Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 79 - Page 37

TALKING

‘‘ business

In today ’ s corporate world , data is power , and for a business strategy to be worthwhile , it must be supported by substantial data . Moreover , without research , it will be difficult for organisations to identify areas of improvement .

It is important for business owners to learn how to collect relevant data . In order to be usable , data must be accurate , complete , timely , and reliable – not just a random set of facts with no purpose . With the right context , data can help your organisation make informed , critical decisions .
Why is data collection necessary ?
For a variety of reasons , several types of data are collected and measured . For example , business owners can look into the purchasing histories of their customers to find out which products are popular among specific age groups .
Data collection can also help you better understand your customers ’ demographics and behaviours , which is necessary to provide personalised e-commerce customer service .
Furthermore , with the right data , organisations can segment their target audience and design more effective marketing strategies that suit the needs of their prospects . Marketing campaigns cost money , so it only makes sense to base them on actual data to avoid wasting resources .
Lastly , data-driven decision-making is more likely to produce fruitful action plans , and organisations can improve their reporting and forecasting accuracy . Making precise forecasts is especially important in tracking business trajectories .
Whatever your business objective may be , there are suitable methods of data collection that organisations can follow to get the information they need . Here are some of them :
Forms and surveys
By distributing polls through online forms , organisations can ask customers for their insights and contact details . They can then use the survey results to determine which aspects of the business require changes . The data can also help develop realistic customer profiles for their marketing efforts . Keep in mind that people have an innate need to be
heard . When customers know that their inputs are valued and organisations are willing to consider their suggestions , they may be more enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts .
Accordingly , choosing the specific type of survey to use is a crucial step in ensuring its effectiveness . A closed-ended survey offers predefined answers such as ‘ yes ’ and ‘ no ’ or multiple choices . This kind of survey is best for gathering data that is easily measured and analysed in numerical form .
Open-ended surveys , meanwhile , allow for more creative answers . Because nothing is predetermined , customers have the freedom to give more subjective and detailed responses .
Interviews
Phone interviews with customers are also an excellent approach since organisations can get data directly from them . Interview data is highly individualised and can provide unique insights that cannot be obtained through regular surveys .
Interviews can either be informal or formal , depending on the company ’ s industry vertical . Some firms that routinely hold interviews prefer a more controlled approach , while others want a more relaxed and casual atmosphere .
Online engagement
There are many tools available for gathering and analysing customer behaviour data using online
Gary Allemann , MD at Master Data Management
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