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Homing in on analytics insight – the fun begins!

Published: Thursday, 04 August 2016 by Katharine Hulls, VP Marketing

Well, it was another rainy day in west London, but my colleague and I were still excitedly looking forward to a really interesting hour ahead.  Having heard that the Celebrus data had been successfully loaded into ThoughtSpot, it was time to see a live demo with our data in it.

We went through a website redesign several months ago – a never-ending process nowadays I know but this was a periodic major review of our website’s objectives, purpose etc. – and we had been frustrated by not being able to access the insight locked within the highly-granular Celebrus website data that we had been collecting.  Whilst we could get lots of typical web analytics reports from our other tool, we knew that Celebrus data could give us much deeper and more valuable intelligence, such as how customer journeys vary by job function or how often an individual visits the site over a certain time period.  However, without a data analytics technology to help us explore that data, we were left relying on the other aggregated data source to make the best decisions we could.

That’s why we were so looking forward to seeing our data in ThoughtSpot…and we were not disappointed.  Firstly the interface looked really intuitive when ThoughtSpot’s pre-sales consultant started to show us around what he had already created, based on the original list of questions that we had sent him.  So, we felt comfortable that we would be able to use the system ourselves which was a good first step.

However as soon as we started to see the initial “pinboards”, as ThoughtSpot calls them, we were asking questions...lots of them!  Can we compare month by month?  How do we see how many pages that individual looked at during that session?  How can we identify and drill down on exceptions and outliers?   

I’m always a big believer in getting your hands dirty when it comes to data – to me it’s got to be a practical, immersive experience to get the most of data.  The initial questions that you know you want answered come quickly, but the real value is in those “hey, what about” questions that spring to mind once you’re in the sandpit playing.  Being able to dig around yourself and uncover all of those hidden gems that will give you new insight, and potentially competitive advantage, is what makes all the difference.  Plus it’s fun!

But it’s not just about fun – this is important too.  We all know that in this real-time marketing world, having to wait for an analysis to answer your new questions, or relying on backward-looking reports, just does not enable us to make decisions, changes and adjustments at the speed of business today.  

Fully enthused about what we had seen, we set up time for our training session the following week in which we’d be taught how to play with our data in ThoughtSpot ourselves.  Would we really be able to get to the bottom of the differences in customer journeys and referring campaigns by job function?  Time would tell…so bring on the fun!  

To read the story from ThoughtSpot’s perspective click here.

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