Why Data Visualization Is Important for Digital Marketing
Data collection has become a popular endeavour for many companies in the past decade. With companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon using data as the backbone to drive revenue, improve their services, and inform business decisions like billion-dollar acquisitions, it is no longer a secret that data collection is not only important but necessary for any business.
However, while many companies have recognized the importance of data collection and are collecting hundreds of thousands of data points in platforms like Google Analytics and HubSpot, the next big hurdle is visualizing that data into something that is easily understood and useful.
In the following article, we will explain why data visualization is important, how you can start using data to drive your business and digital marketing decisions, and how data visualization can improve the performance of your clients’ digital marketing.
What is Data Visualization
By its nature, data is unrefined, bulky, and rarely in a format to easily pull insights and identify opportunities. Data visualization is the process of taking that raw data and transforming it into something that is more easily understood.
Humans are not good at processing large amounts of raw data. If you looked at an Excel sheet with columns of metrics and dimensions and a thousand rows, would you be able to easily identify the trends? Probably not.
Now, take that Excel document and import it into a data visualization software, like Google Data Studio, and turn it into a graph. All of a sudden, a thousand rows get drilled down to a single graph that visualizes the raw data, which can help you identify the trends and insights.
And in the digital marketing space, as businesses collect more and more data from platforms like Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, HubSpot, Moz, SEMRush, and more, there is a need to visualize that data and turn it into actionable insights.
Just look at the graph of Google Trends data for the keywords “digital marketing” and “data visualization” and see how they have reported a steady increase in popularity since 2004.
Popularity of Data Visualization.
Now, this graph doesn’t mean that digital marketing was the sole factor in causing data visualization to increase in popularity, but the two are certainly correlated. And it makes sense.
As we collect more data through our digital marketing efforts, we need to visualize that data to better understand it. At its core, data visualization is making vast amounts of data easy to understand.
Why is Data Visualization Important
Data visualization is important in all industries that can benefit from data collection and analysis, but it is especially important in digital marketing to ensure your marketing dollars are being spent effectively.
Collecting data is only one part of the equation. If you’re not taking action on those data points, what good are they? It’s the equivalent of creating a strong digital strategy and throwing it on the shelf to collect dust.
Out of the box, digital marketing platforms like Google Analytics and HubSpot collect a mountain of valuable data. And if you tie in your CRM or add custom events using platforms like Google Tag Manager, the amount of data steadily increases.
Data visualization is important for a number of reasons, but most importantly it transforms all that raw data you’ve been collecting into something useful and actionable. After all, if you’re not using your data to improve your campaigns or identify opportunities, what good is it?
The best way to make your data actionable is to ask questions of it. And to get the answers quickly and effectively, you must visualize the answers to those questions.
When it comes to digital marketing, here are just a few of the questions you can answer:
Is my website traffic trending up or down?
What are my top landing pages by conversion rate?
What directories on our site get the most traffic?
Are users who utilize our interactive content more likely to convert?
Are we ranking for more keywords than we were last year?
All of those questions can be answered by digging through your raw data in the respective platforms or Excel files, but it might take you some time to grab the answers, especially if you have to do that each month. And sometimes the data isn’t available in the standard platform metrics.
The better way to get the answers to those questions is through visualization. And the best part is that you only need to do it once and you can go back to your reporting dashboard to review performance each month.
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Adapted from Stephen Roda – https://www.investisdigital.com/