People have a very narrow view of web analytics. “That’s where they measure the clickthroughs and pageviews, right?”
But that definition is about reporting. Reporting is all about setting up specific KPIs (key performance indicators) and then glancing at the results every now and then.
Analytics is about curiosity. (Great article about this by Neil Mason over at ClickZ.) It’s about optimization. At the moment, it’s about website optimization. But that’s changing.
Some companies see the Internet as their main way to communicate with their customers. They are looking at these numbers as a means to optimize all of their marketing. And then all of their customer communications. And then their business as a whole.
What do our customers want? What interests them? What shall we build for them? Where do they want it? These are the sort of questions that web analytics can deliver.
If you stop thinking about it in terms of pages and clicks, and start thinking about it in terms of revealing human behavior, then web analytics is an interesting and vital datastream into all of your customer analytics and business intelligence.