If you run a business or own your own business you likely already know just how important consumer data is. Consumer data is what tells you everything you need to know about your consumers in order to adjust your business practices in ways that benefit the consumer and therefore generate more business. This data is important to have before your business even opens its doors.
If you have no idea who your customer base will be, then you will have no idea how to tailor your business to them.
It can be easy to think that everyone, each and every person, is a potential customer, in fact, this mindset is what leads to the downfall of so many businesses. But the fact is that there is only a small percentage of people who will become your customers and you need to know who they are at all times to ensure that all of your time, effort and revenue goes toward securing and retaining them as consumers. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your time and your money on people who never your customers to begin with.
1. Data Collection
First of all, you need to collect data on your consumers. This data needs to give you as clear a picture as possible about your customers and their habits regarding your business.
You can collect this data in many different ways. You can conduct surveys and questionnaires, this can be done over the phone, on paper or online, though anonymous reporting methods tend to make people feel more comfortable.
If you have a brick and mortar front for your business where customers are welcomed, like a store or car dealership, you can observe customer habits while they are on the premises. Areas where they spend the most versus the least amount of time can provide valuable information. And you can also collect data from your own records of products or services that have performed the best, the worst, those that have improved and so on. A website or online presence will also provide important information.
2. Data Visualization
It’s also important to have a good visualization of the data once you collect it. Being able to see it all in front of you will help you make better, more informed decisions.
The best method for displaying the data will depend on your data and your business. You may also want to consider breaking down different aspects of the data into different representations. Some information may do better on a pie chart, some on a knowledge graph and some on a data map.
3. Data Analysis
You’ll also have to analyze the data. If you skip any of these steps, the rest will useless. Having this information without understanding it will do you no good. So, once you have all of this data and have it accurately represented, it’s time to analyze.
What you do after your analysis will depend largely on you, your business and what you want to see in the future. If you like what you see, you’re good to go, if not, it’s time to make changes.
Running a business is hard work, but with proper use of data, it can be much easier.