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Visualising your business internal and external online marketing data can provide your business with powerful insights. You can learn about where your market is going, what kind of customers you are attracting and what they are doing on your website and app.

Cost is not an excuse anymore - there are plenty of free or low cost tools out there. I am a big fan of Google Data Studio which has a free beta version. Google has been releasing new features regularly. Microsoft Power BI is also a great and low cost tool and has a community of visualisation template developers. If your company is larger you can also look at enterprise level tools like Tableau or Alteryx.

However, there are a few pitfalls to avoid before you get started and here are my top 5 tips.

Audit your data collection

No matter how good your analytics implementation was, with every new product release there is a risk of missing out on critical tags or forgetting to track a certain site section or form.

Companies can avoid that by regularly auditing the data or getting the analytics team more involved in product releases.

Ensure your data is not sampled

Before you go ahead and present your shiny new data visualisation to your senior stakeholders make sure you are confident about the numbers. Google Data Studio will not warn you if Google Analytics numbers are sampled so check a few data points against the Google Analytics interface to be on the safe side.

Use custom dimensions in your tracking

Custom Dimensions can be used to categorise your data in different ways or to segment your users. When tracked correctly they can significantly enhance the power of the standard analytics tool tracking creating powerful visualisations as a result.

If your data looks to weird look for bugs

If your data looks odd and there are spikes from one day to another check with your QA team or engineers if there aren't any technical bugs.

Import other data sources and join tables

Importing other sources of data such as the weather or other business critical data depending on your industry will get your company ahead of the curve. Looking for correlations between your business data and market data for example is a very powerful way to understand where you stand as a company.

Happy Visualising!