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Archive for the ‘Measurement and ROI’


10 best data visualization tools for free in 2018 0

Posted on June 11, 2018 by Rob Petersen

best data visualization tools

Best data visualization tools drive better decision making. As Peter Drucker says, “what’s measured improves.” And the data backs up business leaders believe it.

  • 91% of marketing leaders believe successful brands use customer data to drive business decisions.
  • 87% of marketers agree capturing and sharing the right data is important to effectively measuring ROI in their own company

A simple pie chart you can one-click using Microsoft Excel is a best data visualization tool if it accomplishes this task. As technology has evolved, new kinds of data visualizations have emerged. Not only pie, line and bar charts but timelines, maps, heat maps and gauges using a whole host of new technologies and tools.

If you’re looking to really exploit best data visualization tools, you should be careful before making a buying decision. The costs of these tools vary widely. You could spend a lot of money before you know if you’re getting what you really need.

To use data to improve decision making without spending any money, here are the 10 best data visualization tools for free in 2018

best data visualization tools

1. TABLEAU PUBLIC: This is the same platform as the paid version of Tableau Desktop with only one caveat: Everything you create with it is public, which means you’ll automatically be making it available on the web via Tableau’s visualization gallery. The company chose not to make its free version feature-poor. And Tableau Gallery is a great resource, not only for business people but also for researchers, students, and journalists looking for ways not just to flesh out and beautify their Other folks have done tremendous work on some truly impressive data visualizations and Tableau has curated that content and made it available for download.

chartblocks best data visualization tools

2. CHARTBLOCKS: Chartblocks, like many of these free programs, basically does the same thing that made Windows so successful: replace the code with a visual interface so anyone can use it. In Chartblocks’ case, that visual interface is their chart designer, which guides you through the process. With its free version, you can make up to 30 charts, export the charts as PNG files (no vector graphics in this version), and get up to 5,000 monthly views.

chartbuilder best dat visualization tools

3. CHARTBUILDER: This best visualization tool has one of the cleanest user interfaces among all the charting tools I’ve seen. It’s extremely easy to use as well. All you have to do is upload a CSV file, or a Google Sheets link, and it’ll generate the chart for you. Moreover, it refreshes your chart every 30 minutes, so your chart’s data source remains fairly up-to-date. The Charted service is free, and its source code is also freely available if you would like to run it on your own web server.

best data visualization tools - datawrapper

4. DATAWRAPPER: This is one of the extremely easy-to-use best data visualization tools for plotting interactive charts. All you need to do is upload your data via a CSV file, choose the chart you want to plot, and that’s basically it, you’re good to go! It’s a very popular tool among journalists, often using Datawrapper to embed live charts into their news articles. The fact that it’s a tool of choice for most of the non-techie people out there tells you how easy Datawrapper is to use. Read this tutorial to get started with Datawrapper.

best data visualization tools - highcharts

5. HIGHCHARTS: Highcharts, another big name in the data visualization domain, offers you a wide selection of charts and maps. They offer many plugins that allow you to experience all of its powerful features without needing to deal with JavaScript. Highcharts is free for non-commercial purposes.

best data visualization tools - google charts

6. GOOGLE CHARTS: Google Charts is user-friendly and compatible with all browsers and platforms. It covers a wide range of data visualization types — from simple line and bar graphs to complex hierarchical tree maps — making Google charts suitable for almost any project. Check out the gallery that showcases the various charts and visualizations that Google Charts offers.

best data visualization tools - myheatmaps

7. MYHEATMAPS: If you want your visualization to provide immediate recognition, a heat map is a good way to go. Heat maps’ use of color makes them intuitive. MyHeatMap has the same easy user experience as a lot of other free software: drag, drop, (et voilà!) map. Be sure that at least two of the rows are for latitude and longitude, and that these values are included for all the data points you want to map. The one downside is a lack of privacy. MyHeatMap’s free version only offers public maps, and those free maps only get 20 data points for each.

