Why It's Important to Own Your Business Data and How to Start Collecting It
What if I told you that you could be sitting on a gold-mine of information that could help you improve your business operations, marketing, and sales?
Well, that could be the case if you aren't collecting, analyzing, and owning your business data.
Find out why business data is so important, what mistakes you might be making with business insights, and how you can overcome hurdlers to start taking control over your business data.
What Is Business Data?
Business data is any information that your brand collects that can offer insights to drive your decision-making, marketing campaigns, or direction of your operations. It can include metrics or databases that help you understand your business and your customers.
Business data can be a somewhat vague term because it can include so many types of input. While data is often associated with metrics, it can also include input such as customer email addresses and phone numbers.
Business data may relate to (but is not limited to):
- Sales metrics
- Inventory metrics
- Customer sales history and trends
- Website analytics
- Social media followers
- Customer contact information
- Customer feedback
- Communication and email records
- Employee performance details
- Campaign reports
- Market data
Your business is generating data, whether you are doing it intentionally or not. It’s up to you to decide to collect and use it productively.
Why Business Data Is Important
As technology makes it easier to collect, manage, and learn from data, businesses can find a variety of benefits from tracking the details of their business.
You can use business data to:
- Learn about your customers. You can gain insights into who your customers are and learn about their demographics and habits.
- Segment your list. When you know details about your customers, you can segment your audience to target customers based on their interests and actions.
- Directly connect with customers and interested audiences. You can use contact information to reach audiences via email and text marketing or through targeting on other platforms.
- Monitor interest in your products and services. You can track which offerings are popular, which aren’t, and how factors like time and seasons can impact sales.
- Identify trends in the market. You can identify trends in the market which can inspire new products or offerings.
- See the ROI of your marketing efforts. You can see the results of a campaign and rate success with clear metrics.
- Design better marketing plans. When you can see who your customers are, trends in sales, and the ROI of past marketing efforts, you can design better future marketing plans.
These are just some of the benefits you get when you track, monitor, and analyze your business data. You can use what you learn to improve and inform a variety of marketing and operations decisions.
Yet with so many benefits, many brands are still missing out when it comes to their data.
Related: How Multi-Location Restaurants Can Use Data to Increase Revenue & Improve Operations
The Problems With Business Data
Many brands (and small businesses in particular) aren’t leveraging the value of collecting and learning from their business data. It’s not because they don’t want to. It’s because of three other problems.
#1) Businesses don’t know how to track their data. The first problem is that businesses simply don’t know how to track important insights about their business. They don’t have systems or tools to collect their data in a simple way. Or, the process isn’t automated and it requires a lot of manual input (that often gets put to the side, forgotten about, or deprioritized).
#2) Businesses don’t know how to understand their data. Even if businesses do collect business data, they often don’t know what to do with it. Looking at a dashboard of data can be intimidating and confusing. Many business owners aren’t sure which metrics to monitor or what they mean.
#3) Businesses don’t own their data. Business data is an extremely valuable business asset, yet many brands let the data fall into control of other third-party sites. One of the worst examples of this is managing audience databases. Many brands spend a lot of resources building audiences on platforms like YouTube or Instagram even though they don’t own the data. The platforms could revoke access at any time, leaving you with no data at all.
How to Take Control of Your Business Data
Now that you know why business data is valuable and what mistakes you might be making when it comes to collecting, managing, and owning your data, let’s look at what you can do to resolve these issues.
#1) Set up a system to track your business data. You can’t leverage data if you don’t have it. So get started by setting up a customer data platform that collect important insights about your business. That may include setting up:
- Point-of-sale (POS) systems to track sales
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems to collect customer data and monitor buying habits
- Google Analytics to monitor website activity
- Campaign reporting to track metrics for marketing campaigns
#2) Learn how to understand your data. The next step is learning what to do with all of the data you are collecting. You need the knowledge to know how to learn from the data, as well as identify specific metrics you should be tracking. You can:
- Educate yourself. There are a lot of online resources to help you get better at data analytics.
- Hire a data analyst. You can add someone to your team that has expertise in business data analytics.
- Work with a partner. Experts like MyArea Network already understand data and know-how to analyze it to find trends and opportunities.
Learn More: Need Help Making Sense of Your Business Data and Analytics? We Can Help.
#3) Own your business data. Stop letting other brands own and control your data. Take steps to put your data in your hands. Whenever possible, export data from third-parties. Focus on building your own customer database (and not relying on platforms like Facebook). Or, work with a tech provider (like MyArea Network) who can help you develop a custom data solution for your unique needs.
Put Your Business Data to Use
If you’re looking to reap the benefits of collecting, learning from, and owning your own business data, then it’s time to talk to MyArea Network.
We have tools and experts available to help you take ownership over your business insights so you can start making informed decisions to attract new customers, re-engage existing customers, and grow your business.
Find out how we can help you collect, manage, and own your business data. Schedule your free consultation today.