What are you doing with data?

Thursday 10th, December 2015

Did you know that about 90% of all data in the world was created in the last two years? Did you also know that each human being would have generated about 5,200 gigabytes of data during their lifetime? This data comes from so many different sources – every cell phone call creates data. Every credit card purchase does too. Every customer service call. Every Facebook post. Every website visit. So much so, the world calls it BIG DATA!

But is there such a thing as big data – really? And Small data? Or medium-sized data? In reality, all there is, is data.  What anyone makes of this data, is ultimately, what matters.

This is a goldmine for a clued-in business or marketer. It is every marketer’s dream to know enough about his customers that he can engage with them effectively, sending them the right messages at the right time and at the right place! That’s the good news. But the bad news is that not everyone knows what to do with all this data.

Take for example a website that asked for all kinds of information before it let me sign on. I told them I was female. That I was interested in poetry, theatre and music. That I lived in a double income household with two young children. Promptly the website tried to interest me in a crash course in carpentry. They even threw in a discount!

They had the data, but they had no clue as to how to leverage what they had! And that is where the whole thing rests.

So where does one begin?

Again, while the good news is that we have all this data, which can provide valuable insights about customers and their behavior, the bad news is that the insights are not right there at the surface, waiting for them to be grabbed and used.  Every business wants to out-perform its peers – and when it comes to data, it is all about asking the right questions, getting data that will answer those questions, and then using those insights to back decisions. When data-driven decisions steer the business, you can smile all the way to the bank!

Start by asking yourself everyday what you can do differently. Managing data is not easy – but when managed well, it makes everything worthwhile. If you are working with a pile of useless data, data that is not relevant to you, or data that cannot be converted into insights that will help you better customer experience or your marketing strategy, then it is a complete waste of time.

It all starts with a smart plan. A smart strategy. A smart goal to work towards.  And a smart way to make it happen.

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