Data Tracking: What Is It and What Are the Best Tools (2023)

When data is surfaced, organized, analyzed, and applied effectively, you have the power to delight more customers and improve your business’s bottom line. But first, you need to obtain all of that valuable information.

Data Tracking: What Is It and What Are the Best Tools (1)

A common way to collect data related to the metrics that you care most about — such as churn, conversion rate, engagement rate, user activation rate, and average revenue per customer — is through the process of data tracking.

Data Tracking

To obtain meaningful data about your customers and target audience and their behaviors, you need to track the metrics that matter most to your business both accurately and securely.

In this article, we’ll talk about what data tracking is, why it’s beneficial, how it works, and which tools can help you track and analyze the metrics you care about.

What is data tracking?

Data tracking is the process of selecting specific metrics and events to track, then collecting, organizing, and analyzing the resulting data. Once you've analyzed the data, you can apply your insights to improve business performance, customer experience, and more.

Why is data tracking important?

Data tracking is useful for businesses looking to better understand user behaviors. It provides businesses with insight into customer behaviors on their web pages, landing pages, blog articles, and more so they can deliver targeted, personalized, and delightful experiences.

(Video) 5 Analytics Tools for Tracking and Measurement

How does data tracking work?

Data tracking and collection are often performed with cookies and/or Javascript libraries. This is how a business can track information about user behaviors on the various pages of your website (e.g. web page, landing page, blog article, product page, checkout page, etc.) as well as user/ customer accounts.

There are several tools available (we’ll look at some examples shortly) that use cookies and Javascript to track data.

For instance, Google uses Javascript to measure how users interact with your website, HubSpot uses cookies to monitor website traffic (on your landing pages, blogs, and web pages) and track visitors, and Segment uses cookies and Javascript to analyze site traffic, deliver personalized ads, and improve browsing experiences.

How to Choose the Metrics You'll Track

The key to data tracking is selecting the right metrics (a.k.a. what you’re actually going to be measuring).

  1. Ask yourself questions about what it is you want to learn. For example, "Which version of my product page converts the most users?"
  2. Then, turn your question into a metric. For the example in the above step, your metric could be a product page’s conversion rate based on page views.
  3. Hone in on your metric of choice even more by indicating the "events" within that metric. For the above example, events could be: 1) when a visitor lands on a product page, 2) when a visitor clicks the CTA on a product page, 3) when a user completes a form or submits a request to speak with a rep on a product page, 4) when a visitor converts into a paid customer on a product page.
  4. Your chosen metrics and events should help you prove a strategy either works or doesn't among your audience. In other words, you can use your resulting data to prove your strategy's impact on the business and revenue.

Data Tracking Compliance

Now that you have a basic understanding of what data tracking is, you might be wondering about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), privacy policies, and the laws that exist to protect visitors, contacts, and customers.

How to Comply with Data Tracking Policies and Laws

Today, businesses should share information with customers and visitors about how they comply with these regulations.

For instance, here's Segment's website data collection compliance explanation:

Data Tracking: What Is It and What Are the Best Tools (3)On the web page, Segment clearly lays out how they collect and use data and contact details that are tracked with cookies and Javascript libraries on their website.

If you're worried about the potential of not covering all of your bases when it comes to compliance, there's good news — many data tracking tools help you with this process.

Note: There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to legal compliance. That's why — in addition to implementing a data tracking tool — it's recommended that you consult your legal team on compliance. They will be able to help you apply the relevant features of your data tracking tool and determine what compliance at your company looks like.

For instance, HubSpot has a web page that explains in detail how GDPR works and how every HubSpot customer can feel confident that their website is compliant.

Here are examples of how HubSpot helps you ensure data tracking and application are compliant:

1. Cookies

GDPR requires you to tell your website visitors that you're using cookies on your website in a language that they understand. They then need to consent to that tracking.

