What Is Behavioral Data and Behavioral Analytics?

Written by Indicative Team


We built Indicative to be the best behavioral analytics platform for optimizing your customer journey with deep user insights into conversion, engagement, and retention.
Below is a quick primer on what behavioral analytics is and what it takes to optimize every touchpoint a customer has with your business.

What is Behavioral Data?

Behavioral data is data generated by, or in response to, a customer’s engagement with a business. This can include things like page views, email sign-ups, or other important user actions. Common sources of behavioral data include websites, mobile apps, CRM systems, marketing automation systems, call centers, help desks, and billing systems.

Customers can either be consumers, businesses, or individuals within a business, but behavioral data can always be tied back to a single end-user. It’s important to note that this user can be a known individual (logged-in) or anonymous (not logged in).

This type of data is typically created and stored in the form of an “event,” meaning an action that was taken, with “properties,” meaning metadata used to describe the event. For example, an event could be “site visit” and a property for that event could be “device type.” It may help to think of events as the “what” and the properties as the “who, when, and where.”

What is Behavioral Analytics?

Behavioral analytics examines the “what’s” and “how’s” of customer behavioral data to inform the “why’s” of customer behavior. This can include tracking page views, email sign-ups, or other important actions like registration. These critical day to day insights allow us to further optimize for conversion, engagement, and retention.


For example, if a business is looking for insight into why users bounce before subscribing, they can build out an analysis that aims to isolate points of friction within a specific conversion funnel. The example Funnel above compares user flows of those who open an email and begin their journey to creating an account.

With Indicative marketing, product, and data teams can gain deep behavioral insights that they need to understand their customers and grow their business.

How Can You Benefit From Behavioral Analytics?

Behavioral analytics is crucial in optimizing your company’s conversion, engagement, and retention. With the right behavioral analytics tool, every member of your team should be able to gain the actionable insights they need to answer their own questions and leverage data in ways that didn’t seem possible before.

What are Behavioral Analysis Tools?

There are three main behavioral analysis tools involved in building a complete picture of your customer journey: segmentation analysis, funnel analysis, and cohort analysis. Each of these tools serves its own importance when examining users conversion, engagement and retention.

Segmentation Tool

The segmentation tool helps you build out key KPIs and metrics, create custom calculations, and identify behavioral trends. For example, if you’re interested in tracking your site subscriptions, you can monitor each marketing source to track the number of subscriptions they bring in over time. This allows you to optimize your marketing channels by enhancing the ones that work and improving or removing ones that are less effective. 

Funnel Tool

The Funnel tool is used to analyze conversion funnels, visualize multidimensional user journeys, and see what’s working and what’s not. Funnel analysis is a great way to examine user drop-off. For example, you could explore users who create an account, but then never go one to visit your blog page. This could help you optimize your site so that users are more clearly directed to your blog page. 

Cohort Tool

Cohort analysis is used to analyze user retention over time to see what keeps users coming back. For example, you could analyze and group users who purchased items from one category and then came back to purchase a product from a different category. This allows you to build more accurate profiles of your users and their interests and needs. 

Who should use Behavioral Analytics?

Data is the new currency of modern business. Everyone, in any industry, should be able to use behavioral analytics to drive their business. Marketers, product managers, and data analysts can begin to see their customers as people, not just data points when they begin to use behavioral analysis tools. 

Marketers, product managers, and data analysts can use behavioral analytics to drive their businesses

Behavioral Data and Marketing

Marketers can use behavioral data and analytics to get the most out of campaigns, optimize customer acquisition, and grow customer Lifetime Value (LTV). As a marketing team, it’s important to know which campaigns are successfully increasing engagement and revenue. For example, a marketing team that sends out an email campaign with the intent to increase blog traffic can track the success of the email, visitors to the blog, and which blogs are gaining the most views. 

With Indicative, marketing teams can:

  • Optimize customer acquisition by comparing and honing in on the most valuable channels and campaigns.
  • Increase customer LTV by identifying the shared behaviors and characteristics of the most loyal customers.
  • Maximize retention by understanding where, how, and why customers are engaging throughout their lifecycle.
  • Build dashboards on the fly to monitor and share valuable KPIs throughout the customer journey.

Behavioral Data and Product Management

Product managers can use behavioral data and analytics to build out a product roadmap, optimize user engagement, and reduce churn. For example, if you’re a product manager of an app developer looking to monitor the success of a new feature on an app, behavioral analytics can help you track and isolate users who use the new feature and the process that led them to use the new feature. If the new feature is unsuccessful, the product team may be able to identify points of friction that are causing problems with new feature engagement.

With Indicative, product teams can:

  • Fully understand and map user behavior across the full customer journey.
  • Iterate quickly on product implementations by measuring user engagement in real-time.
  • Proactively isolate and identify user behavior that leads to increased user retention and reduced churn.
  • Build dashboards on the fly to monitor and share valuable KPIs throughout the customer journey.

Behavioral Data and Data Analysis Teams

Data analysts can use behavioral data to gain complex analytics without having to build complex SQL queries and analysis capabilities that are not available using SQL. This allows business users to devote more time to other projects and streamline their workflows. For example, if you’re looking to build a report on conversion time vs. new features, you can use create a conversion over time funnel and flag the dates when new features were rolled out. 

With Indicative, data teams can:

  • Conduct in-real-time behavioral analyses not possible in SQL.
  • Break down data silos and analyze the full customer journey with complete context.
  • Empower your organization to make data-driven decisions a part of their daily routine, allowing you to focus on other projects.
  • Build dashboards on the fly to monitor and share valuable KPIs throughout the customer journey.

Which Behavioral Analytics Product Should I Choose?

As the data and analytics market continues to expand, the number of behavioral tools to choose from can be hard to select from. Providers like Amplitude, Indicative, and Mixpanel are all popular choices in the behavioral analytics space, and each one has its respective differences.

If your company is searching for the right behavioral analytics provider, it’s important to take your time and do research on each product that you are considering. Some products offer a Free plan which can help you gain a better idea of how the tools work and if the product makes the most sense for your business and analysis goals. Trialing several products can be the most time and cost-effective process because switching tools can be unproductive and expensive.

It’s important to look for behavioral analytics tools that can:

  • Optimize behavior among different paths and isolate successful ones
  • Diagnose and remove friction-heavy steps for customers
  • Focus on key behaviors that result in higher total customer value
  • Use highly targeted customer segments to inform and launch campaigns
  • Proactively isolate and target users at risk of churn
  • Build at-a-glance dashboards to share with teams and executives

If you’re looking for a product that does all of the above you should try Indicative, which offers 250 million events per month so you never have to worry about hitting restrictive data limits. Create your free account here.