Let me start with bold, profoundly counter-intuitive claim: lack of data is not your business biggest challenge to making informed decision.
The fundamental problem is integration.
In other words, given the unprecedented access we now have to all things analytical, our struggle with data is not that we don’t have enough … it’s that the data we do have is disconnected, isolated, and trapped.
Last week, we took a long hard look at the basic trouble businesses face with data and gave it a name: silos.
As IBM stressed, “What we’ve learned is that many of the most common challenges associated with big data aren’t really analytics problems. In many cases, these problems are fundamental, even traditional, information integration problems.”
At the human level, silos are incredibly destructive. They divide departments from departements, teams from teams, and even individuals from individuals.
However, data silos are a different beast altogether.
In fact, without the right tools to intentionally bring your data together, data silos can exist even if their destructive human counterpart don’t.
So, if lack of integration is the problem … why exactly are integrated analytics essential for your business survival and growth?
Let’s take a look at four, bottom-line reasons.
1. Identifying Opportunities
When you’re able to see the big picture of how your analytics are working together, you’re able to look at data in new ways, which can help make brilliant decisions to grow your business.
At the enterprise level, a recent IBM case study shows how Bharti Airtel, an Indian Telecommunications company, leveraged the power of integrated data to connect its communication channels with its customer-facing processes to provide a more seamless customer experience. When they did this, they gained the ability to process 1.5 million new customers per month.
Can small and medium business benefit likewise? Absolutely.
Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, says that he discovered an incredibly lucrative opportunity by leveraging big data to uncover a new, profitable segment to target their marketing.
Bryan combined the data generated by their business along with public consensus data to research income and occupational overlaps. The result was a new hypothesis about what kind of lawncare the various segments would likely be interested in. He then used this integrated approach to create messages that laser targeted the new customer niche in Nashville.
After implementation, the company saw a 200% lift in click-through-rate and and 30% lift in on-page conversion.
The point of both examples is that key opportunities were only identified when diverse data streams — communication channels with customer experience for IBM and internal data with external data for GreenPal — were combined.
2. Improving Communication
If the reason organizational silos exist is because of a lack of alignment between priorities, responsibilities, and goals between departments, then it makes sense that connecting the data used by these groups would result in improved communication.
When information flows freely between departments, applications, and systems, goals and teams become aligned and better decisions can be made. And that affects growth, too.
Inc published a study that showed that the effects of highly effective communication practices within an organization result in 47% higher total returns to shareholders.
Talk about a key driver for growth.
3. Eliminating Blind Spots
Having integrated data also means that you eliminate gaps that would otherwise go overlooked.
Rachelle Van Soest, co-owner and consumer research leader of advertising agency Immortology, actually used big data analytics to identify a blind spot and then capitalize on it.
She says that she used the analytics for a client in order to identify “the gaping holes between what their consumers desired and what the competitors were offering.”
How’d she do it?
Their client, a student housing company came to them needing help driving their occupancy rates up. They dug into the data and found that most competitors were offering student housing that catered to students’ social side by offering a pool and gym.
But what they also discovered was that 75% of students actually wanted to live in a quiet place where they could focus on their studies.
That’s when they realized the “gaping hole”: not one housing community was marketing to the academic side of student life.
From that insight, they were able to come up with a unique value proposition for their client by marketing their student housing communities to specifically appeal to students’ academic side.
Again, the results were amazing. Their client’s total number of communities went up 30% and their occupancy rates rose above 95%.
4. Streamline Sales & Marketing
There’s a lot of data to back it up — companies with aligned sales and marketing processes achieve larger and faster growth.
One McKinsey study shows that “companies that put data at the center of the marketing and sales decisions improve their marketing return on investment (MROI) by 15 – 20 percent. That adds up to $150 – $200 billion of additional value based on global annual marketing spend of an estimated $1 trillion.
And according to Mark Harrington, VP of Marketing for Clutch, perhaps the best way to leverage big data in your sales and marketing strategy is by combining all of the data accumulated by sales and marketing to form a central hub of intelligence that’s used by both teams to target the right customers and increase sales.
in fact, when Clutch integrated all of their customer data silos (data from all of their point-of-sale systems, ecommerce platforms, and CRMs) into a single, synthesized data set, it delivered “a holistic view of their customers based on their purchases, interactions and preferences”.
Their sales and marketing teams worked together and used the intelligence to
drive segmentation, develop buyer personas, create targeted campaigns to engage and motivate consumers, and employ evangelism by identifying their MVCs (Most Valuable Customers). All of this helped drive growth and strengthen a company’s business objectives.
How to Get Started
Optimizing and growing your business starts with understanding all of your data.
With Cyfe’s integrated data dashboard software, you have access to all of the metrics that you use in your business … in one platform. It’s precisely the kind of integrated approach we’ve been examining to organized all of your business data.
Try Cyfe for free today to see how you can start integrating your business analytics to grow your business.