Using Data In Business
With technology constantly advancing comes the increasing development of data usage and storage. Data is used almost everywhere and for a multitude of reasons. Nowadays the impact data can have on a business is huge, there is a vast range of possibilities that can help elevate your organisation and although often not easy to wrap your head around, it can play a vital role in the success of a business and may be utilised in many different areas.
How can data help your business?
Customer service can be greatly impacted and improved by using data. Being able to monitor and record customer satisfaction gives you an idea of where your strengths lie and in which areas your customers think you could improve. As well as giving you the opportunity to personalise each customer’s experience such as using customer preferences to contact them, learning what their interests are and then tailoring the content you share with them to appeal to them more. This allows you to continue building a better relationship and level of trust with them which increases your chances of them returning to you in the future.
Provides Quantitative Evidence
Another extremely useful aspect of using data is the fact it provides quantitative proof to back up your arguments. When in meetings or planning strategies it is unlikely everyone will agree with each other straight away therefore having numerical data to back up your point of view means you will be in a good position to push your argument forward. This also applies to external situations, people trust numbers and having solid facts to provide to customers or clients increases trust and authenticity in your relationships with them further increasing your chances of customer retention.
Tracking Social Media
Data comes in incredibly useful when tracking social media interactions. Analysing your social media posts enables you to see what type of posts are doing well, on which platforms and at what times they are reaching the widest audience. This means you can understand your performance on social media and identify areas for improvement thus refining your online presence in order to better reach your target audience.
Improving Marketing Efforts
You can apply the information found when tracking social media interactions to improve marketing efforts. Data can help identify keywords used in social media posts that draw customers/clients in, it can identify patterns of what is successful and inform you of which marketing strategies aren’t engaging your target audience, providing you with the tools you need to develop your marketing efforts based on the data provided.
How valuable is data?
The value of data is often underestimated or not understood properly, it is becoming increasingly beneficial to organisations and when used effectively could prove to be indispensable. Too often its value is determined by the cost of the technology purchased to store the data, however the value much depends on your organisation. How often you use data, how efficiently you source it and the cost to maintain and store it all impacts how valuable it is to your business. If you aren’t using or analysing your data frequently whilst simultaneously spending a lot of time and money sourcing and storing it then overall, it will be of little value to you and may in fact harm your business.
How to make the most of data
Dedicate a team
It is rare to find an organisation that has a team working solely around data even though it is a huge component of a business. In order to harness the full potential of data usage for your company, dedicating personnel and resources to working with data would be invaluable; understanding and then being able to use that knowledge to further improve your business strategies will take time and commitment but will be well worth it.
Be outcome focused
When working with data it is important to maintain an outcome focused approach; simply using and analysing data for the sake of it wouldn’t be productive and may impact your business negatively. Having an objective purpose, clarifying what questions you want answered and making it relevant to your business would guarantee a purposeful approach to data and ensure you aren’t wasting valuable resources and time to gain little useful information. Data makes your approach to things strategic and based on evidence of current successes or failures instead of working by trial and error which is a more time consuming and ineffective method.
Humanize your data
Simply having the data there isn’t enough. Finding creative ways to understand and explain data to your customers may make it a lot easier for them to relate to and make sense of. If customers don't understand what your data is telling you and how it backs up your point then it could make them feel a bit out of their depth, prompting them to find someone else who could better help them therefore losing you a customer. Not everyone will be able to look at data and immediately see a clear pattern or the answers they are looking for; taking the time to make your data more accessible makes you seem more conscientious and will improve your relationships with your customers.
Transforming your organisation into one that is data-driven will take time, commitment and resources. It is not an overnight process nor an easy one however when done properly it can help develop different areas of your business and propel you forward into being a successful organisation.