Recognizing a trend or change in the data can lead to a good question. This requires creating key performance indicators and watching them as time goes on. You may notice that the amount of purchases that include a sale item is increasing year over year and you want to answer the question as to why – which may lead to an insight that then leads to a change in how your marketing dollars are being spent, how product is merchandised or a page is displayed.
Or a question might first come from outside of the data. Looking at a competitor’s site causes you to wonder what it would be like to do what they are doing. Or something bothers you about the old looking design of your product detail page and you wonder what would happen if you changed it. Those questions then lead you to look at data to validate your questions.
A healthy combination of both approaches – watching your data for trends and watching the competitive landscape for trends, can and should be employed to get the most out of web analytics to improve your online business.