The Difference Between Data, Analytics, and Insights

6 minute read

Team Localytics

Data, analytics, and insights. These words are thrown around a lot and are often used interchangeably, however, they don’t mean the same. So, what do they really mean, and how do they relate to one another?

We’re sharing some insights of our own to show you exactly how this triad works.

Data, Analytics, & Insights: How Are They Connected?

Data and analytics build off each other to deliver deep understanding, or insights, into your user base. Insights provide essential wisdom about your users and reveals actions you can take to improve your business. However, these insights cannot be obtained without analytics, and analytics is useless without data.

Think of the three as a step-by-step list for understanding your customers:

  • Step 1. Collect data
  • Step 2. Apply analytics
  • Step 3. Interpret insights

Building from the rock-solid foundation of your own data, you can use analytics and the resulting insights to grow and develop your business.

What Is Data?

Data is the information you obtain from users, such as demographic info, behavior, and activity.

We have access to more data than ever before. In fact, more data has been created in recent years than in the entire history of the human race, and it’s only set to increase

With so many ways to connect to and access the internet, data collection and storage has become increasingly challenging. Big data is the new norm as businesses collect user data across a multitude of channels including apps, email, and web browsing.

Despite this overwhelming multitude of data, without cleansing and deduplicating the data, it’s extremely difficult to make any sense of it.

In many ways, you can think of the relationship between data, analytics, and insights as you might think of an impressionist painting. If you were to stand directly in front of an impressionist painting (such as The Cliff of Aval Etretat by Claude Monet) at only a foot or so away, you would likely only be able to see thousands upon thousands of dots, smears, or marks that do not make any discernible shape. You can think of these dots as your data – there’s tons of them all around you, but individually your data points don’t provide much meaning.


What is Analytics?

Analytics is the discovery of patterns and trends gleaned from your data.

Data is fundamentally useless without analytics. Analytics is how you make sense of your data and uncover meaningful trends. There is tremendous value buried in those massive data sets, but apps and other businesses are unable to unlock that value without the help of analytics.

For a mobile app, your data might tell you that you sent 14,000 push messages last month. That data alone doesn’t mean much, but an analytics tool could dive deeper into that data and reveal that your app sent 3.7 messages per user, with an open rate of 20%.  This transforms your data and gives you the first glimpse into the effectiveness of your mobile app marketing.

Going back to our painting analogy, analytics is what you see when you step back several yards from that impressionist painting. Stepping back, you’ll suddenly be able to see figures and forms that you could not see when standing closer to the painting. Only when you apply distance will the painting “make sense,” and similarly, analytics is what provides the bird’s eye view into making sense of your data.


What are Analytical Insights?

Insight is the value obtained through the use of analytics. Analytical insights are incredibly powerful and can be used to grow your business while identifying areas of opportunity.

If we continue with our mobile app example, insights might show that sending those 3.7 push messages per user resulted in a 14% increase in purchases. Now you know that your push campaigns are effective, you can continue to test new variations and optimize your messaging to further boost purchases.

Insights provide the light bulb moment that sparks smart new marketing movements, powerful new app features, or streamlined UX designs.

If we were to consider insights within our painting metaphor, they’d equal the interpretations you gather from an impressionist painting once you’ve stepped back. By taking a step backwards, you can gain a deeper understanding of the message the artist is trying to convey and the meaning behind the masterpiece.

The True Power of Insights-Driven Marketing

The real value of data and analytics lies in their ability to deliver rich insights. You can have numerous data points, but you need to be able to digest and organize that data in a way that allows you to pull out valuable insights.

Predictive app marketing aids in these mobile revelations, delivering instant insight to apps by showing which users are likely to churn or convert in the future based on the app’s very own data. Brands can then use these predictive insights to drive conversions and proactively prevent churn.

Lack of Insight = Lack of Engagement

Today’s mobile engagement crisis is a direct result of businesses working blindly – too many brands have been failing to leverage the data at their disposal, missing out on the key nuggets of insights. The insights delivered through data and analytics are what allows a brand to intimately understand their customers and empowers them to create meaningful engagement opportunities.

Don’t miss the chance to truly know your customers – harness your data, analytics, and resulting insight to grow your business!

Upland Localytics is a mobile app analytics and marketing software that unlocks marketer’s ability to craft personalized mobile campaigns with ease. The unique app and web analytics, campaign reporting and conversion predictions allows marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their customers, while simultaneously using the insights derived from the analytics to deliver personalized experiences.

If you’d like to find out more about how Upland Localytics can help transform you get more from your mobile app marketing, request your personalized demo today. A member of our team will run you through our software, showing you how to get the most out of your data.

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