As businesses seek to implement an efficient strategy for leveraging big data, they often run into complications in the collection and management process. Collecting and managing big data can be incredibly time-consuming, and if not conducted efficiently, it can pose a tremendous burden to companies. Here are some tips to simplify your data collection, so you can spend less time managing your data and more time analyzing it.
1. Establish a process. A study conducted by Demand Metric found that about 42 percent of respondents did not have a strategy in place for improving data quality. The first step in improving data collection and management is outlining a clear and specific strategy for collecting, cleaning, organizing, and managing data. It needs to be a consistent and ongoing process that encompasses all aspects of data management, so marketing departments can establish a set routine.
2. Determine which types of data you need. Businesses acquire mass quantities of data, and you need to be scrupulous about which data you retain in your system. The data that's important to your business will be data that reveals information about customers, that elucidates the relationship between customers and the business, and that reveals marketing trends and overall marketing performance.
3. Establish clear objectives. To simplify data collection and management, you need clearly defined objectives regarding what you hope to gain from your data analysis. This will vary among businesses. Determine a clear set of goals, so you are capturing the right types of data and approaching analysis in a way that is most meaningful to your company.
4. Measure. Analyze. Improve. Repeat. This is the marketing cycle all businesses should follow to manage their data over time. It's a continual process, and you need to perpetually assess your strategy and cleanse your data, while setting new goals moving forward.
5. Use multi-faceted systems to collect data. There is no single system that can be responsible for collecting all of the data your business needs. Use a variety of platforms to collect customer data that pertains to your business. Marketing automation software can make it easier to collect data pertaining to customers and marketing, offering you a tool to collect and analyze trends pertaining to marketing performance.
6. Improve the readability of your visuals. Your visuals are a critical part of the analysis process; they'll help you to gain insights and aid in determining how to best improve upon your strategy moving forward. Focus heavily on the readability of your graphs and charts. Use attractive colors that will help to distinguish between parts, rely on as few variables in a single chart as possible, and avoid convoluted jargon.
Use a Data Management System
Marketers hear time and time again the importance of analyzing big data. Yet, when the task becomes overwhelming, many small businesses simply don't have the time and resources to make full use of their data. A data management system will make the process easier. It enables you to be more discerning when collecting data, offers a platform to store and organize the data more efficiently, and helps you track and analyze data more easily.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.
To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, get a demo today.