best data visualization tools - openheatmap

8. OPENHEATMAPS: Creating a map is simple. You upload a CSV, Excel, or Google Sheets file to owner Pete Warden’s heat map website, click a button and get a map. It’ll live on his site, but you can link to it. This is all to say that Openheatmap is about as simple as sending an email with an attachment.

best data visualization tools - timeline

9. TIMELINE: Timelines are to history what directions are on maps: they show how one thing led to another. Timelines can also be a great way to enliven reports, especially when a tool like Timeline allows you to design and embed them for free. If you’ve got a Google Drive account, just make a Google Spreadsheet using a template Timeline provides, embed it on your website.

best data visualization tools - RAW

10. RAW: Raw bridges the gap between spreadsheets and vector graphics. It’s built on the D3.js platform. If you’re not a programmer, Raw could be the perfect data visualization tool for you. Raw provides a selection of 16 ready-to-use chart types. Customization is one of the biggest positive aspects of Raw, for it allows you to use your own custom layouts.

Do these best data visualization tools give you an idea of one for your business? Are you glad these best data visualization tools are free? Does your business need help with data visualization?

10 experts explain what is a good ROI and why 0

Posted on May 28, 2018 by Rob Petersen

good roi

Good ROI measures the profitability of investments and helps objectively assess future success.

ROI also demonstrates how skilled the people in charge are at generating profitable growth and managing company funds wisely.

What is a good ROI? 10 experts state explain their standards for a range of industries.

  1. Adverstising
  2. Business Owner
  3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  4. Customer Service
  5. Entrepreneur
  6. Investing
  7. Marketing
  8. Digital Marketing
  9. Real Estate
  10. Restaurant
  11. Venture Capital

Here’s what they have to say.

GOOD ROI FOR ADVERTISING (GOOGLE ADWORDS)

“Research show businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. According to Google, campaigns that use the Conversion Optimizer achieve a 21% increase in conversions while decreasing CPA by 14% on average.” – Elisa Gabbert, Sr. Manager of Content and SEO, WordStream

GOOD ROI FOR A BUSINESS OWNER

“Strive to make at least triple the value of the hard cash you have invested in your business. Average angel investors and venture capital fund investors shoot for a return of 4 to 10 times their invested capital.” – Start on Purpose

GOOD ROI FOR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM)

Nucleus Research finds that for every dollar spent on CRM implementation, returns can peak at a stellar $8.71 (2014). That’s a $3.11 jump from three years ago when the strongest returns topped out at $5.60.” – Sarah Brigham, Nutshell

GOOD ROI FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

“In research on actual customer transactions published in the Harvard Business Review, researchers found that among thousands of customers studied, customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.” – Elen Veenpere, Groove

GOOD ROI FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR

“My advice to entrepreneurs is to try to at least double total invested capital plus the value of any contingent liabilities associated with guaranteeing bank debt, real estate leases and equipment leases. Building a successful business is hard work. Earning a salary is not enough to compensate for all the risks and effort involved with business ownership.” – Susan Schreter, Fox Business

GOOD ROI FOR INVESTING

“A really good return on investment for an active investor is 15% annually. It’s aggressive, but it’s achievable if you put in time to look for bargains. ROI, or Return on Investment, measures the efficiency of an investment. For every dollar you put in, what kind of profit can you expect.You can double your buying power every six years if you make an average return on investment of 12% after taxes and inflation every year.” – Trendshare

GOOD ROI FOR MARKETING

“A good ROI for marketing is 5:1. A 5:1 ratio is middle of the bell curve. A ratio over 5:1 is considered strong for most businesses, and a 10:1 ratio is exceptional. A 2:1 revenue to marketing cost ratio wouldn’t be profitable for many businesses, as the cost to produce or acquire the item being sold (also known as cost-of-goods-sold, or COGS) is about 50% of the sale price. For these businesses, if you spend $100 in marketing to generate $200 in sales, and it costs $100 to make the product being sold, you are breaking even. If all you accomplish with your marketing is break even, you might as well not do it.” – Chris Leone

