Data is the new oil – why data matters for your company and your business
The humanity has never produced as much data as today
Digital transformation of business, the fourth industrial revolution, the Internet of Things, 5G, Artificial Intelligence – those are to a large degree popular marketing slogans, used again and again by a growing number of companies, Internet coaches and numerous self-proclaimed experts. Each of them, however, contains a lot of truth. The same goes for the saying about Data being the new oil. Due to our lives getting more and more digitized, we leave a huge digital footprint on the Internet, and intelligent cities (although they may not always seem intelligent) cause our every move to be monitored. On top of that, data is collected from various devices. According to the latest statistics, 90% of all data the humanity has generated so far is from the last two years. It shows how much information we create. Every day we take billions of pictures, conduct billions of transactions using payment cards, smartphones or the Internet, make countless numbers of phone calls, video conferences, instant messaging. Cars send data on their locations, the routes taken, machines deliver information on their work, houses are equipped with a growing number of sensors (i.e. flood sensors, window sensors, intelligent light bulbs), which also send information.
Data is the new oil – why it is so important in business
At first glance, all that information seems to be insignificant or only matter for a few individuals. After all, one could think that it’s not like anyone cares about the information that this morning we have bought baby formula at the drugstore. However, thanks to loyal cards, this data can be actually connected to a particular person and provide them with perfectly personalized ads, and through different types of media, too. The data on how we drive our car is sought after by insurance companies, so that they can lower or raise our premiums. Analyzing the data on how employees utilize the working space allows to adjust the lighting and save money, the same goes for machines’ work. The list goes on and on. The Internet of Things allows for more effective traffic control, or easier delivery of certain goods. For example, an office printer can automatically notify the toner delivering company that it’s running low and then place an order.
From the point of view of a user it might seem terrifying, but for businesses it is exciting and allows to obtain very detailed knowledge on the clients. Thanks to detailed data analysis and fact connecting processes, we are able to learn when a particular individual is most likely to pick our product, how they get it, and where. We can use the data on every stage from promotion to sales and all the way to the subsequent servicing and encouraging to buy again, or we can use that info to attract new clients and improve our product.
CRM – access to data on your clients, products and employees
A good, advanced CRM system is one of those solutions that will allow your company to collect, analyze and utilize data. Even when simply automatically sending marketing e-mails, we can know how many people opened the message, or clicked the links, or at what time they open their messages. Therefore, we can improve the efficiency of the next message sent, its content, we can know who read the message and who ignored it completely. We have knowledge on how counterparties act, the time from presenting an offer to placing an order. We can analyze multiple variables, it all depends on what type of business we run and how adequate and broad our implementation of the CRM system was. It is also knowledge on the products, the interest in them, the related problems etc. And also on how the employees themselves act, their effectiveness, their work style.
Make use of the data – gain an advantage over the competitors
The right usage of data in your company might translate to actual profits for the business. We can respond to sales trends easier and faster, better understand our client’s needs, adjust the promotions to the current situation. For example, retail chains can see the correlation between the weather and customers’ shopping carts. The cart’s structure also differs depending on how long the consumers need to get from home to the store. It allows us to offer promotions for completely different products depending on weather, or decide to open now locations. Efficient use of data allows to develop advantage over the competition. Currently we are able to really learn a lot both about our existing clients as well as future ones. Social networks allow for such things as very effective ad targeting towards specific target groups. There was a road assistance company that perfected their Google ads so well that they would only display to those who happened to be on a particular stretch of road nearby. That way they lowered their costs of displaying and actually targeted people who needed assistance at the moment.
Ensure data safety
When you both collect and process data, it comes with a risk. Since data is the new oil, it means it’s valuable. We need to ensure privacy of our clients’ data, which we are obligated to by GDPR, among other things. We also need to ensure the general data safety so that it doesn’t get in the hands of unauthorized people. That’s what makes it so important to select the right tools we are going to be using in our company.
Data can change your business
Think about what data is processed, or maybe just collected, by your company right now, as well as what you can do with it. Maybe by better analyzing the CRM data, your salespeople will be able to develop a more cost-effective visiting route, thus saving on hotel stays, gas and time every month. Look at data the way you look at your capital and make use of it to develop your business.