Understanding The Differences Between Data, Analytics, And Insights

Data and analytics build off each other to help you find a deep understanding of your audience. Insights provide essential wisdom about your users and reveal actions you can take to better your business. But insights cannot be obtained without analytics and analytics are useless without data.

So think of data, analytics, and insights as leaves on the same tree.

First, you’ll collect data. Data is the information you obtain from your audience or users such as demographic information, behavior, and activity. With so many ways to connect to and access the internet and social media, data collection and storage has become big business. Big data is the new norm as organizations collect user data across a multitude of channels. 

Next, you’ll apply analytics to the data collected. Analytics is the discovery of patterns and trends gleaned from all of this data. There is massive value buried in your data sets but data is more or less useless without analytics, it’s analytics that makes sense of your data by uncovering meaningful trends.

For instance, your data might tell you that you sent 12,000 emails last month. The data alone doesn’t give you much insight. But analytics could show that you sent 3 messages per user, with an average open rate of 26.2%. Now you can see your data beginning to work for you.

Finally, you’ll interpret the insights. Insights are the value you obtain through the use of analytics–they are the knowledge you gain through the processing of your data. Insights can be incredibly powerful and can be used to grow your audience and identify areas of opportunity.

As a continuing example, you might be able to see from your click-through rate of 26.2%, that you sold product to 13% of those viewers. Now you know that your email campaign was effective and you can continue to test variations and optimize it to boost purchases even further.


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