How to Measure the ‘WHY’ Behind User Behavior?

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In our data-obsessed world, collecting user data is easier than ever before. Analyzing it and sifting through it to find valuable insights, however, still presents a huge challenge for businesses.

Tracking the success of your website or mobile app has not only become necessary, but crucial as well. Traditional analytics focus on measuring key metrics and quantitative data, such as users’ activity over time, the devices and OS being used, how much time they spend on each screen/page, and their geographic location. These tools crunch numbers and help business owners understand “what” users are doing on their site. But is that enough?

Large numbers of analytics products have emerged to ingest and process information about customer activity on a website, in a mobile application, their clicks on advertisements as examples. These solutions are useful, but they require a lot of time to manage and they only provide a glimpse of customer activity that occurred in the past. Also, analyzing user engagement doesn’t just start and end with the average time on site, page view count or bounce rate. To truly deep dive and understand how users engage with your content and site, you need to analyze the raw data of all user actions over time.

Time to ditch Traditional KPIs

While data about article page views, daily active users, or average time on a page still matter, these are just snapshots of the user journey. In order to understand how and why users act the way they do, and not just what they do, you need to move beyond traditional KPIs to time-series analytics.

But in order to figure out why specific actions were performed by your users, you have to deep-dive into the user experience and qualitative data by using behavioral analytics.  Such analytics tools help you understand precisely what it is that works and what does not work – for users. Thus, it will streamline your app/website optimization process.

How Behavioral Analytics can change the game

Many startups fail due to not retain its users. Many analytics solutions provide you event-based analytics, but none of them analyze your user’s best purchase time or best re-engagement time in the app. This will directly affect your app’s zero-to-hero moments. If you do not achieve to retain your users, your app probably will not retain alive. So re-engagement and retention have a critical role in here.

Behavioral analytics is a recent advancement in business analytics that reveals new insights into the behavior of consumers on eCommerce platforms, online games, web and mobile applications, and IoT.

“Business used to primarily rely on websites to transact business, but today, they have entry points and exposures to their digital business everywhere,” says Dan Schoenbaum, CEO of Cooladata, a leading business intelligence, and behavioral analytics platform. “Businesses advertise online, on Facebook, LinkedIn, they purchase Google Adwords, send emails, have mobile applications. All of these channels are for engaging customers, but it is difficult to measure how successful they are. Behavioral analytics allow companies to measure and adjust their strategy based on the real-time analysis, behavioral analytics, and insights we provide.”

In Behavior Analytics, every minute counts!

The first step to analyze engagement and build behavioral profiles is identifying your users, unifying their multiple identities and analyzing their behavior over the entire user journey to understand why they are exhibiting this behavior. This will help you develop the behavioral profiles that provide the basis for all future data-driven acquisitions and marketing activity.

Especially when you are a marketer and your campaign is time-sensitive. Publishers have to constantly monitor their content and its virality. Behavior analytics tool can help you have a close eye to what happened with your content over time. You will get answers to more complex questions than just page views and shares. Questions like How many videos were played in the last two hours? Did paid or free subscribers share the content within the specified time frame? And on which channels did viewers prefer to view and share the content? If you understand these complexed analytics, your next campaign will surely hit the nail!


“I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted … I just don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker, pioneer of the concept of the department store. Having said that, one of the best ways to have a competitive edge is by understanding the WHY behind your user behavior. Traditional analytics can give you some insights but they are just the top of an iceberg. To understand and dive deeply, you’ll have to understand the vital insights into your customer behavior over time through behavior analytics.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

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