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Understanding Your Website’s Datasets: 4 Tips

Meta: There are several ways in which you can get a better understanding of your website’s datasets that can help you to improve your site. 

Having the skills to understand and interpret your website’s datasets is important for numerous reasons. Whether your website represents your brand or it’s a platform for you to express yourself on, understanding and being able to interpret its datasets is useful regardless. By having an understanding of why people visit your website and how they engage with it, you will be able to determine how you can improve your site through various means.

One of the most effective ways to analyse your website’s performance and identify trends is by data logging. If you are able to understand how the data logging system can help improve analyses of website data, then you are on the path to improving your site. All successful businesses make important decisions based on reliable data that has been collected via data logging and then analysed. When data is analysed and quantified, the findings can be very useful in terms of marketing strategy and setting out a budget. For instance, if a company finds through data analysis that a certain demographic group is more likely to buy their product, then they can create a strategy that targets that particular group. It is fair to say therefore, that data analysis can tell a company or individual a lot about their website and so its importance cannot be underestimated.

But how exactly can you better understand your website’s datasets in the first place? Read our top tips to find out.

1.Keep it raw

When it comes to understanding website datasets, it is important to keep your data in its original format. Whilst you will have to manipulate the data in some capacity in order to interpret it effectively, always keep the original format. Do not manipulate your data without having a copy of it in its raw form; that way, you can use it again in future if you ever need to run different diagnostics or analytics on it.

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You should store your raw data somewhere where you can access it easily, such as on duplicate hard drive systems kept in separate locations. Always make sure that you store the data somewhere which creates automatic backups, so that you can retrieve it if it ever gets lost.

2.Clean the data

Data wrangling is the process of transforming and laying out information from its raw form into a more manageable and legible format. This process will not only help you to understand your raw dataset better, but it will change the information into a format that makes it easier for analysis. It will also eliminate any inaccuracies or duplicates within the information, which could cause confusion later on if not removed.

Cleaning up your data is crucial before you begin any form of analysis, especially if you’re considering using your findings for important decisions in a business setting as it will mean that your data is more accurate.

3.Visualise the data

One of the best ways to understand your website’s datasets is to visualise the information. Research shows that visualisation is an incredibly effective tool when it comes to processing and understanding information in general. This is especially beneficial if you are juggling a lot of data as it will help to lay it out for you in a clear and concise manner that’s easy to follow. Visual representations are also more engaging to look at and so work well if you’re going to be showing or publishing your data findings.

Consider setting out your website’s data as a graphical representation, for instance via a pie chart, grid, or similar. Visualising your site’s datasets will make it easier for you to spot patterns and trends, as well as enable you to identify any obvious outliers. There are many data visualisation tools available online to help you to generate visual interpretations of datasets, such as Google Charts, Microsoft Excel, and Tableau. Once you have successfully represented your dataset in a visual format, you can use it to help communicate your findings to colleagues or stakeholders who can then draw on it to reach conclusions or make decisions.

4.Segment the data

Breaking your dataset down into smaller, defined segments is very effective in helping you to understand it better. Screeds and screeds of information, especially numbers, can be overwhelming even to the most logical eye. It is therefore a good idea to segment your website data into categories, such as by departments, geographical area, gender, or any other relevant group that will help you to  manage and analyse the information easier. For instance, by breaking your number of site visitors down into geographical areas, you will be able to see where your audience is located and then you can use that information accordingly – you might, for example, consider paid adverts within a specific geographic location.  

Once you have broken your dataset down into manageable groups, you can decide what action to take to improve your website and encourage traffic.

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Conclusion

Website datasets, at first glance, can look complicated and overwhelming. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to help you to better understand them. By following our advice, you should be able to interpret your website’s datasets more simply and effectively. This should then help you to determine what action you can take to improve your website. 

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