It has never been easier to collect customer and business data; in fact, some might say it has become too easy as there becomes a danger of collecting more data than you know what to do with. In addition, the use of cloud storage has made it easier to store more data without reaching a storage capacity.
However, amongst your masses of data, not all of it will be useful and some could be poor quality so the question is, how to you obtain data that is useful and data that can be used to make smart decisions and implement strategies?
Let’s start at the beginning and establish what we mean by data. There is a common misconception that data means numbers and statistics, but data can be any form of insight such as customer feedback, competitor activity, sales information, website usage, employee information and much more.
High quality data can be essential for several reasons:
When it comes to data there is masses of data that you can collect but we believe the main categories are customer, sales, marketing, internal and external.
Some argue that customer data is the most important data your organisation can collect as customers are the lifeblood of your business. There is so much customer data that is available that we could probably write a blog post on customer data collection alone! But, some of the key questions to ask yourself when reviewing your customer data are as follows:
The collection of personal information such as contact name, number and email address are vital, and early segmentation is recommended so you can target your customers with appropriate messages. Segments could include industry, budget and location but the segmentation opportunities are endless.
Sales data can provide a highly valuable source of insight into your business and can help make decisions surrounding price, distribution, and new product development.
Getting a clear insight into your sales data can help you set sales targets, work on sales forecasting to help manage your cash flow and implement strategies to drive business growth.
The rise of digital marketing has made it easy to obtain almost anything you want to know about your prospects and customers and how they are engaging with your marketing activity. In fact, 34% of businesses now rely on this approach to improve their data-driven marketing.
When we consider internal data we are looking at HR data, and analysing this data is important as employees should be at the heart of any strategic decision making.
Employees are often at the forefront of your business and the point of contact for many customers so it’s important to keep your employees satisfied and motivated. Your internal HR data can provide a large insight, but you could also collect additional data by conducting regular satisfaction surveys among your workforce and completing personal reviews.
You should never be so focused on your business that you forget to keep an eye on your competitors.
Knowing your competitors inside out will help you identify any opportunities where you can outperform them.
Collecting data is the easy part but navigating through it and extracting the valuable elements to help you get a true insight into your business is the hard part. Knowing which areas to explore can be a minefield but breaking your data down into the five key areas we have explored is a good place to start, and from here you can manipulate it further and get the insights you need to make smart business decisions.
To learn about our award-winning reporting software, or to see a personalised demo for your business, please get in touch today.