Is Digital Analytics misleading?
If you search on Linkedin you'll see that Digital or Web Analytics is the de facto title/department name for many of us, but is the phrase misleading? First off, what is Digital Analytics? Judah Phillips wrote the book Building a Digital Analytics Organization and describes it as:
Digital analytics is the current phrase for describing a set of business and technical activities that define, create, collect, verify, or transform digital data into reporting, research, analysis, optimizations, predictions, automations, and insights that create business value.
The activity of digital analysis, at the highest and best application, helps companies increase revenue or reduce cost.
Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimising web usage.
The definition of 'analytics' is a broad one, leading to confusion among enterprise users
When Gartner conducted an informal survey among users about what the term means, the answers ranged from online analytical processing (OLAP) to monitoring call centres to reporting and data mining.
Gartner had more questions than answers after the survey.
The endgame for Digital Analytics is consistently described as optimisation. We measure for reporting, we use reports for analysis and we use analysis to optimise. Good existing department names within the organisation include; Customer Acquisition, Customer Support, Customer Retention. A bricklayer isn't called a brick-picker-upper, a restaurant server isn't called a food-carry-outer. Moreover, neither role uses a buzzword to inaccurately describe a collection of tasks. Scrutinising semantics may seem pedantic but confusion can be caused by organisational fractures. The rising trend of companies with a separate optimisation department is evidence of this. Many working within these optimisation silos will baulk at the idea of using Adobe/Google Analytics, consequently leading to a less scientific approach to experimentation with hypotheses being swapped for opinions and guesswork.
Having a department name aligned with its goal will have a positive business impact (IMO) as physiologically employees are reminded of their endgame. Let's face it, when's the last time someone understood what you meant by telling them you worked in Digital Analytics? ...okay, web/digital optimisation might need further explanation, but a few might know what you're talking about!
What do you think? Is this petty-mindedness or it does make a difference?