An Introduction to Analytics and Data
Analytics is defined as the analysis of data and statistics. 
Article is finished, bye.
Just kidding! But, if you’re reading this, you might be asking how understanding data or numbers might help you as an artist. Well, it tells you about your public and allows you to know if something will work or not, before you even do it. But first: what is data and statistics!?
The Magic of Numbers
Into the Unknown
-Elsa of Arendelle, 2019
Data is a collection of facts, a jumbled mess ready to be deciphered and understood , a letter soup that can be rearranged into a cute phrase for your nephew to read and eat. Once you manage to find out what the data means, it turns into information that can be actually used for something useful!
Let’s say that you want to know what the people that follow you on twitter, facebook or any other social media like in order to get ideas for your next project. The data here would be, for example, what your followers post, who they follow, what they favorite, and then, your notes of what you find interesting. You can then interpret the data in multiple ways.
Choose a topic, and see how many people interact with it. For example, how many people enjoy the color yellow or who enjoys FPS games.
Check how many times a certain topic came up between posts.
See how many people follow the same people you do, so you know which of the people you follow share similar content. This is also an opportunity for new friends!
If you see something in common between those ideas, most of them have something to do with numbers...
I always hated math, until I was forced to use it everyday of my life for literally everything. Including in art itself. So I decided to just embrace it.
And it’s fine if you hate math and want to avoid numbers as much as possible. But numbers are literally the only thing that represent something with certainty. If you have 3 apples, you have 3 apples, and everyone will agree you have 3 apples because numbers are absolute. The amount a number tells you is the same for anyone. No matter the opinion they might have, 3 equals 3, no matter what.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to certain numbers and try to discover which number is most important for you. The numbers tell which content people might like, the best time to post things and help you decide between one content and another.
And from numbers comes statistics. Your stats! You can consider your followers (or likes) your level! I wish I could get new abilities with the follower level… 😔 (You actually do, and is related to influence, but that’s a story for another article.) And sadly, math is a thing you might need.
Run to the hills!
Run for your life!
-Iron Maiden, 1982
Don’t worry, you won’t need to calculate matrices, or how big the side of a triangle is based on the angle. Nor will you need massive excel sheets for them (although they would help in some cases). But first, let’s talk about time and money for a second. Every time you create something, let’s say, to get more followers, consider that you made that art for a client, and price it as normal. Then consider that value as if you paid for an advertisement or something like that. That will make your life easier. Talking with your clients will be important too, we have a post about the subject that you can read clicking here.
Return On Investment (ROI)
Basically, ROI tells how much you earned, or possibly lost, by doing that art . The base math is: how much you received in the current moment thanks to the investment, minus the investment. That will generate your profit or loss. Now, just divide the profit or loss by how much it costs.
Let’s say Jane made an art of a bird that cost her 40 dollars. And by talking with commissioners and such she discovered that they asked her to draw their piece because they saw the bird picture. Which earned her 60 dollars in total.
So, 60 - 40 = 20 in profit.
The last step is to divide the profit of 20 by the investment of 40. This gives you a ratio of 0.5, remember that value, I will come back to it later. If you want a percentage, you just need to multiply the ratio by a 100. In this case, her ROI would be 50% A 50% ROI is massive. Businesses would open champagne and commemorate in loco for just 15% of ROI. Jane got a ROI of 50%, which is great!
Now, let’s talk about why ROI is actually useful. Let’s say Jane did more bird pictures and she always got a return ratio of 0.5. She now can predict how much money she will get over time. How? Let’s say she wants to have a profit of 500 per month, how can she safely predict how much she needs to invest? By using the ratio. It’s a simple division of 500 by 0.5, which equals 1000. Then it’s up to Jane to decide if using bird pictures is worth it. Also, if you are curious, here’s the original equations:
Interaction to Follower Ratio
Having a high follower count helps but it’s not everything! Interactions are also important when it comes to exposure to your content and this is another number that is very important.
If you notice your hits slowing down, then your followers might be bots, which might explain why your followers are no longer participating in your raffles or commissions anymore , or maybe your followers were just interested in the raffle itself rather than the content of your posts.
Also, it’s important to note that some social media allow various ways of interacting with a post. If the same user likes, comments and shares the post, it could be counted as one interaction. So count how many people interacted, not how many interactions per say.
If you are checking multiple posts and it’s the same person interacting over and over again, count them as one interaction too. The ratio is really easy to calculate:
Divide the number of people that interact with your posts, by the number of likes/followers you have. To have a percentage, multiply by a hundred.
So let’s say Jane posted 10 things in the last few days, and she got a total of 500 people interacting with the posts, and she has 1000 followers. So 500 divided by 1000 brings a ratio of 0.5. to get a percentage, multiply that number by 100. Giving a 50% interaction to follower ratio. Yes, that number is massive.
If Jane wants, she can attempt to predict how many interactions she will get in 10 posts by simply multiplying the follower count, by the ratio. So, for example, she gets more followers, let’s say 2000. If she multiplies that value by her ratio, which is 0.5, she will predict that she might get 1000 interactions.
If you’d like, you can replace, for example, the amount of interactions by how many commissioners you received through that social media channel. So you could then get a commissioners to follower ratio, the logic remains the same.
And again, if you want the formula, here it is:
About the Author
Call me not Mariah! Just kidding.
I am Leonard Draculius (@l_draculius), I am an artist, designer, and programmer that is not good with any of the above!
I am a dude from Brazil that enjoys reading deeply into how stuff works and sometimes I read scientific papers full of algorithms. Just for fun.
I believe I first came in contact with the furry community around 2008 and I started to actively be part of it in 2016 to improve my English. Soon, my fiancee and I will be welcoming our son into the world, all thanks to this fandom! Yes, I joined the fandom to improve my English, then many other wonderful things happened. And yes, they were all planned.
I've decided to write for AnthroBrand because I was already thinking about creating a blog about marketing and business for artists. Then I stumbled upon Mariah's site and I was like "Oh! Looks like somebody already executed the idea I had, so let's just join in jolly cooperation!" So I am here to talk about topics like: How can I price my art? How can I pay my bills with art? Why does Twitter's algorithm like feet and text so much? Why did this post get so few likes when this one received so many? What is an AI and will it bring extinction to mankind?
I won't be able to post here all the time because those topics involve a bunch of research and source digging. But you can be sure that I will try my best to ensure quality and make jokes where possible to make the content less tedious.
Cause numbers are boring.
Also, my English still sucks. (Your English is fine, Leonard. 💙 Mariah)