(Video) Top 10 Data Analysis Tools | Top Data Analytics tools | Data Analytics | Simplilearn

HubSpot allows you to capture all of your visitors' cookie tracking consent and you can share different versions of your consent banner on your web pages.

2. Lawful Basis

GDPR requires you to have lawful basis to use someone's data. HubSpot categorizes lawful reason to use someone's data by your intent to either use it to 1) process or 2) communicate.

HubSpot has a default contact property to store lawful basis to process and there's an option to track opt-ins and opt-outs to store lawful basis to communicate.

3. Deletion

Under GDRP, your contacts have the ability to ask you to give them a copy of all of the personal data you have about them. They can also ask you to modify that information or delete it completely.

HubSpot makes this easy by offering a "GDPR delete" function which permanently deletes a contact for you.

Data Tracking Software

Did you know that operations teams spend 80% of their time putting out data and process fires and only 20% driving business strategy and improving the customer experience?

With the right tools, things don’t have to be this way — your team can feel confident that your data is being tracked automatically, accurately, efficiently, and securely.

1. HubSpot Operations Hub

Best data tracking tool for combining a complete operations platform with a CRM to integrate all customer data across your business.

Price: $0/month (Free), $45/month (Starter), $720/month (Professional)

According to HubSpot’s Principal Marketing Manager, Ari Plaut, “Operation Hub’s key differentiator is that HubSpot is also a CRM.” Today, many data tracking tools allow you to track and analyze data — however, they don't let you do anything else with that data.

For example, with pretty much any data tracking tool on the market, you can track your customers to help you understand your activation rate.

However, if you want to then send an email to the customers who haven't activated to show them how they can get started, you aren't able to with most data tracking tools. But with Operations Hub you are.

(Video) Best Tools for Analytics and Tracking Social Media And Website Performance

Operations Hub increases HubSpot’s already powerful capabilities by making it easy for users to connect, clean, and automate customer data across the entire business.

Unique features:

  • Sync data without code (e.g. bidirectional sync, custom field mappings, filtering, historical syncing).
  • Automate data cleaning and run code-based actions with Advanced Workflow Automation.
  • Build fully-native custom applications with Custom Objects.
  • Install the HubSpot tracking code to monitor website traffic on your landing pages, blogs, and web pages.
  • Track and manage your data with local regulations in mind (e.g. GDPR deletion, consent and cookies, and lawful basis processing).
  • Keep data secure with SSL, SSO, two-factor authentication, and more.
Pro Tip: Use Operations Hub, powered by HubSpot's CRM, to sync customer data and automate business processes.

2. Google Analytics

Data Tracking: What Is It and What Are the Best Tools (6)

Source

Best data tracking tool for tracking website engagement, audience behaviors, and digital marketing campaigns for free.

Price: Free (for under 10 million or fewer hits per month).

By adding the Google Analytics JavaScript tracking code to your web pages, you'll have the insights necessary to improve the customer experience and identify the right messaging, channels, and content for your target audience across your website and app.

There are a number of customizable metrics that you can track with Google Analytics such as sessions, engagement, entry and exit pages, events, retention, return, conversions, and more.

As for reporting and tracking specifically, track custom events, attribution, user path, and user activity all in real-time via a single dashboard.

Unique features:

  • Collect user session and ad campaign data from page requests by setting and reading first-party cookies on your users' browsers.
  • Read the DoubleClick cookie to collect data on display features.
  • Use Google's Events to collect data (such as downloads, link clicks, form submissions, etc.) about interactions with your content.
  • Use Google's Event Goals to define a certain Event as a conversion.
  • Decide how you want to configure your Google Analytics tracking code so it's tailored to your unique website.
  • Build custom reports and dashboards to track your Events.
  • Collect user-specific data while they're on your website such as location, language, and activity.

3. Segment

Data Tracking: What Is It and What Are the Best Tools (7)Source

Best data tracking tool for implementing a CDP that can track, collect, align, and route all of your customer data into any system.

