“The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.” — John W. Tukey, Exploratory Data Analysis, 1977
As you know, we have five senses: touch, hearing, taste, smell and vision. Of those, vision is by far our most dominant sense.
It’s also our fastest: Humans process visual information faster than other types of information. In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. And we live in a visual world: 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Our brains are well adapted to that fact. When comparing vision to the other senses and using computing as an analogy, data visualization expert David McCandless says, “It has the same bandwidth as a computer network.”
Which means it’s almost counter-productive to try and understand all of our email marketing data in any way other than visually. And that’s why data visualization is so effective when used for email analytics. As email marketers, we are processing and acting upon huge amounts of data, in less time and with greater complexity. And that volume of data keeps growing. We absolutely, positively must have visual analytics tools to manage it all.
See the results of our email marketing campaigns in a well-done visual way helps us to quickly:
- See what happened
- Understand why because we can:
- See the big picture
- See connections
- Spot trends
- Compare campaigns
- Compare campaign details
- Learn from the data
- Make informed decisions
That’s just a sampling of the kinds of insight you can gain, obviously. The point is, with visual email analytics, we can understand all of this information in minutes instead of hours or days.
Why eMVision is better kind of email analytics tool
Yes, hours or days, because that’s the amount of time it used to take to extract the same kind of information and insight that can now be understood in minutes.
We know firsthand how long it can take to understand performance data. Back in 2013, we tired of watching clients struggle to quickly make sense of their email reporting metrics. We were familiar with the data visualization made possible by Tableau Software, so we built eMVision by integrating Tableau’s powerful capabilities to make information insightful with the email reporting of major ESPs. You can see the results in the screenshots included in this blog post: colorfully represented data that is easily grasped, understood and acted upon.
With eMVision, our clients are able to process a lot of data faster and better. Faster gets you tsavings, obviously, and I have more to say on that below, and better gets you additional insights. When you can quickly grasp information, you can also see trends, comparisons and connections faster and more easily.
An eMVision case study demonstrates value of visual email analytics
At ClickMail, we have one client using eMVision to drastically reduce the amount of time spent on analyzing email marketing performance, and to be able to see metrics they couldn’t before.
Before eMVision, this team was spending 2 to 3 hours per week pulling numbers and building reports. All that time meant less time for creating new emails, testing ideas, and completing other daily tasks.
Once they implemented eMVision, the time spent on email analytics went from 2 to 3 hours every week to less than an hour. Multiply that by four weeks in a month, and that’s a dramatic savings: a 75% decrease, in fact.
In addition to gaining more time for higher value tasks, that same email marketing team now has easy access to metrics they didn’t before—and that they didn’t have time for before.
You can’t improve when you can’t measure, nor can you react when you don’t know what’s going on. Anything that gives you deeper insight into your email marketing performance therefore lends itself to improvements in performance on your part—and that can only lead to improved ROI.