How to Create a Data Layer

Caitlin Hardie

Caitlin HardieMarketing Executive at Yard

Friday, July 5, 2019

A data layer can help structure the information you collect for better analytics. This also allows for a more robust and reliable data source. So how can you create a data layer and make the most of it to inform future decisions?

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If you work in the world of digital, you’ve probably heard increasing use of the term ‘data layer’. Data layers make data collection more efficient and reliable, pulling all data into one place to make website usage and performance data easier to understand. This article will give you an understanding of how data layers work and how you can build one.

While most standard analytics packages collect data at some level, using a data layer allows you to have a single point of reference for the data that needs to be collected by your Tag Management System. It then sends it out to any third-party technologies you already have implemented (i.e. Google Analytics and a Facebook pixel).

To put it simply, a data layer is a list of all your business’ website requirements in formats that can be interpreted by both your team and your client.

Creating a data layer will be different for each company, but any individual or team that has any requirement for the data, or those responsible for its design and implementation, should be involved. Stakeholders who might have a vested interest include:

  • Analytics/Data and Insight
  • Marketing
  • Data Science
  • Business Intelligence
  • IT/Developers

Beyond these initial teams, it’s a good idea to make sure that the wider business is at least aware of the plan so an opportunity for input is available to all.

Once you’ve made all relevant teams aware of this, make sure you have clearly defined KPIs. With these agreed, you’ll want to consider what kinds of data points you need to collect for each page view or event. 

Now that you have learned a bit about how to get your website’s data layer up and running, why not take a deeper dive with this guide to data layers?

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