Still following our series on data and its importance for all business ventures. We are looking at the process and methods of getting data for business improvement.
The process of collecting data involves some form of preparation before going into data collection proper. Firstly, you need to determine what type of data you need to collect, what type of customer details are important, who do you need this data from, and how much information do you need. Secondly, you need to set up a plan for getting the information you need. What is the timeframe of the data collection? Some data needs to be collected continuously, such as daily sales count. While some only need to be collected once, e.g., customer details.
Each data collection method depends on the type of data, timeframe of the collection, and other criteria you’ve set. Here are the five (5) most common data collection methods:
Surveys are one of the great ways to directly ask customers for information. Surveys are usually open-ended or close-ended. Close-ended surveys are surveys where the answers are predefined and respondents choose one of the listed answers. Open-ended surveys, on the other hand, give the respondents the freedom to answer the survey questions in their own words. Surveys are conducted online, via emails, over the phone, or in person. The easiest and best method in this digital age however is online on your website or a third-party website, where the link to the survey is shared via various means.
- Online Tracking
Your website, or mobile application if your business possesses it, is a powerful data amassing tool. At least 40 data values are collected from visitors to your website, data such as; Ip addresses, the inbound page, time spent on your site, browsing activity, among others. Your WebHost will most likely collect this information or you may add cookies to track user behaviour. Analyzing the tons of data collected by your website through website analytics software will help interpret prospect and customer behaviour.
- Collection of Subscription and Registration Data
This method involves offering customers something in return for providing their information. This involves customers filling a form of basic information for those who want to sign up for something or your email list, rewards, coupons, or other benefits. Data such as name, gender, email, birth year, are common information usually collected. Better still, respondents can be asked to create an account with your website, so they can be recognized and tracked across the different devices they use to access your website. The collection of data has to be balanced between asking for too much data, which puts the user off and, asking for too little data for your analytics purposes.
- Social Media Monitoring
Social media is one of the best ways to get prospects and customer data. Looking through your follower’s list and discovering similarities between your followers is a way to see who your audience is, and what the target audience should be. Monitoring your brand name mentions gives you the ability to quickly react to customers’ needs and deliver value, quickly resolve customers’ negative feedback and, also improve your overall content and communications strategy. Social media monitoring gives you the use of analytics to gain insights into your business standing.
- Online Marketing Analytics
Marketing campaigns are a valuable avenue to get data, whether the marketing is done on the search listing, webpages, email, or other offline marketing campaigns. The source of the advertising will provide, the number of people reached, who clicked the adverts, devices used, and where they were sent. Offline marketing can be tracked by asking customers where they got information about your brand.
- In-store Traffic Monitoring
If you own a physical store, data can be obtained from the visits to your store. A count of daily visits can easily show the busiest hours in the business day, and the type of product drawing customers to your store. The number of goods sold in the stores is also a good pointer to the relationship between you and your customers, and popular products.
Making sense of the data you have got, will help to understand to a great extent your audience and how you can better reach them, identify areas through which you can improve your business, and insights for future expansion. Knowing your best-selling products and ways to pivot your brand for better acceptance.
At EZAdvisory, we not only help you optimize data collection for your business but also help you make sense of the data to provide a clear vision of your business growth. Visit our website: advisory.equilibriumzone.org