How Data Mining Can Help You Dig the Nuggets Out of Your Business
Imagine having a rare and valuable art collection and keeping it locked in the closet. Now think of data practices. Same situation. Marketers spend millions of dollars a year to gather and store large quantities of data that are never seen by the human eye.
Other companies spend a great deal of money to run reports, graphics and analysis to show to marketing and sales personnel, but are unable to transform these expenditures into day-to-day actions.
Data is merely words and numbers without meaningful actions attached. That is why data mining—extracting the knowledge from large chunks of raw data—is absolutely critical for any organization that collects data about its customers.
How Do I Get Started?
The pillars necessary for any company to transform data into actionable decisions are executive support and a data-driven culture, evident when, on a regular basis, business action is taken as a result of data (reports). Executive support is essential to attain the financial backing and build the necessary infrastructure.
However, it’s important to start small and be very specific in what you are trying to accomplish. Do not let technology drive your decisions. It is better to invest in a temporary or smaller solution and throw it away when you outgrow it, rather than invest big and get lost in the options and complexity before you even get started.
3 Keys for Building a Data-driven Culture
1. Business Objectives. Define the objectives you are trying to achieve, e.g., increased market share, reduced cost or increased salesforce effectiveness. Break each objective down and determine the elements that impact your ability to meet the business objective.
For example, suppose you wanted to increase sales-force effectiveness. Your impact elements might include:
• Field reps need more face-to-face time.