Digital Marketing

Digital Data - Understanding How Data is Gathered

Data is the currency of the digital age. It’s used for everything - from targeting online ads to understanding what content a user will want to see next. Let's dive into why gathering digital data is important.


Data is the currency of the digital age. It’s used for everything from targeting online ads to understanding what content a user will want to see next. But how does it get there? And how do we make sense of all that data? I’m going to break it down for you here:

How is Data Gathered?

Have you ever wondered how companies know what they know? It’s not as simple as running into each other at a bar. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Companies collect data through cookies, IP addresses, robots and crawlers that scrape websites, and even social media sites like Facebook.

The data is then compiled and used to create a profile of the user, which helps companies understand how to best serve their needs. Through this process, companies can learn about a person’s interests, demographics, and even location. They can target ads that are relevant to the consumer by using this information.


Cookies are tiny files that websites place on your computer or mobile device to store information about you. They're like a passport stamp as you roam through the internet, collecting data on sites you visit and how much time you spend there. Cookies can be used to store a user's preferences, shopping cart contents, website logins, and even passwords (though many browsers will only accept passwords if they're encrypted).

Whether it's an ad network tracking movement across multiple sites or Google Analytics tracking page views and time spent on a page - cookies are a common way for many companies to collect data about users' online activities.

The data collected by cookies can be used by companies to target ads specifically at you. They can also be used by marketers to analyse user behaviour and create segments based on it. This allows advertisers to reach the right audience with their message and increase ROI (return on investment).

IP Addresses, IMEI, and MAC addresses

IP Addresses

An IP address is a unique identifier assigned to each device on the internet. When you connect to the internet, your computer (or smartphone) will have an IP address that allows other devices on the network to identify it and communicate with it. If you're using a public Wi-Fi connection, these addresses can be used by your service provider or anyone else who's tracking users on that network to track where you've been online.

MAC Addresses

A MAC address is another type of unique identifier assigned to each device connected to the internet through Wi-Fi or wired connections. This can be used as an alternate way for someone trying to track you online by looking at which MAC addresses are associated with which networks they connect (e.g., public Wi-Fi).

Robots and Crawlers

You may be wondering, “What are these robots and crawlers?” Well, let's start with robots. Robots are bots that you can use to gather information from the Internet. They’re used to gather information about people, places, events, and much more. For example: if you want to find out how many babies were born in the United States last year, then a robot could do this for you by searching through thousands of websites until it finds an answer.

A crawler is another kind of bot used on websites (instead of on search engines). The difference between a robot and a crawler is that a crawler doesn't just search for one thing; it searches for everything related to its topic within one website or group of websites (like when Google indexes all pages).

How Google Analytics Data is Gathered

You probably know that Google Analytics uses cookies to track visits to your website. But do you know how it does this?

As mentioned earlier, a cookie is a small file that is placed on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. A cookie can be used for many purposes, such as remembering user preferences and tracking the pages visited by users. Google Analytics collects information about your computer’s operating system, browser type, language, IP address (which has been anonymized), time zone setting, and location (based on your IP address). The information collected from the use of cookies is anonymous and cannot be used to identify any individual user; however, it does allow Google Analytics to track the usage patterns of visitors within web pages over time.

Pulling Data from Social Media Sites

Social media sites are a goldmine of information. They have a ton of data on users and their behaviour, which can be used to target ads more effectively. Most social media sites allow third-party advertisers to gather this data, so they can use it in their own campaigns. Cookies are used to track users on these websites, as well as the IP address from which they visit the site.

This information can help you target users who have visited your website but haven’t converted. It’s also a good way to find out if someone has visited your site from a specific location. The more data you have on your audience and their behaviour, the better you can tailor your marketing efforts.

Using Third Parties to Collect Data

Third parties are often used in the collection of data. Third parties can be used to gather data from social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as websites. They can also be used to gather email addresses or mobile app information.

This is one reason why you should never register for a site without reading the privacy policy first: if a site does not require registration, you may have no idea what third-party services they have partnered with and what kind of information those third parties might have access to about your browsing activity or other online activities (like your social media posts).


Digital data is just a fancy word for numbers, letters and symbols that are stored on a computer. A lot of people think that it’s only used in business but there are many other uses for digital data.

Digital data can be collected from many different sources like websites or social media accounts. It is used by companies to track information about their customers and use this information to improve their products or services.

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