GOOD ROI FOR DIGITAL MARKETING

“According to Neilsen, the average marketing return on investment is $1.09. A $1.09 ROI means that for every $1 spent, the company generates $2.09 (for a profit of $1.09). The top 3 marketing media with the highest average return on investment are email marketing, search engine optimization, and direct mail. Tracking source of sales to be able to calculate return on investment from your marketing initiatives is critical to being able to improve the effectiveness of your marketing spending.” – Profitworks

GOOD ROI FOR REAL ESTATE

“Without using any debt, real estate return demands from investors mirror those of business ownership and stocks. The real rate of return for good, non-leveraged properties has been roughly 7% after inflation. Since we have gone through decades of 3% inflation, over the past 20 years, that figure seems to have stabilized at 10%.” – Joshua Kennon, Managing Director, Kennon-Green & Co. 

GOOD ROI FOR A RESTAURANT

“If by ROI you mean the profit realized annually by the average restaurant, it is very consistent across the industry: 3–5% according to several sources. Extremely well run restaurants or very high-end places might make as much as 10%, but those are the exceptions — not the norm. I would be very suspect of any restaurant that claims to achieve 15–25% net profits.” – Chuck Rogers, New Orleans Restaurant Owner

GOOD ROI FOR VENTURE CAPITAL

“Venture capital (“VC”) funds, as well as experienced angel investors, specialize in investing in startup and growth-oriented privately held companies. They understand the statistical risks of business failure within their investment portfolio. They know that on average, only four out of 10 investments in promising entrepreneurial companies will deliver any profit to VC fund investors. This is why VCs and angels aim extra high and turn down investment opportunities that don’t represent a “grand slam home run potential” to the overall fund.” Susan Schreter, Fox Business

Do these example help you understand what is a good ROI and why? How is your business measuring up? Or, if you don’t know, do you think it’s worth knowing what is the ROI for your business?

What is the difference between a metric and KPI? (Video) 0

Posted on May 07, 2018 by Rob Petersen

A metric is a standard of measurement. A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets.

What’s the difference? A KPI is a “metric that matters.” It relates directly to the business’s objective or goal to help keep the strategy on track. Because a KPI is a metric that matters, a KPI is a metric that is tied to a target.

The video above explains the difference and offers examples.

Anivash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, says a key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you understand how you are doing against your objectives. Here’s how other experts define the difference between a metric and a KPI.

How do you chose KPIs. Look for the key metrics that:

  1. Relate to your business objective
  2. Provide context by being tracked over time
  3. Are based on legitimate data
  4. Are easy to understand
  5. Create meaning
  6. Can be acted upon
  7. Do it with the key stakeholders who are accountable

The video was created by Rutgers Business School Executive Education. I have had the privilege of serving on their MBA Faculty for 8 years. The Rutgers Business School is ranked #3 in the nation in MBA employment.

Rutgers Business School Executive Education offers Mini-MBA’s in Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing. They occur offline in a week-long curriculum in an open classroom. Or online over 10 weeks at a pace that accounts for an executive’s busy work schedule. Digital Marketing is ranked among the Top 30 Best Value certificate programs.

Both consist of the same 10 modules that include: Digital and social strategy development, search engine optimization, paid search, content marketing, mobile marketing, video marketing, customer experience and measurement and ROI.

Either is going to up your game in fastest growing marketing channels, help advance your career or assist you in your own reinvention.

Does this video explain the difference between a metric and a KPI to you? Is your organization ready to put to use the KPIs that keep your business strategy on track?

 

 

5 social analytics benefits that help build any business 0

Posted on February 19, 2018 by Rob Petersen

social analytics benefits

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. – Peter Drucker

Social Analytics benefits any company by helping them better measure and manage their business. Social Analytics benefits come in the form of competitive intelligence, targeting, customer support, predicting behaviors and course correction. They help build any business.

