so instead of spending hundreds of hours connecting the dots, you can now make critical decisions faster with more data.
Why you need Visual Analytics — your current tools
Traditional Web Analytics Web analytics is the collection, reporting and analysis of website data. These tools traditionally track what you’ve planned for, and identify changes in key metrics to help you understand your users and improve their overall experience. But they don’t have the scope to look beyond the things you haven’t planned for, and they don’t capture enough to show your website visually in front of you. Understanding your customers with these tools can sometimes feel like triangulating an answer from a trail of clues.
Session Replays and Heatmaps
Session replays are used to visually explore how users navigate your website, so you can improve their user experience and drive more conversions. The problem is, they only capture data for a handful of sampled users at a time, and often make you watch videos one by one. This makes it hard to connect what you can see your users experiencing, back to the quantifiable numbers tracked in your web analytics tool, or to ask more granular questions about your audiences.
AB Testing Tools
AB testing, also known as split testing, is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage against each other to determine which one performs better. If you are looking to improve your website, this is a great way to determine how successful your website updates are, but it doesn’t focus on helping you understand your users better. It can sometimes take a while to get useful results as well, depending on your traffic volumes and what you are choosing to test.
Surveys and Asking Customers While this may seem like a great solution with rich information, it comes with a lot of obvious holes. It is both a time consuming and expensive process that only examines what people think they do. People are generally poor at recognising factors that influence their behaviours, so their answers are generally not an accurate reflection of what happens in reality.
You shouldn’t have to go into your website with only one eye open. Whether you leverage Visual Analytics from multiple tools or a single tool like Insightech, it is a key component in combining both the quantitative and the qualitative to enable you to act faster, smarter, and with the full context of what your users are actually experiencing on your website.
Why you need Visual Analytics — What you could have
Capture all data: using our Capture Everything Code™, rather than providing just a small sample of your users, your tool should be able to look at your entire site and pinpoint even the smallest issues. This data should be provided in real-time so you can improve the user experience immediately and ensure no customers are lost in the process. Even a small problem can have a huge effect.
Dynamic visual reports: your reports should always be accurately shown and mapped to content, even when it’s dynamic. You should be able to match the numbers and visually see what your users are experiencing to understand any issues and fix them.
Unrestricted search: you should be able to freely search through your own website and data, so you can find issues quickly and with 100% success rate. Everything should be searchable, including images, messages or events from third party tools in your datalayer. Your tools should also be helping you search for problems you didn’t know existed.
Seamless sharing: The process of sharing insights and findings with your team should be seamless, and should only take you a few minutes. It should be as simple as creating a note to bookmark an insightful moment, that can be shared with a copy and paste of a direct link.
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