Earlier in our Big Data series, we identified some of the initial steps Right On Interactive follows when helping clients identify data issues.
After identifying what data points are important and why, the second step is to begin a process known as Data Mining. Data Mining helps us determine the quality of each important data point. This is always an interesting process.
Sometimes we find examples of really great data, but it isn’t formatted well. Often it is not easily accessible. Many times times we find data points that are duplicated, and an initial clean-up strategy is necessary. We also find clients are holding on to data that is either outdated and unusable, or incomplete. Data Mining lets us identify past problems, information gaps and general oversights in the data collection process.
The next step is cleaning up the data, so we can begin to develop a system for using it effectively.
Cleaning data requires a multi-pronged approach, and the first step often begins with Process Improvements. A simple change in process can be the low hanging fruit that helps a company better obtain key data points.
Think about a simple contact page on your company website. Are the “required” fields being used effectively to capture the most important customer information? The goal is to make the data entry process as easy as possible for the customer, but also as valuable as possible for the business or marketer. Asking for too much information will discourage some customers, but not asking the right questions will leave you with nothing more than a mailing list and no real insight. The key is striking the right balance.
We encourage clients to obtain data organically. One way to do this is by leveraging an existing database with the sole purpose of getting contacts to visit a customer portal or a separate profile center to submit their information and preferences. You may have to offer a type of reward, like a customer discount, exclusive products, or free gift in exchange for customer information, but it will help you better understand your customer and keep them engaged.
Find ways for your agents or employees to naturally, and without hesitation, personally provide the key data points. Ask them what info they need to do their job and interact with customers. Find effective ways to capture and process the data, and make it readily available to them.
Gathering organic data can be time consuming, but it will be rewarding. You must make a commitment to it. Right On Interactive can help you develop a comprehensive data mining strategy unique to your business. Contact us today.