There is a common adage that knowledge is power, and this is certainly true in the business world. Business data can be used in the successful operation of a business and includes such things as metadata, customer data, and website metrics, and industry reports can give you insight into competitors as well as how the market is generally. It can be utilized to provide insight into the current market and buying habits of customers, whether customers return, and therefore is an important tool in making business decisions. However, how, exactly, can you obtain such a wide range of data? Read on to discover four ways to gather business data.
Surveys are a great way of directly collecting specific data from customers. You could send out a new customer questionnaire whenever someone subscribes to your newsletter or makes a purchase, asking basic questions such as age, gender, and location, to assess who exactly is buying your products. It is a great idea to carry out a larger survey on an annual basis, through which you can ask specific questions about products and customer needs. Annual surveys can be tailored to your particular needs at the time, the data collected through them used to influence the decisions made for the upcoming year.
2. Invest in Business Intelligence Software
A lot of business data is hidden in metadata and website analytics, and as such, can be difficult to interpret if you are not a data analyst or IT expert. Choosing business intelligence software can help your business access insights by connecting to source data from internal and external sources and preparing it for analysis. This process usually involves ‘translating’ the data into an easy to read format such as graphs and charts, checking the integrity of the data in the process to ensure that it is both accurate and consistent. Through this, you can then use and analyze the data to make data-driven decisions for your company.
3. Online Tracking
Your website is an exceptional source of information about customer habits and preferences. Whenever someone visits your website, they generate up to 40 data points, and this data enables you to get information such as how many people accessed your website on a given day, how long they were on it for, and what they clicked on. You can use analytics software to access this data, or your website hosting provider may collect it and send it to you. You can also insert cookies to your website to help track user behavior.
4. Monitor Social Media
Social media is enormously important in terms of conducting business online, and as such, it can provide you with a lot of customer data. Set up alerts or use social media monitoring software to monitor your business’s mentions on social media platforms. Many social media platforms also regularly distribute analytics regarding how your posts have performed. In addition to this, analyzing your follower list will help you understand your primary audience better as you can assess what characteristics your followers share.