All businesses seek to grow and prosper, but thousands fail every week. To be successful, businesses need to have measurements in place to ascertain whether marketing campaigns are profitable, or where expenses can be cut.
Businesses are relying more on real-time intelligence to make decisions. Informed decisions drive profitability and efficiency. Assumptions and guesswork inevitably lead to mistakes and can be financially damaging.
The digital agency 3wh points to the importance of data acquisition for making informed business decisions. However, data is only useful, when it is accurate and without error.
Why is data acquisition important to businesses?
Without data, marketers cannot use metrics to establish the success of content marketing. Without data, accountants cannot find where expenses can be cut. And without data, businesses cannot create new revenue streams.
For marketers, data is important for customer growth. One of the reasons why data is vital for businesses is because it increases customer knowledge. Businesses can use data to understand their audience better. Data collection can help a business provide a personalized direction to customer service.
Data enables companies to manage inventories effectively and predict future demand. Data analysis also helps businesses to accurately set price points.
Data acquisition is a process where businesses collect information from real-world actions. Data is then cleaned and digitized so that it can be analyzed and utilized.
How is data collected or acquired by businesses?
According to the USGS, there are four ways of acquiring data. These methods involve new and existing data.
- New data
- Legacy data
- Sharing data
- Purchasing data
Data can be acquired through automated methods, or through manual processes. And the cost is a factor. It can be more cost-effective to buy data than to collect it.
Businesses collect data through numerous methods. For instance, polls, A/B testing, surveys, email marketing, and analytics, are all used to track customer data.
What is meant by data cleansing?
Acquiring data is just one step toward making better business decisions. The data needs to be accurate before it becomes useful.
Businesses require empirical evidence and data to make accurate decisions rather than just theory or guesswork. Empirical evidence is the proof obtained through experiments such as A/B testing or the observation of patterns.
A/B testing for instance provides solid data from user groups that can be used to optimize websites or increase conversions.
To ensure data is accurate it needs to be scrubbed. This process involves spotting errors and then acting accordingly.
Data might need removing or amending to improve accuracy. False data will need identifying and fixing, and duplicates will need deletion. Once cleaned, insights can be gained, and reliable decisions made based on the data.
If data isn’t cleaned then businesses may make decisions based on inaccurate information. The damage caused by acting on erroneous data could be seriously damaging. Poor business decisions can harm reputations as well as prove costly.
What benefits do businesses get from these processes?
Data acquisition and cleaning provide businesses with insights that otherwise might not be gleaned. Here is just a selection of the benefits that data provides for businesses.
Data-driven real-time decision making
Bottlenecks can be spotted and acted upon with real-time data. When data is readily available, businesses can spot production issues and act on them accordingly.
Overstocking can cause cash flow problems. And understocking can result in lost sales. Worse still, if products are out of stock, customers may switch to a rival brand. Data allows inventories to be managed far more accurately and cost-effectively.
Big data analytics is vital for detecting ideal demographics and targeting audiences. Marketers can use data to strategize and create campaigns that deliver a healthy ROI.
Data allows companies to provide improved customer support, and targeted marketing. Data can help to target consumers with relevant products, instead of bombarding them with unwanted offers.
Consumer data can be stored and used to provide a more personalized customer support system. Previous sales history and preferences can be used by customer services, and sales, during any communications.
Data collection helps to generate better-quality leads. Through data analysis, leads with greater potential can be identified. and converted into sales.
The biggest advantage for most businesses is that data acquisition increases profits. Data can be used to identify where money is leaking, and where expenses can be cut. Through data-driven decision-making, profits will increase. But, only if the data is scrubbed clean.
Around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are collected every day. But, most businesses are more interested in the data that can help them grow. When accurate data is used, business owners can reduce costs and boost productivity.
Marketers can use data to target audiences and generate more relevant leads. Potential customers can be identified, and existing ones retained through data analysis. And businesses can provide better services to their customers by gathering insights through data acquisition.