Every year, we put a post like this together. Without fail, and with the aid of hindsight, some of the trends we call out are utterly silly. But some seem prescient. That’ll also happen this year. If you want to look at our past predictions, here’s what we put together for 2023.
As we gaze into the future of digital analytics in 2024, the dynamic interplay of technology, consumer behavior, and industry standards shapes this evolving landscape. Some of these concepts will be familiar to you from past trends we’ve surfaced, but let’s dive into what we believe will be significantly influential in the digital analytics industry.
AI and Machine Learning Integration
The increasing integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in digital analytics tools is the elephant in the room. In 2024, we can expect these technologies to refine data processing further, enabling more accurate predictions and insights. The evolution of AI will lead to advanced anomaly detection, automatic segmentation, and predictive analytics, offering businesses a more profound understanding of consumer behavior and market trends.
ChatGPT’s Data Analysis plugin alone has the potential to supercharge teams of marketers and make them adept no-code data scientists. Will it happen overnight? Probably not. But as more best practices emerge around how to prompt AI for analytics and how to get data into these tools more seamlessly, leaders hesitant to adopt AI for their teams will no longer have any excuse.
For more on AI: 5 Best Ways to Use ChatGPT for Content Marketing
Privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA have already reshaped the digital landscape. The trend will likely intensify in 2024, with analytics tools emphasizing privacy and data security. This shift could result in more anonymized data collection methods and a rise in privacy-first analytics platforms, balancing the need for insightful data with consumer privacy concerns.
Tools like OneTrust and its integration with Google Consent Mode have made compliance with the marquee privacy laws less complicated to achieve. But as more laws are introduced domestically in the U.S. and abroad in Europe, the need to put privacy practices before anything will only rise.
For more on Privacy: CCPA, GDPR, and The Real Online Privacy Problem
Enhanced User Experience Analytics
User experience (UX) remains at the forefront of digital strategy. The coming year could see a surge in analytics tools focusing on user experience, with advanced heatmaps, session recordings, and user journey analytics. These tools will provide deeper insights into user behavior, preferences, and pain points, enabling businesses to craft more engaging and personalized user experiences.
Which tool to choose for these tasks is becoming an increasingly difficult question to answer. A field that used to only consist of players like CrazyEgg and Hotjar is now flooded with players catering more to enterprise needs like Clicktale, Fullstory, and Microsoft Clarity.
With the digital space becoming more fragmented, closed-loop analytics is paramount. In 2024, we will witness a more holistic approach to analytics, where data from various channels (social media, email, web, apps) are integrated seamlessly. This holistic view will enable marketers to understand the multi-faceted customer journey more comprehensively.
The emergence of data lakes and clean rooms makes this integration of disparate data sets possible. Marketers are no longer content to analyze advertising, CRM, and web analytics data in isolation but are demanding full visibility from the outset of engagements. Agencies and vendors alike will have to meet this demand.
For more on Closed-Loop Analytics: Online-To-Offline Attribution Made Simple
Voice and Conversational Analytics
As voice-assisted devices proliferate, voice analytics will become a more significant component of digital analytics. Analyzing voice search data, voice command usage, and conversational AI interactions will provide unique insights into user preferences and behaviors, potentially reshaping content and SEO strategies.
Of course, SEO professionals and agencies have been saying this for years. 2024 might finally be when consumer technology and marketers’ need for new content ideas drive meaningful analysis in this space forward.
Real-time Data and Actionable Insights
The demand for real-time data analysis is growing. In 2024, digital analytics tools will offer more sophisticated real-time data tracking and analysis capabilities. This immediacy will empower businesses to make quicker, data-driven decisions and adapt to market changes swiftly.
Although real-time reporting has been universally available to folks in tools like Google Analytics for ages, only the most data-mature organizations could leverage it consistently. It will be time for the rest of the world to raise their game and confront these capabilities seriously.
Sustainability and Ethical Analytics
Sustainability and ethical considerations in data handling and analytics are gaining traction. We anticipate a growing focus on sustainable digital practices and ethical data usage. This trend could manifest in environmentally friendly data centers, ethical data sourcing, and transparent data handling practices.
The problem with this movement is that while it’s never been cheaper to analyze, collect, and store marketing data, there’s also never been so much data. All the servers required for cloud computation will continue to strain the energy infrastructure worldwide. It will be up to us as power users of these technologies to force Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to take these concerns seriously and implement climate pledges and climate action.
A blend of technological advancements, privacy concerns, and evolving consumer behaviors will shape the digital analytics industry in 2024. Staying abreast of these trends is crucial for businesses looking to leverage data effectively in their digital strategies. As we adapt to these changes, we will focus on harnessing data insights responsibly and innovatively, ensuring they align with our clients’ expectations and regulatory standards.