How valuable is business data? A few names on a spreadsheet might not seem like a goldmine for your company, but we’re living in a world where a list of names, relationships and preferences isn’t far from being valued at one trillion dollars.
Unfortunately, not every company can be Facebook, but the fact is that for those who know how to utilise it properly, data can be a terrifically valuable asset – improving performance measurement and analysis, predictions and decision-making, and making it easier to adapt.
Robust data management can even improve the way you handle your customers. But of course, there is a downside. Fail to make the right use of business data and you’ll find that the goldmine acts more like a leaking bucket, dripping your profits on to the pavement.
How valuable is data to your business?
Let’s take a look at one example. Performance measurement. For decades, companies all over the world have been monitoring KPIs and checking against targets. So using data to measure performance is nothing new.
In recent years, something changed. Businesses realised that traditional metrics were a waste of time and started to bring in more data points. By looking at multiple indicators over time – instead of the classic “Was target A reached on day B?” – executives were able to measure performance in order to improve it.
The data was always there, but nobody had thought to collate a range of data points over time and identify trends in the way employees actually worked.
Analysis like this isn’t limited to staff performance. It can be used to analyse everything your business does.
Want to know the exact value of a specific piece of data, such as an email address in your outreach list? Carry out statistical analysis of that data over time, then compare it to your revenue. You can then put an exact figure on the value of known relationships.
Simply having that data in front of you has limited value. But putting that data and analysis to work is where the real gold is to be found.
By collating the real-time data you have access to, you can adopt a more agile business mindset, making informed decisions far more quickly than the competition. What value can you put on being the first to offer the next big industry trend?
Of course, having an infrastructure with access to huge amounts of data can create friction, as overlaps become sources of conflict and various departments compete to implement their solutions to the issues the data analysis throws up.
But remember, that same data allows you to track performance – identifying the most appropriate teams to take responsibility for implementing solutions, with full accountability.
Knowledge is power, and business data provides you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about everything from adapting to the market, to assessing your staff.
But perhaps the most valuable use of your data is in driving customer engagement and outcomes.
Take, for example, a contact centre. A customer calls up and the enquiry is matched to existing data. You know any resolved and ongoing issues the client has faced, what has worked for them, what hasn’t, and their history with your company.
Your customer adviser knows all this without consumers having to repeat themselves time and time again.
The consumer feels listened to, and feels valued. And that emotional connection has been proven to be extremely valuable to businesses.
Yes, data can lead to friction – but by giving your business access to better decision making, better analysis and better client relationships, business data might just turn out to be a real goldmine for your company.
Business data allows for better, more informed decision making.
By analysing multiple data points, companies can improve staff and product performance.
Customer data can be used to forge lasting client relationships.
Information is the key to agile, adaptable processes.
The correct use of data can help you to react quicker than the competition.