The value of historic data

Last year I started to take photos of specific areas of the garden every month.

I've been saving them up and finally yesterday, I put them all together into a photo album website. I can now look at where things stood at a specific time (e.g. how was last August?) or how a location changed over-time (e.g. how has the front entryway changed?)

It takes only a couple of minutes every month and the visuals make comparisons easy. For example I quickly found:

I could have learned this by taking precise measurements and notes, but I'd have to know what I was looking for before I got started. The photos on the other hand are a simple recording of history that I can use to go back in time and rediscover things I missed.

Some systems don't handle historic data. From today-on, they're useful but if you have years of data you can't take advantage of it. (This is the big problem with Google Analytics, especially Google Analytics 4)

Other systems bring in historic data and use that to pre-fill a lot of information automatically for you. That lets you find things in the historic data that you never thought about looking for. (Repeat Customer Insights brings in all of your historic Shopify data for this reason).

The downside of an analysis system that uses historic data is that it can be overwhelming at first with how much information they give you (e.g. with yesterday's release, there are now fourteen different reports, not counting sub-reports or drill-downs).

That's why a lot of my work this year has been around education and explaining what's going on. It's a never-ending process for me but it helps out every customer, now and in the future.

But once you get familiar with the system, that downside disappears and you can pick out what you need.

If you haven't installed Repeat Customer Insights yet, it's an easy way to get a detailed look at your customer behavior.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Historic performance

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