Your web traffic – how to get started with Big Data

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Six months ago Neelie Kroes, the commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda in Europe, declared that Europe had entered the ‘era of Big Data’. There was a great deal of hype around Big Data, with some declaring it to be Europe’s ‘new oil’. Big Data is essentially the use of large data sets to generate business intelligence. As more services arrive allowing Big Data to be processed, many predict businesses will be using it more often. The truth is that many businesses are unlikely to see a big impact from Big Data, yet. A place to start though might be your company’s website: you should be tracking your website traffic using a reliable program, such as Google Analytics. This should give you a great data set to play with and use to modify your web practice. Take a look at this list as places to start:

1. Traffic timings: you should have a good idea of when people access your website. Most businesses will receive traffic during weekdays and lower rates at weekends, but this is by no means the case for all. Think about when you should post new content to your website in order for it to be seen by the most people.

2. Traffic location: are you reaching your full customer base? Most web statistics programs should give you the option to see where in the world your traffic is arriving from. Using this information should be quite easy. For example you may be able to target ads for a region that you currently don’t have online advertising in, based on the traffic data.

3. Are people visiting enough of your site? Often, people may look at a website for one thing and then leave the site. This is called a bounce. If one page has a high bounce rate you can see that people aren’t engaging with the rest of your site. Think about what’s on that page, additional content you could place and how easy it is to navigate your site.

As business analysis increases you will find more ways for Big Data to have an impact on your business. You will need to think carefully about how that data is stored and accessed. If you’ve been thinking about how Big Data could impact your business or even are just thinking about the best way to use web traffic data then why not leave a comment below?

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