Member Article

Little data can yield the biggest insights

Santiago Becerra, CEO and founder of Roambi, looks at the other side of the coin to big data, the little data.

The buzz being generated around Big Data is colossal. As companies seek new and better ways to make use of the goldmine of information they collect from various systems, the industry chatter grows louder. For smaller businesses and entrepreneurs lacking the resources to invest in expensive systems and training, it’s actually the little data at their fingertips that holds the most promise.

Google Analytics, excel spreadsheets and CRM systems integrated with email marketing tools collect and use information that is often overlooked and underutilized because of misperceptions that data is only useful when in larger-than-life amounts. It’s the little data that provides accessible insights that can help businesses better understand customer behaviour, spot key trends, and discover hidden opportunities.

Here are five ways to make the most of the little data that’s right in front of you:

Focus on what’s relevant to you: It might be called “big data” but that doesn’t mean you have to go big to utilize it. For example, a website using Google Analytics has the ability to collect information on the number of visitors, referral source, location, pages visited, time on site and more.

However, it is not necessary to use all available data in order to be successful. Channel your resources by focusing on business-critical data sets. So, for instance, you might want to focus on how people behave on your site to drive a higher conversion rate. This may mean a deep dive into pages visited and time on site. As with all tactics in your business, it is critical to first evaluate your needs and goals and design a data strategy accordingly.

Think mobile: Business today is dynamic and on-the-go, so why should your data be any different? More people are working remotely and it is critical to have access to key metrics outside the office. Cloud technology provides the tools to give you anywhere, anytime access. Use real time data from a CRM system to personalize sales calls with relevant information or pull important metrics into presentations or client meetings with mobile data visualization tools.

Lights, Data, Action: Use the streams of insight from your little data to develop specific actions. For example, you can use data collected from website visitors to drive actionable triggers. Specific information on an opt-in form may trigger an immediate follow-up call from a sales representative. A visitor that views a demo may be prompted with a message that directs them to a downloadable white paper. Retailers and ecommerce sites may have actionable triggers based on purchases.

Small data, big service: While we often look at how data can improve our sales and marketing efforts, it can also benefit your customer directly in the form of better service. Why not use customer specific data to deliver better service? You can even use data to trigger reminders about subscription products or responses to service calls without requiring customers to supply the annoying litany of information that you should know.

Facts and form: This may be big data’s big year but it is also the decade of design. The explosion in use of infographics and images, as well the new interface design standards are all conspiring to push the quality of visual storytelling to new heights.

Spreadsheets are germane to business but too many rely on these complex documents not only to gather data, but also to present it. As a result, key insights get lost in a blur of cells. Adopt visual tools that enable you to tell a story with your data. A visual approach can help you to better engage your audience by highlighting key details and metrics at a glance.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Roambi .

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