You Already Have the Customer Data You Need. Here’s What to Do With It.

You Already Have the Customer Data You Need. Here's What to Do With It.

I’m going to tell you a secret. You already have all the data you need to make a difference in your business. Sure, you might have to dust it off, organize it and put it to work, but the insights you need are right there waiting for you. The real secret to data success is in learning how to take that flood of information, find what’s useful and make it actionable.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is — incorporating data analytics is an essential practice that reveals truths you need to know to make the best decisions for the future of your organization.

My role at Farmers focuses on using data to gain insights into human behavior that can help us serve our customers better. And though the ways and means might look a bit different, the focus of that work applies to businesses of any size in any industry.

So, let’s start at the beginning.

The goal you are working toward or the decision you hope to inform will be the best guide of exactly which data you want to extract from all of the information you have flowing through your business. It is important to note, however, that in nearly every situation the data you work with should include customer information. There are privacy guidelines that you should take care to follow when working with customer data, but it’s worth the extra effort to protect your customers and learn about your business. Look to purchase records, customer databases, social media engagement and website interactions to find a whole host of data that will inform your understanding of your customers, their needs and the opportunities you should be chasing.

And how’s this for inspiration? A study from Dresner Advisory Services found that small-to-medium businesses are three times more likely than large enterprises to report the highest rates of business intelligence adoption. That means leaders just like you are finding ways to put their data to work and quite possibly doing it more effectively than the giants in their fields.

Once you’ve collected data from sources that might be useful to you, it’s time to start looking for the information that’s going to help you make better decisions and achieve your goals faster.

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