If you’ve been paying attention to the business landscape, then you know that oil is no longer the world’s most valuable commodity. It’s been replaced by data.
Business leaders have been realizing how much they rely on data to fuel every part of their business. If you want to understand your audience, data can provide you with the insights you need. It can help you discover when to maintenance machines or which tools you should adopt.
If you want to get the most out of your data, you’ll need to optimize your data collection process. What are the best methods for collecting and processing data? This guide has the answers you’re looking for.
Try a Survey
One of the best methods of data collection is conducting a survey. This can be particularly helpful for your sales and marketing teams. By surveying your customers, you can gain insights into almost any aspect of their behavior.
You may be able to determine what your customers love about your brand or where they think you can improve. You may even be able to get feedback on the products or services they’d love to see from you.
Surveying your employees can be helpful too. You might be able to collect information about job satisfaction. You might want to look at tool adoption or even how you could improve the workplace environment.
Collect Transaction Data
Most payment systems collect data about every transaction you conduct. When someone buys from your website, you’ll get information about:
- The payment method
- The use of coupon codes or promos
- Order value
You can also collect information about who’s place the order. You can use data analysis to answer questions like how often someone buys or what average order value is.
This kind of data can inform everything from inventory ordering to what kinds of promotions you run.
On the other side of the coin, you should also collect data about outgoing transactions. These are transactions that you use to pay other people. You may be able to monitor them with bookkeeping software or a payment platform.
This information is crucial to see how well your business is doing in the financial sense. You need information from both sides to make projections for next year, estimate cash flow, and more.
Website Data Collection Processes
Your website is a rich source of information, which you should be harnessing. You can look at traffic statistics, bounce rates, and much more.
One of the issues here is ensuring that you’re collecting the right data. Many companies make the mistake of assuming all data is important. Just because you can collect it doesn’t mean you should.
Try to trim back to only the most important KPIs, so you’re not overwhelmed with data.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re using the right tools to manage data from your website. Business analytics can give you more insights into the data collected.
Another area of data collection is through your subscription and registration process. This is often a great source for demographic information. You may discover who is signing up for your newsletter.
Online Marketing Metrics
Any marketing you do online can have data collection attached to it. You can track clicks on your ads, email opens, and much more.
Having the right software is key to extracting this information. Some advertising platforms will allow you to extract data. Facebook, for example, lets you set up a pixel on your website to track ad clicks.
The right email marketing platform may also give you access to insights about your marketing campaigns.
A customer relationship management platform can give you centralized access to marketing statistics. You may be able to pull data from your website and registration process in as well. In turn, you’ll have a more complete picture of who is buying from you.
Social Media Marketing
You’ll also want to consider extracting data from your social media marketing. Here, you’ll want to go beyond the usual “likes, comments, and shares” metrics.
Data from your social media marketing can show you more interesting insights. You can see who interacts with you the most, among other audience insights.
You can also see information about how people talk about you on social media. The right software can help you track mentions. You may even set up alerts for your brand name or people contacting you.
This data can help you manage your online reputation and respond to people. It can also help you see the context in which people discuss your brand. You may be able to get information about how people view your products or your brand.
Reports from Apps and Machines
What tools do you use in your business? Chances are you use at least a few apps. You might have one app for email and another for your accounting purposes.
Almost every program you use collects some basic information. It can likely track logins, session time, and more. This can help you keep track of how often the program is used, as well as who is using it.
Having this kind of data on hand can tell you about what apps your team members rely on. You can then make smarter purchase decisions. If a tool isn’t being used, you might want to follow up and discover why.
The same is often true for machines you use in the business. Does everyone use the printer and copier? Maybe it’s time to perform maintenance on some high-use machines.
Trends in business intelligence show companies are collecting more data in real-time. Using a centralized platform in the data analysis process is more popular as a result.
Use Data Wisely
The data collection process can happen in a few different ways. All of them should focus on collecting relevant information and turning it into actionable advice for your business.
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