If you have more data than you know what to do about it, finding successful ways to do something with it may be a challenge.
For instance, with more and more people using a desktop, laptop, and mobile computing devices, all of which produce more knowledge, it makes sense that 90% of the world’s data has only been generated in the last three years. And it’s not just the product of humans making data; it’s because of algorithms and other tools that monitor user activity and produce their own data.
In fact, global computer use now generates more than 2.5 million bytes of data on a daily basis, and this figure can only increase with the spread of the Internet of Things devices. It’s a huge, almost unintelligible amount of details. And only some of this is useful for your unique, appropriate business interests.
But how is a company going through a mountain of data collected daily and finding information that is actually useful in improving efficiency, benefit, revenue, or other operational factors?
These eight methods are some of the things a company can do to sift through the knowledge and figure out what makes sense and is useful.
1. Accept That Big Data is Here to Stay
Big data, looked at without refining, can seem to be a vast, unwieldy mess of random information. And in that sense, there is a strong temptation to simply ignore it. Yet avoiding big data misses a crucial opportunity. Data science, for example, is a growing occupation because of the importance of being able to screen, filter and interpret what is useful in big data.
People who choose to disregard big data because of their scale do so at the expense of their own business. The first step in collecting useful consumer data is to realize that good data is “in there somewhere” and to have a willingness to mine through it.
2. Invest in Analytics
The key element in making use of big data, once you understand its potential, is to have the right resources and talent to step through the sea of information and to come back with data that makes the most sense to you.
You should seriously consider the allocation of any operating budget to analytics. Bigger organizations may have whole divisions devoted to this work, but while this size has results, this is not the only way to achieve valuable analytics. And small to medium-sized companies can find an empirical solution for their size and budgetary requirements, whether personal or software.
3. Apply Customer Data To Operations
Evidently, collecting data from consumer behavior and other databases will help boost revenue, but don’t forget that another way to make more money is to spend less. In addition to raising revenues, the right form of customer data will also help improve productivity and minimize waste, all of which can boost the revenue.
For instance, your consumer data shows that more and more of your marketing response is coming from YouTube and Instagram, and less is coming from Facebook. This could be an indication that with your product and target market, you should spend less—or cut back entirely—on your Facebook spending and commit more time to sites that produce good results. Let customer behavior data help to streamline the way you run your company.
4. Use Historical Data
People sometimes think of data as a way to help predict the future, but some of the most valuable lessons that data has taught us have come from the past. An overview of historical data is a successful long-term strategy for the use of data from customer records.
Businesses should still be mindful that some of the best available data are the sets that are accumulated over time. For instance, you should not disregard sales data for the last 5 to 10 years, even if it is not part of the current digital infrastructure.
Using document management systems and if necessary, store these data, but review of past consumer sales data will reveal extremely valuable knowledge about customer activity and purchasing habits. If you have existing data, even if it is not digital, digitize it and make sure your apps can access it. In the right conditions, it can be much more beneficial than you can imagine.
5. Analyze Client Churn
“Client churn” is a term used to describe the turnover rate of consumers or companies, whether they are frequent buyers or take up their company elsewhere. It’s another field where big data, combined with analytics, will make a big difference.
This method is about looking at the user data and coming to conclusions that help understand why certain customers stay loyal and others support your company for a certain period of time and then leave. You can find a relationship between drops in customer retention and when you stop selling those goods. Alternatively, you might find that some sales or times of the year give you a major spike in customers, but they don’t hang around afterwards.
Analytics based on the nuances of your client turnover will help you understand how to attract more clients and thereby benefit from more stable revenues.
6. Data Should Be Accessible
Data access is to be shared through the business. While it is known that knowing something that your competitors cannot have is a valuable advantage, this does not extend to your own company. If you know something about the needs or actions of a client, but someone who might actually use that data may not have access to the same details, it hurts your business.
You should always ensure that digital data is exchanged and available to those who need it. For example, someone who does customer service should be able to share a customer’s concern and particular problem with any department who may potentially be able to help solve the problem or have a deeper insight into the issue.
Knowledge is only useful if people who know what to do about it can get to it. If your finance department is locked out of some financial details, it’s a layer of intrusion that makes things less effective.
7. Social Media Is Data Too
Up to 80 percent of the data generated today is video, documents, and photos, most of which are shared on social media. Analyzing social media by using unfiltered, unsorted data that tends to be incredibly beneficial, not just in figuring out where the market is, but also in what the market needs or is looking for.
It is important to note that the content that appears on social media may be symptomatic measures of other patterns and capitalization factors for companies that pay attention to them. So don’t just look at social media as a channel to reach out to your market, realize that it can also be a gateway into what the market might be looking for, and you can get ahead of the curve to bring it to them. Don’t disregard patterns, take advantage of them.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Automate
In comparison to common fear-warning, automation does not immediately indicate that a human’s job is on the line and that someone is about to get laid off. Automation is not only applicable to physical, mechanical operations, but may also be applied to data processing.
Some of the most valuable insights you will get regarding your customers won’t come from a line-by-line review of each piece of incoming data, but instead from trusting software and algorithms to search through the data and figure out what’s important to you and your needs.
Automation can also be used to free up your human capital for more intellectual tasks that are ideally tailored to your talents. Making payments, for instance, is essentially a rote, mechanical operation that software can help with. With less boring day-to-day tasks to deal with the employees will focus on more creative, imaginative activities.
More data is produced on a daily basis than any person or group of humans can possibly keep track of. However, there is also a wealth of valuable, actionable knowledge buried in the depths of the data. It is only through strategy and sensitivity to choose the right data, evaluate it, and make the right use of it that a company can increase its revenue.