Price: Free, $120+/month (Team), request a custom demo (Business)

(Video) Best web analytics tools for Tracking and Measurement | Digital Marketing free tutorial | Part 1.20

Segment is a data collection, management, and analytics platform. It powers and integrates with all of your data tracking tools in and out of Segment to keep your teams aligned.

There are also GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy regulations to help you maintain data compliance.

Segment uses its API to collect data from any part of your product (e.g. mobile, web, server) via open source libraries for all platforms.

Unique features:

  • Integrate your data with over 300 available apps in minutes.
  • Use the event tracking API to track user events and record the actions those visitors perform on any platform.
  • Query data in SQL and easily access your data at any time by using Segment's APIs.
  • Keep all of your analytics data in a data warehouse of your choosing (e.g. Google BigQuery, Snowflake, etc.).
  • Automatically back up your data and download your data whenever and wherever you need to.
  • Access your user profiles in real-time.
  • Use the Segment Profile API to review user- and account-level customer data.

4. Emarsys

Data Tracking: What Is It and What Are the Best Tools (8)

Best data tracking tool for collecting product and behavior data and making that information accessible across the Emarsys platform.

Price: Request a demo and/or pricing.

Emarsys' website data collection tool, Web Extend, establishes one-to-one personalization capabilities across different channels. It uses cookies and JavaScript API commands to keep track of your website visitors and their behaviors.

Emarsys tracks visitor interactions and behaviors across your website — from product catalog to online store — and combines that information with your historical sales data (if you have any) to give you a holistic view of your audience.

Then, the tool adds your data to the various Emarsys systems within the platform such as the Revenue Attribution and Automation Center systems. This way, you can share your data cross-team and -department as well as reference and apply it throughout all business decisions.

Unique features:

  • Track the type of customer data you need to create personalized experiences across all of your channels.
  • Use cross-device user identification and campaign tracking.
  • Track your known-contact interactions on your website and sync that data into the Emarsys contact database (which automatically happens every few hours).
  • Access your data via any of the systems within the Emarsys platform, so you never have to integrate it.
  • Track revenue from email campaigns with the Revenue Attribution system.
  • Build campaigns based on contact behavior with the Automations system.
  • Apply your catalog and purchase data to customer and lifecycle segmentation with the Smart Insight system.

Choose Your Metrics and Tool, and Begin Data Tracking

Data tracking is an effective and accurate way to identify and track the most important metrics to your business — you can then apply your results and insights to improve the customer experience and your bottom line.

(Video) Why Clicky is the Best Analytics Tool for Tracking Website Traffic

FAQs

What is a data tracking? ›

Data tracking describes the process of choosing specific metrics to track and analyze in order to improve your business and optimize the customer experience. You must have a strategy for tracking data in place to make your efforts effective.

Which tool is used for tracking of data? ›

Google Analytics [free and paid]

If you run an e-commerce site, Google Analytics can track your transaction data and help you identify which pages on your sites drive the most sales.

What is the best tracking tool? ›

Here are the top GPS trackers for 2022
  • Vyncs GPS Tracker. : Best for long-term tracking.
  • MOTOsafety GPS Tracker. : Best for new drivers.
  • Bouncie. : Best for vehicle maintenance.
  • SpyTec STI GL300 GPS Tracker. : Best portable tracker.
  • Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker. : Honorable mention.

What is tracking data and what does it tell us? ›

Data tracking involves identifying which metrics and events are most important to track, then collecting and analyzing data related to those metrics and events. By analyzing data, organizations can identify trends and patterns that can help them improve business performance, customer experience, and more.

What are the three 3 kinds of tracking? ›

Three Types of Tracking

These are: Satellite-based GPS Vehicle tracking. Cell-Based GPS vehicle tracking. Cellular-phone based GPS.

