Let’s face it. Analyzing marketing data regardless of platform or channel dominates digital marketing. We spend increasingly larger amounts of time trying to understand what our ad efforts are accomplishing, troubleshooting problem spots, and making optimizations based on that data.

At any given time, there are tons of marketing platforms that are designed to solve every different type of analytics problem under the sun. Whether it’s social or search or any other type of marketing, you can find an analytics tool that is built to help.

Too often we don’t have a great grasp of what we need in our tools, and move too hastily to adopt the latest and greatest tool. What might benefit us more in the short term is using tools built into the very advertising platforms we’re already using to advertise. Luckily, it seems the operators of those platforms are happy to help.

In this post, we’re going to specifically look at some tools Facebook provides that both help with advertising within the platform, but can also provide general analytics usefulness outside of Facebook, especially in a cross-channel world.

We’ll discuss:

  • Audience Insights
  • Pixel Data
  • Facebook Analytics

Let’s get started.

Audience Insights

Audience Insights is a great tool for understanding the composition of audiences used within Facebook. While the very first audience people generally seek to understand is the fans of their page, there are a ton of ways you can use Audience Insights to inform your targeting.

Facebook Audience Insights

Often, marketers will upload audiences of people to Facebook that have purchased, signed up, or completed other steps that are core to the business. While you can then use these audiences to help inform your targeting of people unaware of your business through lookalikes or for remarketing purposes, you might be in the dark about who exactly makes up these audiences. Or, you might have an idea, but want further confirmation.

Audience Insights can help in this regard. It will take whatever audience you choose (that has been uploaded and matched to Facebook users) and show you a variety of demographic and behavioral variables.

You can then use these to help optimize your targeting, create personas, and have more awareness of the people buying and signing up for your business. You can also use these insights outside of Facebook to help inform other channels and marketing efforts.

Pro-Tip: Segment your audience uploads so you can get insights into specific groups of people and actions rather than commingling them into one giant audience.

Pixel Data

An often overlooked, but very important part of Facebook performance is that of pixel data. As all campaign performance data relies on the pixel operating correctly on your site, this area of Facebook is important to keep tabs on.

Facebook pixel data

At times, conversion volume can suddenly drop and we as marketers are often left trying to figure out if it’s a campaign performance issue or a technical problem. Too often people will spend vast amounts of time checking through targeting, ad copy, and budgets to discover that it was simply a reporting issue with the pixel or tag on the site.

Utilizing this part of the interface can help you assess whether the pixel is working correctly before you move on to other types of troubleshooting. Just remember this area reports raw pixel firings and not ones tied specifically to your campaigns, so the conversion events will likely be much higher in the pixel interface than they are in ads manager.

Pro-Tip: Use the Facebook pixel data in conjunction with Google Analytics and other reporting platforms to verify page view and other types of data. The more ways to check and double check data the better!

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics is a data collection and visualization tool that helps you understand the behavior of people on your site or within your app. It has a bit of Audience Insights mixed into it, but it really shines in helping you understand a user journey from start to finish.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics provides all sorts of ways to understand and visualize how people are interacting and behaving on your site or app. Just be sure to have your events set up at the pixel level so you can use these tools to their full ability.

Utilizing the funnel, retention, and cohort tools provides a much deeper analysis of your users’ behavior, giving you a more rounded understanding of what’s going on. If you want to understand conversion rates along a funnel, say app install to purchase, you can create a funnel visualization and segment it by various demographic and technological variables.

If you want to understand users by certain time frames and how one time compares to another, the cohort tool will allow you to segment and compare users by time and action. The retention tool can help you understand how long users stick around after they initially find you.

All of these tools and the others provided by Facebook Analytics not only provide help with Facebook ad performance, but provide general data analysis usefulness regardless of channel.


With so much advertising data and data analysis tools out there, it can be overwhelming to find which tools will work best for your needs and budget. Sometimes it’s better to use what is already available until you can assess your needs and upgrade.

Facebook has been steadily improving its data analysis tools that can both be used to improve Facebook ad performance and performance outside of Facebook. They’re well worth a look if you’re trying to get deeper insights into your data.