analyticsaclimageMost businesses today are collecting a massive amount of data from their operational, marketing, transactional, financial and other systems.

Like crude oil, data needs to go through refining steps, such as collection, hygiene and transformation, before it becomes meaningful. At the pinnacle of this data refinement process is analytics, which is the process for generating hindsight, insight and foresight to make the data actionable and useful for business decisions.

Analytics can be broken into four major types, each employing various analytical methods. As a rule, most business decisions require a combination of different types of analytics.

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MobileWe live in a “now” world.  We need access to information faster, anywhere, anytime, and that access needs to work every time.  We’ve lost patience with waiting and we’ve traded the phrase “wait a minute” for “just a second.”  It’s a mobile world and our mobile phone is our connection to it.

Over the past year at ACTIVE.com, we’ve found that access to the site via mobile devices, tablets or smartphones, now exceeds laptop and desktop traffic by nearly 20 percent.  People are searching for activities while they’re on the go, and they are making purchase decisions.  Across the Internet, the rise in mobile traffic rivals traditional online traffic, and website owners are forced to consider new technologies to make their websites more responsive to smaller screens.

Digital analytics firm ComScore has done significant research on the impact of mobile devices on Internet traffic and time spent on various screens.  According to their US Digital Future in Focus 2014 report, between 2010 and 2013, the amount of time spent on a digital platform increased by 83%.  The bulk of the growth was represented by nearly a 300% increase in mobile usage. The time spent on a desktop increased only 7% over the same period.
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RunnersIn sales, it’s been said, “if you wait for your customer to find you, you may already be too late.” But what if you knew when your customer was likely to start their search? How would that affect your marketing efforts? Would you change when you opened registration?

In the endurance event space, tradition often governs when registrations open and the marketing activities that support the event begin, as in: “For 10 years, we’ve opened registrations the week following New Year’s Day.”  What if I told you that even though tradition may seem to work as a strategy, consumer data could indicate a better time to open registration or make a marketing push that could convert more registrations faster?

Consider Cyber Monday.

Since the mid-20th century, people have gone out searching for “door buster deals” on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Brick and mortar retailers across the nation stock the shelves with the hottest gadgets and the latest fashions.  People come and people spend, every year. It’s a national tradition. But, in 2005, a retail trade association noticed data indicating that a wave of online purchases occurred on the Monday after Black Friday around lunchtime. The phenomenon became known as Cyber Monday and continues to be a boon for retailers.

So, what does that have to do with your race?
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