A new business may start with a bright idea which sparks from the mind of its founder or core team. However, the toughest part is to predict where the business goes and in what what ways it should be improved. The insights that you have at the beginning could be totally irrelevant and unrealistic and this is something you can only discover on the way. So how could you make right decisions which make your business grow and most importantly survive? Forecasts which come from your previous experiences or similar business models might be inefficient and superficial; you need to solidify your needs and future goals based on something accurate: the data.
Historical data is probably the most precious thing in terms of drawing conclusions which affect your business. The reason why, data gathering is so popular and important nowadays. Today, business owners are able to choose what details they want to collect in what ways. It could be behavioral, demographic, affiliate or all of them at the same time according to your business goals. There are many different ways of tracking the data you desire to collect and turning this data into information. These marketing also helps you to get rid of static spreadsheets and finally reach meaningful, visualized piece of information. A customer behavior report can show you where to improve in your website while a demographics report can give insights about a new, niche audience. However, being a data guru and not getting into vast information you can’t handle is not easy. Thus, we will take a look on the concept of data gathering down to the last detail in this article. The topics that we will tackle are what data gathering is, the difference between data gathering and data mining, types of data gathering and lastly the best online tools for it. Let’s start now!
What Is Data Gathering and What Are The Essentials of It ?
Data gathering is simply the process of collecting and evaluating information based on set variables with the help of an automated system. It is a significant need for social and positive sciences as well as business management. Through data gathering, you can collect two types of information: quantitative and qualitative. However, your data must be clean, consistent and reliable to get actionable insights. Therefore there are some essential components of data collection process. Firstly, you should start with defining your project objectives. This will help you to reach accuracy and eliminate distracting information. Identifying your data requirements is the next step. This step will allow you to outline your data needs, categorize and summarize them. Then the collection method comes which includes choosing right methods amongst variety of data gathering techniques. We will also cover this part in depth. Lastly you should organize the data you have been collecting via diagrams with an analytical approach. These 4 steps are components of essentials of gathering clean, consistent and reliable data in projects with different scales.
To enrich your data collecting process and the quality of the data you gather, there are some basic principles as well. Firstly, tracking data over time is quite crucial due to the fact that historical data allows you to draw a general picture apart from the variables based on time. This way, you will be able to understand whether the insights based on seasonal dynamics or temporary trends. Moreover you will be able to see seasonal dynamics and trends and react swiftly in accordance to this if you have historical data. Another important thing that you should not ignore is empowering end-users. By guiding your end-users in an exciting way you can reach more customized data and encourage them to contribute your business in a sustainable way. Lastly, data gathering process must be scalable in every phase; thus it is better to begin with a smaller scale to manage the data effectively.
Now you have a clean, consistent and reliable data. So how to interpret and draw conclusions from the data you have gathered. The answer is data mining which can be confused with data gathering, yet it is a totally different process. Let’s have a quick look on the concept of data mining too.
What is the Difference Between Data Gathering and Data Mining?
Data gathering simply means what it sounds like; it is the collection process of the data according to determined variables while data mining is referring a process of discovering patterns in large data sets including such methods like artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics, predictive analytics and database systems. Data mining draws effective conclusions from large data sets. Let’s say you have the data of group of people who are business travellers and also the data of people who visits your landing page for a commercial fair. You may be able to see the percentage of business travellers amongst your visitors thanks to data gathering and if their percentage is higher than the other affiliate groups, you may even consider to invest more to this affiliate group in other marketing channels. Think that you are looking the behavioral data of certain pages of your website in Google Analytics. A certain page shows higher bounce rate in mobile devices while the same page is just fine in desktop. From this piece of information, you can understand that either there is a mobile functionality problem of your website or you should improve your UX design. These are some basic examples of data mining. It is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science and statistics to transform information into comprehensible structure for further use.
What Are The Methods of Data Gathering?
Either you need quantitative or qualitative data for your business insights, there are some certain ways to gather it. Some businesses prefer to create their primary data with their own CRM systems while others corporate with 3rd party providers. More or less, tracking and collecting methods can be listed under 4 items:
Surveys: Surveys are one of the most common and conventional data gathering methods. Today, survey method has also been digitalized. Survey is a convenient method if you have certain queries that needs to be answered and would like to conduct certain samples in your research.
Online Tracking: If your business has a website or application, online tracking will allow you to reach rich data which shows how long your visitors stay, how they navigate, who they are, what their interests are, how close their actions to the conversions you set and more. Only thing you need to do is embed tracking code given by your analytics tool and set up your analytics tool.
Transactional Data Tracking: Keeping transactional information in your CRM system always gives great insights about your business and customers. This data may come from your web store or 3rd party ecommerce contract. It is a data set which totally reveals your “hero” products.
Social Media Monitoring: Another excellent source of data gathering. Your followers or subscribers can tell a lot about your target audiences. You can discover the common characteristics of your audiences and create a marketing strategy accordingly or you can target defined audiences which were created by using existing data of social media platforms and reach your business goals through this.
Here we have tackled essentials of data gathering. With brilliant data solutions businesses can be more flexible in terms of changes. Moreover, understanding and applying the dynamics of data gathering will give you insights which can thrive your business in future!
Data Gathering with the Enkronos Apps
In simple terms we can say that information is power. That is why Data Gathering is one of Enkronos Apps most powerful feature.
How we do it? The best way to learn how Data Gathering works with our applications is to go through all the four main features:
If you have business idea or need about data gathering don’t hesitate to contact us!
Enkronos Marketing Team