Real-time analytics aren’t optional. Organizations that can’t deliver faster insights on streaming data will be left behind. – Forrester Research

In this dynamic digital world we live in, things seem to move at the speed of light, and we need to react accordingly. In the world of eCommerce, we need to be able to react as things happen, otherwise we’ll miss out on conversions, retaining customers, increasing loyalty, reducing churn and a slew of other goals. It only makes sense then, that our analytics should empower us to move at the speed we need to make things happen, so as to be proactive as can be.

We need to be able to ask questions of our data, no matter how simple or complex, and we need the answers in real time. The right real time analytics solution will provide you with a few ways to query data. Some use a user-friendly query builder. A querying language built for time-series analytics based on SQL will allow you get the most of out of your data. It would need to be a language that is less time intensive. Don’t forget you need FAST answers.

Questions you can ask of your data

Over a four hour period:

How many users clicked and shared that fresh piece of content you just posted?
Which piece of content has the most shares? What are the demographics of those users who shared that content?

What Facebook campaign has led to the most installs of your app?

The types of answers you receive in these real time reports are exactly what you need, and what you get when you utilize time-series behavioral analytics.

Customers are as unique as their buying journeys. They expect personalized engagement and digital commerce experience, requiring marketers to know who customers are and where they are in the buying journey. Marketers struggle to achieve this goal because customer behavior changes rapidly and spans channels and devices. – Gartner Research

A behavioral analytics solution can make it really easy to import all events from those channels, devices and other disparate sources (ie..Web, Mobile, CRM) into the platform. This lets marketers visualize all customer behavior as it is changing to see their complete journey. This way, marketers can see that Sally found a brand on Instagram in June, visited your blog in July, subscribed to it in August, downloaded an eBook in September, talked to a sales rep in October, etc.

Timeline to Success
When analyzing digital behavior, you want to see a timeline of user actions. When using time-series analysis, you are presented with a timeline of user actions that you’ve set up to track. You get a deep understanding of the user journey, an understanding that will give you the information required to figure out the why of user actions. Real-time reports are most effective when you want to get a timeline of user actions over a set time period of a day, hours or even minutes. This empowers marketers by providing instant insights into customer behavior which enables you to make immediate data-driven decisions.

Going Beyond the Traditional
In the digital publishing world, you need to go beyond static metrics provided by traditional analytics solutions, such as page views, time on page, bounce rate, etc. Marketers need to know how many users watched a particular video in its entirety in the past 4 hours? Which videos had the most likes and shares? Where did the content get liked and shared the most? Were the sharers freemium users or were they paid users over those 4 hours?

Getting a real-time report from a video publisher will show you how many users watched your video featured on the home screen in relation to the total users using the app over a period of 5 minutes. By harnessing real time insights, publishers can increase or decrease the ad spend for promoting a specific video, they can change the positioning of that video on the page or app screen, change copy, or change the video entirely.

The report above shows that there were 1.2-1.4 video starts per users over the last 3 hours. Now you are able to uncover the why for this 3 hour trend. It means that the related videos that were suggested in the app were successful in engaging users and the majority of users were spending more time watching videos than they originally came to watch. Why? You can deduce that the use of specific videos was able to cut through all the noise, and hold the user’s attention.

Let’s take an example from gaming. If you work in marketing at a gaming company, you know that you’re relatively obsessed with how many gamers read your last email and clicked on your CTA. C’mon. Admit it:) Now, what if you were able to go beyond traditional analytics and see in real time which users were installing an app, making deposits or upgrading from the freemium to the paid version over a set time period and which campaign was responsible.

The real time report shown below presents you with the number of clicks, comparing it to the numbers of app installs you realized over the past hour. Since there was an upswing in clicks at approximately 12:40 PM, and it was in line with the number of app installs, drilling down can show you deeper insights. You can see the path that users took before installing, the demographic of users and if they got to the app via a particular ad. That’s powerful. You can then segment those users but that’s a post for another time.

Marketers in Gaming want to see the immediate effectiveness of their ads. This way they can pause an ad campaign, put up a new one, monitor the one they have running and make any changes as necessary.

Down to the Granular
A behavioral analytics solution’s ability to store data over the past day, for example can present you with the most accurate, granular info on your customer’s behavior. Businesses presented with real time insights can realize greater product engagement, conversion, content effectiveness and virality.

A partner portal that facilities data collaboration via the embedding of real-time dashboards and data widgets for each of a digital marketing firm’s clients, can go a long way in providing an all encompassing real time view of what is happening and instantly share those insights with all stakeholders to take proactive measures.