What are the four types of tracking? ›

Read on to learn more about the different types of tracking technology that exist in the current environment.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ...
  • Radio Tracking. ...
  • Near-Field Communication (NFC) ...
  • Geofencing. ...
  • Internet Tracking. ...
  • Cellphone Triangulation. ...
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) & Satellite Tracking.
Mar 3, 2022

What are the two methods of tracking? ›

There are two approaches, the traditional method of manually tracking and recording the flow of goods into and out of your business, or utilizing technology for a more practical automated approach.

How many types of tracking systems are there? ›

There are more than four types of GPS tracking. For instance, some trackers are used to monitor vehicles while other trackers are used to monitor people! Let's go over the 5 main types of GPS tracking and how they work.

How do you keep track of data? ›

3 Tips for Keeping Track of Data Files in a Large Data Analysis
  1. Use file directory structures to keep relevant files together.
  2. Split large data sets into smaller relevant ones.
  3. Do all data manipulation in syntax.

What is the best way to track a project? ›

The Gantt chart is one of the most popular ways to track your project's progress. It gives project managers and team members a visual representation of progress in real-time. Gantt charts also make it easier to see how tasks are connected.

What is the most popular tracking app? ›

10 Best Tracking Apps for Android
BEST TRACKERHIGHLIGHTS
FamiSafeTrack current location Track kids' location history Create a safe zone and get alerts
mSpyTracks multiple devices at once
Google Find My DeviceBest phone finding app on android
Where's My DroidGPS localization Phone tracker app without permission
6 more rows

How do I track time in Excel? ›

Click in the cell where you want your total costs. Type a '=' to start a formula. Next, click in the cell that contains your hours, Excel will add a reference to this cell to the formula. Now add a '*' character to the formula and click in the cell with the hourly rate.

Why is it important to track data? ›

Keep Track Of It All

Good data allows organizations to establish baselines, benchmarks, and goals to keep moving forward. Because data allows you to measure, you will be able to establish baselines, find benchmarks and set performance goals.

What is the purpose of tracking? ›

The purpose of a tracking system is to determine the location or direction of a target on a near-continuous basis. An ideal tracking system would maintain contact and constantly update the target's bearing (azimuth), range and elevation.

What is the importance of tracking? ›

Tracking brings certainty to money management. Tracking processes allow business leaders to gain insights on what practices are effective and what practices are not. These insights allow for the elimination of unprofitable business processes and improvements in current business strategies.

What are tracking techniques? ›

Tracking over time involves matching objects in consecutive frames using some kind of information. Essentially, object-tracking methods attempt to identify coherent relations of image information parameters (position, velocity, color, texture, shape, and so forth) between frames.

What is the process of tracking? ›

Process tracking refers to the historical and real-time tracking of business process status and performance. Using a process automation platform to define and track processes ensures standards are followed and performance is optimized.

Which system is used in tracking? ›

GPS tracking is the surveillance of location through use of the Global Positioning System (GPS ) to track the location of an entity or object remotely. The technology can pinpoint longitude, latitude, ground speed, and course direction of the target.

What are the main features of tracking? ›

In this post, we'll explore the important features that every modern GPS tracking system should have.
  • Real-Time Location Tracking. ...
  • Customizable Alerts. ...
  • Driver Behavior Monitoring. ...
  • Historical reports. ...
  • Mobile Fleet Tracking.
Dec 13, 2021

What are the three keys to proper tracking? ›

****what does the term "tracking" mean and what are 3 keys to proper tracking? steering properly, endure, take the path of travel. keys: hold wheel correctly, scanning, and steer towards the center of the road.

What are the fundamentals of tracking? ›

Tracking is the concept of writing lighting cues into cue lists, where rather than storing the same information into consecutive cues, information stored into one cue "tracks" forward into subsequent cues, until a new, different value is stored.

What is tracking also known as? ›

Also referred to as phasing or streaming, tracking is a system in which students are divided into classes based on their overall achievement. Students are ranked as being average, normal, or below average and they are divided into classes with students of the same achievement level.

