Enterprises often integrate data from multiple sources to get the entire picture of their customers, their operations, and even the economy. Data-driven tech industry giants like Amazon and Google are perhaps the best examples of what integrated data collection and organizing can do for a modern enterprise.
At the same time, integrating data can be tricky. Proper data science can lead you to accurate predictions about market movements, or significantly boost your overall productivity. Meanwhile, mishandling data can lead to bad insights, false predictions, and wasted time and resources. The first step to doing things right is to understand your primary sources of actionable business data.
Website and email activity data can provide tons of insights on how your business is faring. By using streamlined marketing and sales platforms like Hubspot and Marketo, you can easily track engagements along with a host of other data-rich features. Thanks to these digital platforms, eCommerce and transaction history data are easier to track as well. You can also use your social media accounts to see specific engagement and conversion statistics over certain periods of time.
Another good way to get a handle on online data is by leveraging search engine optimization (SEO). This refers to the techniques online enterprises can use to improve their visibility when people search Google for keywords related to their products or services. Simply analyzing the way your current website and other online accounts rank on Google can provide ample existing data sets that are free for the taking. As digital marketing firm Ayima details, SEO includes data-intensive processes such as link development and content SEO, which today are becoming increasingly crucial for reaching the right audiences on the web. In fact, SEO also makes use of the aforementioned online sources such as transaction and eCommerce data in order to optimize the web presence of any enterprise.
Even in the digital age, offline data sources still have a lot of value to offer enterprises. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms for instance can reveal insights on the different stages of the sales cycle. Offline data sources also shine in terms of providing demographic and psychographic insights on customer behavior, including preferences and driving factors for purchasing. This is particularly true for the insights you can get from how your customers are using your loyalty programs.
While these are not the only online and offline sources of data you need to look into, the aforementioned examples provide a wide purview of the type of business data that your enterprise can use. By integrating these data sources, it’s easier for data analytics to take over and do the even harder work of gleaning actionable insights.
Mapping data sources into your enterprise data warehouse and analytics platform can enable you to access various benefits. This includes having a holistic view of your target audiences and their behaviors. Cross-department synchronization will be easier to implement as well, enabling users across departments like marketing and IT to report on the same set of rich data and achieve a unified output. Furthermore, this can also enable you to have better targeting and channel usage – both in terms of overall brand communications as well as actual conversions. In short, data analytics is the key to leveraging well-integrated data.
No matter your industry, applying the most advanced analytics starts with organizing complex data. Knowing the value of integrating offline and online data sources is simply good business sense. In fact, it’s not uncommon for businesses to turn to academic minds in order to advance their employees’ own understanding of data analytics. For instance, defense contracting firm ManTech is paying for some of its eligible employees to take the University of Maryland’s advanced analytics degree, fully paid for by the company. This reveals the value of analytics to complex and global sectors like defense and heavy industries.
In short, the country’s top tech-inclined academic minds are more than ready to meet industry demands for competent data scientists. And the better you can integrate your offline and online data sources, the easier it will be for your enterprise to work with these specialists in leveraging data, improving your organization, and helping you to scale efficiently.
Written by CCG, an organization in Tampa, Florida, that helps companies become more insights-driven, solve complex challenges and accelerate growth through industry-specific data and analytics solutions.
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