Technological advances have fostered a desire, and in many cases, a need, for online business, information access, entertainment, and communication. People are now more interested than ever in capturing the various happenings of online space, but they are rarely equipped to do so. As such, web analytics must evolve to keep up with this challenge.
At its core, the issue of today’s web analytics lies in the following: We are transitioning from the information age to the age of acquisition. This means that information is available, but we still are tasked with locating that information and consuming it. There is a disparity in the ease of transmitting information and the ability of people sending and receiving it to truly understand or comprehend its value. To make this distinction clear, the factors needed to inform an owner of their digital space are available, but quickly accessing and understanding this data remains a challenge.
The big idea that I have, and that we as users of digital space truly need, is to create a toolset that will serve to consolidate and highlight analytics data from a variety of services. Consolidating data will allow for an objective, blanketed report as to the happenings of online space. Such a toolset could be of benefit to those that seek objectivity, ease of use, and efficiency in their digital insights.
In addition to the technical challenge of consolidation, pinpointing the appropriate metrics to showcase to end-users will be the focal point of this project. This belief stems from the following two-prong ideology: 1.) actionable metrics, or those values that can lead to influence, should be highlighted. 2.) vanity metrics, or those values devoid of influence, should be dismissed.
Identifying and evaluating each of these metric subsets (i.e. actionable vs. vanity) will require research. This research will need to take place both on the atomized and systemic level. In other words, each metric will need to be reviewed individually, as well as within the scope of a collective whole.
The long-term goal of this project is to provide greater scope and understanding to the evolving world of web analytics — most notably within the field of actionable metrics. As a whole, this project aims to explore the opportunities that web analytics, as an industry, has to empower end-users of varying technological proficiency to understand, improve, and ultimately maintain their own digital spaces.