I recently went to a Business Plan competition being held by Chattanooga's Enterprise Center's Technology Transfer department. Among the competitors, there was a woman who was pitching a software that would hope to integrate all the city's different services, so that policy decisions could be based on real life data. Chattanooga is the country's only Gig city, where the whole city has been connected through fiber optics to give every home a 1 Gbps potential connection. Her idea was a brilliant idea, but a similar idea to saying, "I want to achieve the end of World hunger."
Nonetheless, an a much smaller scale, one should be looking for ways to bring data into a business in order to achieve data-driven decisions. I read this article on the 10 New Google Analytics Features You Need to Start Using. I discovered Google Analytics probably about 8 years ago, when we built a new website for Portantorchas, the Bible School I was directing in Costa Rica. I was amazed at the time that Google (known then mostly for their search mechanism) would offer me so much information about the visitors to my website for free. Since then, I have become an Analytics addict. I add Google Analytics to every website, every blog, every newsletter, every ad. I love the level of detail in Analytics that I receive and when evaluating that data right, I can make decision at a very micro level about how I should be marketing. Where are my visitors coming from? How many people went to the website after I added a blog post? What medium are the visitors using to read the website? How long did they stay? What pages did they look at? What did they have for dinner, prior to visiting my website?
Well, maybe that last one is still a level of detail that Google hasn't posted online.
Google is not alone offering analytical information. If you sign up for a email marketing company, you can probably receive significant analytical information. My own brother has started a business called AudiencePoint to draw analytic information to time-target marketing campaigns across multiple platforms. A pretty creative use of analytics.
My point is that the drawing of analytic information is a tool that you should be using to help improve the way that you are targeting your business or organization. If you are not using analytic information, you really need to begin