Social analytics is the collection and analysis of statistical, digital data on how users interface with an organization, particularly online. It is an analysis of the tweets, blogs and other postings on the social web, with a focus on a particular subject area.

This does not negate the importance of traditional research, where focus groups give you a private view on possibly sensitive topics or a questionnaire is filled out by 500 people in a designated age group or profession. Social analytics provide access to data and conversations about a topic or subject occurring right now and the opportunity to listen, learn, filter, measure and put them to use for business benefits.

Why is this relevant? Here are 5 social analytics benefits that help any business.

COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: Is collecting and analyzing actionable information about competitorand the marketplace to form a business strategy. Its aim is to learn everything there is to know about the competitive environment to make the best possible decisions. Here’s what can be accessed through social media.

TARGETING: Every effective audience profile starts with a fundamental understanding of who your audience is. There is an incredible amount of information about your ideal customers in social media. Social analytics helps you identify and target them to find them. For example:

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Social media is one of the most effective channels for customer support in today’s digital world. Whether they have questions, complaints, or compliments, people are increasingly using social to connect with businesses.  Here’s are some of the finding social analytics reveal:

PREDICTING BEHAVIORS: Given this enormous volume of social media data, Social analytics benefits business using data, statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. Here’s how it’s working:

  • 70% of executives consider predictive intelligence the most critical data insight
  • Facebook accounts for 53.1% of social logins made by consumers to sign into the apps and websites of publishers and brands
  • On average, businesses are only analyzing 12% of their data, leaving a lot of untapped opportunities and critical insights
  • 29% of patients viewing health information through social media are viewing other patients’ experiences with their disease

COURSE CORRECTION: Even the best business strategy can require connection. Social analytics benefits business by connecting the dots from what people say, do, act and are likely to behave in the future. Here’s how it can help overcome challenges you may be facing.

  • When social media is part of their buyer’s journey, customers tend to convert at a 129% higher rate, and they are four times as likely to spend significantly more than those without a social component
  • 80% of CEOs say that mobile technology and analytics are key to their strategy
  • 72% of business leaders say that their organizations will be susceptible to threats from digital market disruptions in the next three years
  • 69% of organizations that have used an external partner to gain better data insight report positive results from that decision

Are these social analytics benefits useful for your business? Do the facts help? Are you ready to get get started?

10 best social analytics tools for 2018 0

Posted on January 08, 2018 by Rob Petersen

social analytics

Social analytics refers to the collection, analysis and interpretation of online data to show how users interact  with an organization, company or brand. Over the last decade, social analytics has become a primary form of business intelligence, used to identify, predict, and respond to consumer behavior.

Any organization interested in social analytics is going to need a good social analytics tools. There is so much content and so may social sites to account for.

Most social analytics tools work by crawling sites continuously and indexing them. Once they sites are indexed, they can then be searched. Most tools use queries, or search strings, that the user writes to find mentions of specific words and phrases on those pages.

What are the best ones? Why?

Here is our list of the top 10 social analytics tools for 2018.

Social Analytics - Brandwatch

BRANDWATCH: Has an interface designed to let the data gathering and analysis shine through. The tool’s coverage includes news sites, forums, blogs, and social networks like Twitter and Facebook. You can then search social media data for terms they are researching, before using categorization, sentiment analysis, charting, and other analytic features that will give you further insight. It also allow users to engage with target communities, responding to, assigning workflow, as well as handling social media mentions.

Social Analytics - Buzzlogic

BUZZLOGIX: Is very intuitive and renders a user interface that is simple and quick to set up and use. The ability to monitor various streams from a number of social media platforms all in one place, with accompanying statistics presented in a clear, visual format is great, and makes analyzing campaign results easy. Buzzlogix allows customization and is always improving features. The founding team pays attention to any feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Buzzlogix is a smart and simple, all-in-one social media management, monitoring and engagement platform.