What is a tracking software? ›

What is IT Tracking Software? IT tracking software tracks the movement of IT assets including equipment, devices, or software within an organization. It goes over the entire assets to create a record and allow physical monitoring.

What is the smallest tracking device? ›

8mm and weighing just 2.5 grams, the Micro Hornet GPS chip is the world's smallest.

What is another name of tracking software? ›

What is another word for tracking system?
radarsonar
direction findingscanning system

What are 3 ways of storing your data? ›

Data can be recorded and stored in three main forms: file storage, block storage and object storage.

What is the easiest way to store data? ›

In This Article
  1. Keep It in the Cloud.
  2. Save to an External Hard Drive.
  3. Burn It to CD, DVD, or Blu-ray.
  4. Put It on a USB Flash Drive.
  5. Save It to a NAS Device.
  6. Frequently Asked Questions.
Nov 17, 2022

How do companies track data? ›

Websites tracking via Cookies and Web Beacons

Websites are equipped with cookies and web beacons which enable companies to track browsing histories. Companies use cookies to know where customers have been on the web, what they've searched for, what websites they have visited, and more.

Can you use Excel to track projects? ›

By exporting your project data to Excel, you can continue to use its powerful spreadsheet functionality while taking advantage of Project to track your project's schedule and resources. You can also import or embed Excel data into your project plan.

What tools do you use to keep track of important project details? ›

9 Recommended Tools for Project Managers
  • Airtable.
  • Asana.
  • Basecamp.
  • Team Gantt.
  • Teamwork Projects.
  • Todoist.
  • Trello.
  • Wrike.
Dec 30, 2019

What 5 steps would you take to ensure a project stays on track? ›

Here are five steps to ensuring that the project stays on track.
  1. Determine the Project's Scope and Objectives. ...
  2. Coordinate and Communicate. ...
  3. Reserve Time for Unexpected Issues. ...
  4. Break Down the Project into Smaller Tasks. ...
  5. Review the Project's Progress Frequently.
May 16, 2017

What is a good free tracker app? ›

Hence, with a free GPS tracking app for Android, you can quickly locate your phone when it is stolen or lost.
  • Google Map (Location Share)
  • Google Family Link.
  • Find My Device.
  • Samsung Find My Mobile.
  • Live Mobile Location Tracker.
  • AirDroid Real-Time GPS Tracker.
  • Life360 GPS Tracking App for Android.

What is the best tracking device for a phone? ›

AirTags don't work with Android phones, but Tile's trackers, including the Tile Mate (2022), the Tile Slim (2022), and the Tile Sticker (2022) (also available in a bundle) are the best alternative.

How do I create a tracking spreadsheet? ›

Follow these five steps to create and use a trackable to-do list in Excel:
  1. Open Excel and create column headers based on your requirements. ...
  2. Fill in the details for each task. ...
  3. Add a filter. ...
  4. Use the filter to sort and prioritize your tasks. ...
  5. Continue using your task tracker. ...
  6. Project task list template.
May 6, 2022

What is a tracking spreadsheet? ›

A prospect tracking spreadsheet is a record of potential customers' details that sales teams use to increase productivity.

What are the two main uses of data? ›

Diagnosing. Predicting. Prescribing. These are the four main uses of data.

What is data and why is it important? ›

Data is essentially the plain facts and statistics collected during the operations of a business. They can be used to measure/record a wide range of business activities - both internal and external. While the data itself may not be very informative, it is the basis for all reporting and as such is crucial in business.

What are the benefits of tracking tools? ›

9 Advantages of Task Tracking Software That Can't Be Ignored
  • Manage all your work/accounts in one place. ...
  • Prioritize tasks. ...
  • Team collaboration. ...
  • Share the workload. ...
  • Eliminate geographic barriers. ...
  • Manage deadlines. ...
  • Track time spent on tasks. ...
  • Save more time on follow ups.
Oct 19, 2022

What are the benefits of tracking systems? ›

The Top 10 Benefits of a Tracking System
  • Reduce Both Wage and Fuel Costs. ...
  • Track Locations. ...
  • Security Benefits. ...
  • Increase Customer Service. ...
  • Dispute Resolution Benefits. ...
  • Improve Staff Members' Driving. ...
  • Motivate Your Staff. ...
  • Increase Productivity.

