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Analytics reporting has experienced phenomenal growth in the past few years and is forecast to continue to grow well into the future. The primary purpose of this type of reporting is to combine metrics of user activity with focused, useful reports that can inform business decision makers. There are many software tools and programs available that provide this type of information to users. However, it is important to note that many of these tools are very complex and require skilled, specially trained staff to install and operate.
There are three methods of analytics reporting: web-based, transactional, and statistical. The correct method of analytics reporting depends on the data source and the desired output. It is important to note that most analytics reporting tools can be used with all three methods. However, some customization may be required to accommodate specific types of web-based analysis, such as tracking user activity.
Web-based analytics can be divided into two groups: general and web site specific. General analytics are used to define the overall activity of the Internet, a detailed analysis of website activity, and the overall trends by country. This information provides a great background for all web initiatives and should be updated on a regular basis.
Site specific analytics reporting includes the number of visitors, length of time on the site, pages visiting, activity, likelihood of return, and use of communication tools. This type of analysis is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of the website and to encourage users to shift to online tools. The combination of both types of web-based analytics provides benchmarks and metrics to accurately measure the benefit of the website to the firm's overall profitability.
Transactional analytics reporting is typically used in situations where there is a large volume of data. The potential applications range from scientific projects to customer relationship management databases. The types of reports and queries created varies greatly, depending on the discipline and areas of focus.
Statistical analytics reporting also requires large volumes of data over a period of time. The data should be recorded in a systematic way, so that the data quality is consistently high. This type of analysis is usually conducted by people with extensive training and background in statistics. The primary benefit of this type of analysis is to identify patterns, as well as measure the impact of business decisions. Carefully created queries can provide impartial data to help business managers make better quality decisions.
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