Companies every day receive all different kinds of data, and hold large amounts of data on their servers. It is easy to feel like you are drowning in information that is not directly helpful within your decision making. Data is a powerful tool that can be used to improve customer experience and increase acquisition and retention of customers. A report showed that data can have a positive impact by increasing customer understanding and segmentation by 50%. It can increase sales by 40% and help assess potential demand for new products by 37%. Therefore, you need to utilise this data and realise its potential towards helping your decision making processes. Here are some tips to aid the process of transforming your company’s data into useful information.
- Collect only useful data
The first thing you need to do is collect relevant, useful information or knowledge that will help you make decisions, and avoid collecting data that isn’t beneficial to you. Data that isn’t relevant only clouds the data that is useful and is simply a hindrance when trying to improve your business processes. Collecting too much unnecessary information will mean you end up spending more time and energy analysing it.
- Ensure it’s all accurate
Accurate data will give you accurate results and estimations. Use the correct tools while collecting data to ensure that you find precise and manageable information, and only choose what you need. The importance here is placed on ensuring the data you are collecting is up to date and error free so as to not waste your time or resources.
- Complete a Business Needs Analysis
Document all the important objectives of your business to determine exactly what data should be captured and analysed. You may want to utilise analytical tools such as excels pivot table to help convert data into useful information. Are there gaps in your current databases that would be required to help you make better business decisions? Determine whether there are any issues with your current database that are impacting revenue, or possibly reducing the efficiency of your business.
- De-dupe and delete
Duplicate data results in a lack of accuracy and is a waste of time and resources. The double entry of information could be as a result of errors within the manual entry of data into the system, or poor quality data sources. Companies should invest in a good data assessment service with quality software to de-dupe your servers and delete information that is incorrect or irrelevant.
- Have someone who is responsible for the data
Appoint someone to help in the data keeping process. They can identify and acquire new sources of information, define rules on how the data will be collected, maintained and used and ensure that data retention requirements are followed. By keeping a closer eye on your data, you can ensure that your current servers are fresh, and that any new data you acquire meets your new higher standards.
Having corrected, managed and controlled your servers, your data can then be used as genuinely useful information which can inform your decision making processes, and can contribute directly towards increasing your sales.