Is data tracking illegal? ›

There is no specific consumer tracking law in the U.S. at the federal level; however, Federal Trade Commission Behavioral Advertising Principles recommend that websites disclose data collection policies that are used to create targeted marketing.

How do I know if my data is being tracked? ›

How to tell if your cell phone is being spied on
  • Unusual sounds during calls. ...
  • Decreased battery capacity. ...
  • Phone shows activity when not in use. ...
  • Phone takes a long time to shut down. ...
  • Battery temperature feels warm. ...
  • Receiving unusual texts. ...
  • Increased data usage. ...
  • Android.
Sep 1, 2022

Why do companies use data tracking? ›

For many companies, consumer data offers a way to better understand customer needs and boost customer engagement. When companies analyze customer behavior, as well as vast troves of reviews and feedback, they can nimbly modify their digital presence, goods or services to better suit the current marketplace.

Why is data tracking harmful? ›

The risks posed by internet tracking are severe because it can reveal a lot of personal information about a person. Moreover, most sites use trackers to collect data on users' online behavior. In addition, it is not easy to opt-out of internet tracking because most of the trackers are hidden from view.

Does the government track your data? ›

Over the past few years, data brokers and federal military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies have formed a vast, secretive partnership to surveil the movements of millions of people. Many of the mobile apps on our cell phones track our movements with great precision and frequency.

Can your data be stolen? ›

Stolen personal information is fuel for identity theft

Many online services require users to fill in personal details such as full name, home address and credit card number. Criminals steal this data from online accounts to commit identity theft, such as using the victim's credit card or taking loans in their name.

How can I track data from my website? ›

5 top website traffic tracking tools
  1. Google Analytics.
  2. Adobe Analytics.
  3. Matomo.
  4. Clicky.
  5. Fathom.
Feb 2, 2022

Can you tell if someone is watching you through your phone? ›

The following signs may indicate that someone is using your phone's camera to watch you: Suspicious background apps. Camera misbehaving. Odd files and inexplicably low storage space.

How many types of tracking are there? ›

There are more than four types of GPS tracking. For instance, some trackers are used to monitor vehicles while other trackers are used to monitor people! Let's go over the 5 main types of GPS tracking and how they work.

What are the 5 ways of collecting data? ›

Here are the top 5 data collection methods and examples that we've summarized for you:
  • Surveys and Questionnaires. ...
  • Interviews. ...
  • Observations. ...
  • Records and Documents. ...
  • Focus Groups.
Sep 15, 2021

What are the 3 methods of data collection? ›

Under the main three basic groups of research methods (quantitative, qualitative and mixed), there are different tools that can be used to collect data. Interviews can be done either face-to-face or over the phone.

What are the 4 types of customer data? ›

Here are four types of customer data with details on which aspect of the customer experiences it entails:
  • Basic data. Basic data refers to the data you can use to create a database of customer profiles. ...
  • Interaction data. ...
  • Behavioral data. ...
  • Attitudinal data.
Apr 2, 2022

Videos

1. 8 of the Best Tools for Tracking Inbound Links
(Vazoola)
2. Big Data Tools and Technologies | Big Data Tools Tutorial | Big Data Training | Simplilearn
(Simplilearn)
3. Powerful Email Tracking Tools In 2022
(Awoyemi Victor A.)
4. Best Free Tracking Tools To Grow Your Online Business
(Brice Gump)
5. You Ask, I Answer: Favorite Marketing Data Tracking Tools
(Christopher Penn)
6. How to create an elegant, fun & useful tracker with Excel
(Chandoo)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated: 11/11/2022

Views: 6242

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.