Real Time Data VS Aggregated Data

‘Newer is better’ is a fairly common misconception about the world. This viewpoint is especially prevalent when it comes to the relevancy of financial and economic data. We may think we want the most up-to-date information as it’s released, but it often takes a little longer for the reliability of data to even out.

Most internet marketers rely on some kind of analytics software or tool (such as Google Analytics) to assess the progress of their strategies and campaigns. The software itself will focus on either real time or compiled data depending on the user’s interest. Since we’re talking about the internet, your first instinct is probably that data value depreciates with time at a faster pace, that in other consumer markets.

But when deciding on a web analytics system for your SEO and internet marketing efforts, consider the following when deciding what type of data you want to focus on.

Raw Data

The unstructured data that comes straight from external input. This is real time because it’s a primary database that collects data as it’s made available. These databases can be enormous, depending on the data inputs.

• Ill-fated campaigns can be fine-tuned before they incur too many needless costs.
• The data is pure and unaffected.
• The most up-to-date data may offer a competitive advantage.
• You can combine data in more interesting and less conventional ways.

• It’s very hard to effectively see trends and patterns in the data.
• The technical demand of such a high number of queries on a database’s system can cause it to stall or crash.
• It can be expensive to maintain the database.
• The data collection methods for each element also have to be real-time.
• Data can often be incorrect or incomplete.

Aggregated Data

Data that is combined using several measurements to produce a certain degree of statistical analysis. A protocol, algorithm and in some cases human effort, clean up the raw data and make it more communicable as source of inference.

• Gives you more of a big-picture perspective.
• It’s easier to interpret.
• Tends to be more statistically significant data.
• As it’s been cleansed, it tends to be more reliable.

• You may lose out on certain opportunities because of the data delay.
• The value of the data is all in the method used to compile it.


While the best application for your search engine marketing strategy would depend on the type of industry you’re in, overall aggregated data has the smaller margin for error and requires the least expertise to use effectively.

Real time data lets people know what’s going on as it’s happening, and that can be very attractive in the mysterious world of web advertising. But compiled data can save you from yourself and help you come to the right conclusion before assuming that drastic changes have to be implemented to save a project.