The data-driven world has provided businesses an opportunity to learn more about their customers, improve the bottom line, and revisit sales and marketing techniques.
Utilizing a functional BI collection tool to manage different types of information from various data sources is an essential component of a successful business strategy.
Figuring out which data to gather and how to conduct analysis to develop further insights into business processes can be time consuming and meticulous. However, harnessing collected information is imperative for those who want to gain a competitive edge and improve business intelligence.
What is Data Gathering?
Data collection is an extensive process of collecting information to make direct observations and answer open ended questions.
Businesses use data gathering to gain real-time insights into a particular issue or workflow process. The research performed through data collection and analysis allows stakeholders to make more informed decisions that improve the company's overall performance.
It's essential to know the following before embarking on data collection and analysis-
- How does the company plan to use the data collected?
- What type of information will be collected? (quantitative data vs. qualitative data)
- What specific data collection methods will be employed?
A team will also need to research which data sources
are most useful to answer research questions regarding different areas of the business. Organizations collect their data through several different research methods including-
- POS systems
- Interviews focus groups
- Case studies
- Transactional history
- Interview questions
- Contests or giveaways
- Online surveys/questionnaires
- Online user profile information
- Online petitions
- Mobile apps
- Event sign-up information
- Social media activity
Business intelligence begins with collecting data to use it for analysis purposes. Without using quality collection techniques to gather relevant and accurate data, a BI tool can't provide users the proper insights needed to correct inefficiencies and improve performance.
Furthermore, data gathering in itself is not sufficient. Businesses need an analyst to sift through research data to find patterns that otherwise may go unnoticed. In business intelligence, the collection process and analysis go hand-in-hand to address financial or operational problems.
The Importance of Data Management
Data gathering is a way for businesses to store and analyze essential details about different workflows and improve decision-making processes. The most important benefits of primary data collection include-
1. Ability to Make Better Business Decisions
Possessing hard-data as evidence to persuade stakeholders to make important business decisions is an enormous advantage. Both small and large businesses can gather data to-
- Find new clients
- Improve client retention rates
- Enhance customer service
- Streamline marketing and advertising decisions
- Collect information through interactions on social media platforms
- Use predictive analysis to forecast sales trends
In summary, effective data collection methods will help businesses make evidence-based decisions that improve the bottom line and increase profits.
2. Solve Complex Problems
Data gathering can help find inefficiencies and problem areas to determine where mistakes were made and how to improve in the future.
Over time, business owners can use data analysis to drill down further into the cause of these bottlenecks to increase profits and improve their sales and marketing tactics.
3. Gain Comprehensive View of Performance
It's difficult to know if the company's investments and efforts are worthwhile if there isn't a way to track results.
Business owners can choose specific key performance indicators
or quantifiable measures that evaluate performance. A data collection tool can then take collected data and analysis to track how well each department is meeting its goals and objectives.
Management can then make decisions to adjust workflow processes, cut/increase spending, or employ new marketing tactics to improve each department's performance.
4. Improve Business Processes
Data gathering provides a greater understanding of business processes across various departments or franchise locations.
Because misused resources squander time and impact the bottom line, it's essential to decrease inefficiencies and cut back on waste wherever possible. Gaining a more accurate view of each business process through data collection will provide the answers needed to make the necessary improvements.
Owners can also use data collection techniques to revisit and tweak their marketing and sales strategies to reach more potential customers. Data provides the evidence needed to show what parts of the strategy failed in the past and how it can be adjusted to reach more people in the future.
5. Understand Customer Behavior
Owners can use both qualitative data collection and quantitative data collection to learn more about their customers and determine whether they want to purchase the services/products offered by the company.
Qualitative research relies on data obtained through first-hand observation and interviews, while quantitative data research relies on statistical and evidence-based information.
Management can use qualitative data collection methods and quantitative methods to see if marketing efforts are effective or whether customers were satisfied with their purchases.
For example, customer survey data (qualitative methods) may show that customers were unhappy with a recent upgrade to their purchased service.
Analysts can then look at financial data for that service (quantitative research) to see whether sales were affected by the upgrade. If so, the leadership team can work together to resolve the issues caused by the upgrade, accommodate their current customers, and reach out to new ones.
In conclusion, here are the key takeaways to remember about data gathering-
- Data gathering is a complex process that involves utilizing tools to collect information from a variety of sources.
- Data collection is utilized to learn more about inefficiencies and successes in business processes so stakeholders can make better decisions.
- Organizations can collect data through websites, social media, POS systems, surveys, petitions, apps, financial records, and more.
- Data management allows businesses to make better decisions, solve complex problems, gain a comprehensive view of performance, improve workflow processes, and understand customer behavior.