Big data. Small data. Both have significant value for businesses of all sizes. In our last article we attempted to define big data and small data. We also recommended building an information strategy. For this article series, we are tackling this topic from the perspective of businesses that don’t have marketing budgets to rival the likes of IBM or Facebook. Check out our “small data ideas for the rest of us” below. And be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you think.
Where do I find small data?
Any data that is easy for you to access, collect and interpret will provide helpful information to make better decisions and powerful change for your customers. Look to the immediate and obvious for small data:
- Pre-sale activities: if you are utilizing a CRM tool to track your prospects you already have an advantage. Hopefully your CRM is set up to group prospects by category and capture a diverse set of details.
- Sales transactions: look closely at the data you capture during a sale, whether point-of-sale or online. Pay close attention to the types of details and patterns that data contain. And explore ways to collect more information to expand that data set.
- Customer service: look at your systems or methods for tracking calls or inquiries to see what data set they already contain. Simple tools such as a reason codes or customer satisfaction surveys will tell you a lot about what the customer experience is like post sale.
- Email analytics: if you are using an email database tool for newsletters and promotions you should have access to plenty of data about the response and performance of your emails.
- Website analytics: Review any tracking tools provided your website platform as well as the information provided by Google Analytics.
We’ve simplified these ideas to give you a sense of where data might be hiding. Tracking information about your customers, even 10 to 12 things, will give you some solid insights.
Jump start your strategy
Once you’ve figured out where the data lives in your business, it’s time to get organized. This list of questions will get you started:
- What data do we already have available?
- Does this data give a complete picture of the customer experience from start to finish?
- What additional data would create a complete picture of our customers and their experience?
- What can we add to the information gathering we already do?
- How will we utilize all this data? In marketing? In user experience improvement?
Aiming for that personalized experience
In our first article we used the simplified example of walking into your favorite pub. The action of the bartender greeting you by name and serving your favorite beverage without having to ask yielded an important result. Personalization. You as the customer, feel both acknowledged and appreciated. There’s a distinct reason this is your favorite pub. And it most likely has a lot to do with that personalization of your user experience.
This topic is so big that our discussion is going to spill over into our next article. More ideas “for the rest of us” next time. Stay tuned.