How to Collect and Transform Data into Value for Your Business

Big data collection and analysis is critical to business success in 2018. These steps will unlock your data and provide insights.

February 2, 2018
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The Age of Data is here and it’s more important than ever to take data into account when managing your business. There’s more data available around the world every year and more customers are sharing information about themselves with businesses. If you aren’t already collecting data from your current and potential clients, you should start today. You should also be collecting data about your own operations so that you can use what you learn to improve them.

Data gives you information about every sector of your industry, from how your current products and services are received to what people want to see in the future. You can find out who is using your products, what drove them to you, and how you can increase the value of your relationship with them.

How a company manages its data and its customers’ data can be the difference between winning and losing in the global marketplace. Savvy companies are using data to analyze customers’ desires and behavior — then deliver it to them. Companies that aren’t taking advantage of this are likely to lose customers to competitors who are taking advantage of all the information available in the Age of Data.

Ensuring Compliance

As you prepare to increase your data gathering and utilization, consider how important it is to comply with legal and industry standards. This will help you ensure that the business value you’ve created from your data usage will remain and have a positive impact.

A great example of the importance of compliance is the healthcare industry. The way they use and share data is largely governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA). This act was designed in response to the increased use and sharing of data in the healthcare industry. It helps ensure that data can be shared to the benefit of the patient without that person’s privacy being compromised.

Every industry is different, of course. It’s important to find out what kind of rules govern the use of data in yours before you start collecting and using data. There can be legal consequences in some cases if you don’t follow the proper standards. Of course, it’s always important and professional to protect and respect any data provided by a customer — even if there aren’t any industry guidelines saying that you should.

Working With Data

One important thing to consider when turning data into business value is how you use the data you have — and compensate for the data you don’t. For example, you need to understand how to fill in for missing data. There will be times that you don’t have everything you need to completely understand why the data looks the way it does. To gain value from what you do have, learn to extrapolate and fill in for the missing data.

It’s also important to understand how to synchronize your data. Sometimes you’ll have too much and have to remove a few fields to scale down to a better understanding of what the data is showing you. Sometimes you’ll have to synchronize two different sets of data so that you don’t have a lot of fields filled with the same values.

When it comes to working with data to transform it into business value, it’s not as simple as collecting it. You absolutely must understand how to work with and interpret the data you collect — it’s probably the most important part of the process. Once you can do that, you’ll start to see real results and real value.

Business Models

business model

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Looker_Studio

One thing that’s often overlooked when considering how to transform your data into a valuable asset is the importance of models that help streamline business process optimization. You can use data to see where time is being wasted, what can be done more efficiently, and how to make your office a more positive place for your employees to work.

Doing these things does more than just improve your day-to-day functions. It also makes your company more efficient and nimble. When you use data about your own business to improve its functioning, you’re creating a great deal of value. You can gain time, resources, and create a better product if you’re willing to take a deep, analytical look at what your company is doing.

Data Security

Another thing to consider is that data security requires a save solution. When you’re using data in multiple departments or sharing it between different people, it’s important to make sure the entire process is safe and that you don’t lose what data you’ve gathered. Tools like 123FormBuilder can help provide solutions to data management. Using a tool instead of a basic save-and-send process is especially helpful when you’re dealing with large amounts of data shared between multiple people. High-quality, professional data storage and sharing applications can make a big difference to how your company manages data.

Data Strategy

The final thing to consider is the data strategy your company will use. Data is a living organism that requires constant care in order to be useful. Think of it this way: data should always be increasing rather than stagnant. You should be gaining updated information from new clients and new information from old clients — every piece you get will create a broader picture of what you’re doing right or what you could be doing better.

According to McKinsey and Company, a good data strategy requires choosing the right data, using the right models that focus on the outcomes you want to achieve, and adjusting your company so that it’s capable of using data effectively. Choosing the right data sometimes means collecting too much or thinking outside the box about which types you need. Focusing on business-centered outcomes helps ensure that you’re not collecting data for data’s sake. Making your company capable of using data effectively will not only add a new capability to your staff, but also help you make use of the information you collect.