Most organizations have spent precious little energy on an analytics strategy, and even fewer have structured their organizations in such a way as to give analytics data the life it deserves.

Phil Kemelor of consulting firm Semphonic asserts these things and more. You -- yes, you there -- are probably not so good at using your data. And if you don't fix that soon, says he, the coming multi-channel analytics tsunami is going to overwhelm you. Either that or you'll just keep right on going, flying blind -- while your competitors continue refining.

It's People, Then Data

There's no denying that the tools are out there. In fact, it isn't that much of a stretch to say that the number of digital analytics data sources available will probably double this year, triple the year after that, and so on.

So why are so many of us still relying on our gut feelings and a stack of Google Analytics reports to do the job? Kemelor thinks the problem lies in transitioning from online to digital. In a recent Semphonic white paper he wrote:

"We find that there is a lack of understanding about how abstract website data corresponds to existing business metrics, a lack of qualified staff to draw out meaningful metrics, and a myriad number of technical challenges around the purchase, implementation, use and maintenance of software required to collect and analyze data."

Beyond this, the data deluge is coming. Previously you monitored your website. But times are changing Kemelor says. Now you've got to concern yourself with your website and a growing host of other things, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, more and more video, and the burgeoning mobile web.

From Hand-off to Process

Kemelor argues that the general understanding of digital data is weak--a foundational weakness that goes as far back as terminology:

"For the uninitiated, the term Web analytics does little to convey value or action. The term only describes an activity, like 'appendectomy,' or 'driving," he said. "Tell a CMO that using analytics to measure 'visitor engagement' or a CFO that analytics is used to measure 'visitor profitability' and you might have the starting place for a discussion."