Social Analytics - Visible Intelligence

CISION/VISIBLE INTELLIGENCE: Cision operates Visible Intelligence, a social media platform designed to deliver marketing ROI and smarter customer insights. Cision is in it to win in social analytics. In 2014, Cision, acquired Visible Technologies, a worldwide market leader in social media listening and analytics, In the same year, Cision and Vocus merged. In 2015, Cision acquired Viralheat, a top social media engagement platform. And, in 2016, Csion acquired PR Newswire. While ii might Cision is a company on a mission to buy as many social analytics companies  as they can, they are focused on developing the best social analytics software so it is “best in class” whether it is used for analysis, marketing or PR. Their history also shows how big and far reaching the social analytics business is and will be in the future.

Social Analytics - Digimind

DIGIMIND: Is a social media intelligence software platform for brands and agencies to facilitate insight-driven digital transformation. Key features include social media monitoring, keyword monitoring, reputation management and reporting and analysis. The Digimind platform tracks both earned and owned media. Digimind has managed to create a product that is incredibly powerful and at the same time incredibly simple to use.

Social Analytics - Keyhole

KEYHOLE: Tracks real-time social media and historical data. What is different about Keyhole is they break their data by URLs, hashtags, keywords, Klout scores and @usernames on Twitter and Instagram. Because hashtags and usernames have a unique importance in social media, Keyhole is a particularly effective social analytics tools for quickly getting to hot topics and influencers. Keyhole is the only social analytics tool in our list that offers a free service, without a trial sign up, to give people the opportunity to sample how they work. We hope they stay that way.

Social Analytics - Meltwater

MELTWATER: Has historically been known as a journalist database (aka Influencers) that makes it quick and easy to find and send content to relevant writers that may be interested in your material. You can search for journalists by topics they’ve written about and easily add them into categorized lists. You can personalize and send a message in a matter of minutes. The user interface is also clean and intuitive. Meltwater has recently expanded the scope and scale of their social universe and is making a decided effort to take on bigger players, particularly Cision. We look forward to seeing how this plays out.

Social Analytics -Nuvi

NUVI: Is able to track hashtags, influencers, and key words across various social networks. NUVI can also compare monitors side by side, which is helpful when comparing brands and topics. To execute comparisons, NUVI graphs out all activity during any time frame you select, which allows you to see trends and peak activity. The social stream is very unique and in real-time. So as mentions occur, you can see them pop up immediately. Many users of this service believe the customer support from their reps has been exemplary.

Social Analytics - Salesforce Social Studio

SALESFORCE SOCIAL STUDIO: Is a product under the Salesforce Marketing Cloud that deals with offering effective social media marketing solutions. Social Studio enables global collaboration, letting you organize teams quickly and easily around campaigns, events, and regions on the right social platforms. Social Studio offers a module called Analyze which provides pre-built reporting and dashboard templates for social listening use cases. Other key features include: global collaboration, ROI tracking, analytics module, content calendar, and quick workflow management.

Social Analytics - Simply Measured

SIMPLY MEASURED: Is able to consolidate metrics into a single, easy-to-use reporting dashboard. The aesthetics behind the reporting also make things easier to digest when sharing metrics across the organization. Results are presented in a easy to understand way and look nice enough to present directly to clients without reformatting. Simply Measure was acquired by Sprout Social in 2017.

Social Analytics - Synthesio

SYNTHESIO: When it comes to complete social content analysis and reporting from one centralized management hub, large enterprises with the money to spend can’t do better than Synthesio. It is a high-end tool that cleans data with the help of humans. It is aimed at organizations that are looking for structured data in a clean manner and in a way that the data is useful to them. It also offers a customized dashboard and helps businesses in keeping track of things according to their needs. Synthesio sets up its software as per your requirements and human monitoring is done at the backhand. Synthesio acquired Social Karma in 2017.

A good social analytics tool is going to require an investments, training on use and on-going customer support. We can tell from out experiences.

Do one of these social analytics seem right for your business?

 

 

 

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