Chaos theory is the science of making sense of non-linear and supposedly unpredictable events. It could also be described as the experience of forecasting digital marketing performance across several channels and over different time frames. Generally not an easy task, but of course an essential part of the service we make every effort to offer clients everyday (though we have no illusions of being as smooth as Dr. Ian Malcolm here.)
When you’re trying to work out how your paid search pie will react to a generous serving of programmatic display, a couple of teaspoons of social and a pinch of CRO it helps to look back before looking forward. This can be significantly easier said than done when you consider the vast array of channels and publishers that come together to make up a campaign, particular one that combines digital elements with above the line.
This brings me to the first major benefit of iAnalyse, its ability to work across channels. It is already equipped to plug straight into most major publishers through API connections, allowing automatic real-time updates on campaign performance. For example, we can easily plug the likes of DoubleClick, Facebook Ads System, Omniture, YouTube, AppNexux and Atlas into the platform and immediately start tracking performance, comparing the metrics and gleaning actionable insights from that data. For those sources that aren’t tracked in a way that can be plugged into right away we can create custom feeds for call centre sales or for example above the line spends and ratings.
Flexibility is an increasingly important feature of any reporting platform and iAnalyse delivers in spades. Before even thinking about how you want to visualise your data you need to make sure it’s in the form that you need for reporting purposes. With iAnalyse, the interface offers you a friendly process for mapping different channel metrics into a standard format or to create filtered and calculated measurements to suit your purposes.
As nice as it is to be able to connect each channel and know that the data is feeding into one place, it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t see it. That’s where the over 60 dashboard visualisations come in real handy. We call them widgets and each widget is a way for you to view the data you have feeding into the platform. All the basics are covered, bar charts and trend graphs, which serve an important purpose but we’ve also got some alternative visualisations like heat map tables, radar charts, bubble charts and sparklines, all of which we use sparingly but which do offer breadth and depth in how we can view data for the ultimate purpose of improving performance.
Reporting is another important part of managing any account and again we have myriad options for doing so through iAnalyse. With the fact that the tool updates on an on-going basis, the reporting process can be automated and we can create daily cross-channel reports with as much (or as little) detail either as Excel files or PDFs that include all our graphs and widgets, containing all the latest performance numbers. Furthermore, we can set out our KPIs and create automatically updating scorecards that show us how we are progressing against target on an ongoing basis.
From personal experience, the only drawback of iAnalyse is that anyone using it can get lost in the sheer volume of data and end up creating difficult-to-read dashboards that contain too many data points (there is a limit, although it becomes way too busy before that limit is threatened). That’s why it’s important to consider exactly what you what to see and how you want to see it before getting stuck in and “playing around”. That approach is more than likely going to end up with you getting totally bogged down!
If you’d like to find out more about iAnalyse you can reach out to me directly or indeed to the team here at iP Dublin.