Data Capability Lavon

Exploring Why You Need to Upgrade Your Data Capability

Understanding Data Capabilities

The digital transformation story of 2020 continues to grow ever more vital as we continue to go deeper into an uncertain environment. It is essential for companies to truly understand the unique opportunities data insights can bring towards strategic decisions being made. A 2016 report by indata labs reported 64% of 162 u.s. Based senior executives strongly agreed data-driven marketing is crucial to the success in a hyper-competitive global economy. 

The data capability story of 2020 is going to be told for years of how companies were able to reposition their model according to the shifting needs of customers in real-time. However, like most stories, there are always winners and losers and in the case of data – it will be the businesses who were unable to capture a new demand as they struggled to address changing needs while operating their business.

The inaction can be related to the lack of understanding of how to use data when making strategic decisions. The common barriers businesses will face are the following insights we have drawn:

  • Using multiple data capturing applications
  • Internal data capture to non-digital storage
  • Data silos
  • Organisational silos

There is endless potential when it comes to capturing data as the pool of information can be extracted across all physical and digital touchpoints. Data is meant to be built within a system driven for analytics and insights to inform strategic decisions. Commonly comparing insights from within the company to external benchmarks creating a process of evaluation of internal methods to external metrics. Without data, there is no measurable objective and no understanding of whether the current operations are proceeding as planned. 

Data Capability Lavon Lavon Global

How To Get Started

Understanding and using data is more than an overnight story which can easily be adapted as it takes a mindset shift to believe the data. There are a lot of reasons as to why small businesses are hearing about data. Still, a lot of the popularity of data stems from the globalisation and the easy access to information. Technology advancements have made it easier for executives to make decisions as it is a lot easier to rely on data than just an assumption. We have come up with steps everyone can take towards accepting data within their organisation for analytical driven decisions.

1. Rethink Your Organisational Tolerance to Data

The first caveat to being able to use data to create a strategy is how you handle the data. Multiple companies have created entities within an organisation with no cross-communication of insights and how the data can better inform the decisions. There have to be cross-functional units or technological capabilities which communicate all the findings into a centralised place to allow a connection between all silos in a company.

2. Understand Your Channels

Understanding the channels of insights are coming from, will provide you endless opportunities which you can capitalise on. The digitalisation of information has made it extremely easy to find good and bad information from “customers” who are sharing their feedback. There are multitudes of channels available and it’s a marketers role to understand these channels to effectively communicate the understanding.

3. Understanding Data Insights

The data you have available will usually show a range of metrics which might not make any sense when you are trying to make decisions based off of them. You need to add meanings and objectives towards the objectives based on a campaign-style measurement, where you determine the last 3 months, you performed 3 activities, and the metrics show the results of that. You then can compare these to the previous period and see what is working and what is not working – allowing you to make decisions by adding value to the numbers. 

4. Prepare an Evaluation System

Once you have identified the gap data will play to your strategy goals and objectives, you need to identify key metrics for success. For e.g. if you are looking to increase your digital presence, you need to understand how to measure a broad objective. In this case, you have launched a website, and established a social media presence. You can measure the following

  1. Track website referrals
  2. Increased average session duration 
  3. Total Impressions
  4. Increased Click Through Rate

The list can go on endlessly but the point is to find the most important, and in this case tracking between the two mediums is important. Understanding where your traffic is coming from will inform you if social media is helping, average session will inform if your website has what your customers are looking for, etc. There are no copy paste answers to what you should be tracking as everyone should be doing things differently depending on their objectives.

4. Rethinking Your Insight Model

Establish a company-wide objective and have all models play a part towards the data collection. It is crucial to understand how your company collects data by being able to centralise the results towards a common objective. Every unit will define metrics differently, do not try to change the results of a unit to fit your narrative without understanding what was even measured. Every team needs to be able to align their products towards a common objective, not the other way round.

Once you can break down the silos within the organisation, it is essential for all technology capabilities used within departments analysed within teams then presented to the common objective. Data is crucial in being able to measure improvements and create a sustainable competitive advantage – models which can predict and optimsie your operations will provide astronomical benefits. When you are identifying a model to determine your companies success, do not start from the “start” but the end. Look at opportunities and areas where you want to be, and use data to frame the evaluation of whether you are able to reach.

Types of Data

Once you have decided to start looking at data and gather insights, you need to familiarise yourself with the types of data available.

1. Demographic Data

Demographics is one of the most commonly known types of data,  if you have had the chance to look into marketing you would have broken down your markets by demographics. 

There are so many data points, but to give you a few:

  • Age
  • Education Level
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Average household income
  • Marital Status
  • Education Level

Demographics are great at a broad view of your audience and may help with making targeted decisions. 

2. Behavioral Data

Behavioural data just like its name suggests is about a consumers behaviour around collection points. There are no limits of the type of behavioural data collected but generally, behavioural data is a lot more specific in terms of their actions.

  • Website engagement 
  • Social media engagement 
  • Click-through rates
  • Buying tendencies
  • So much more

Behavioural data is limited to the applications collecting the data but often it is aligned with other systems to help create a journey map of your customers. It is important to use this data alongside other types of data to be able to truly understand your customers touchpoints. 

3. Technographic Data

Technographic data is a new addition which takes into account a user’s technological stack. As we continue to adopt digital across all industries, the list of tools you can use to conduct business continues to grow rapidly. It is important to understand the technological stacks people use as it can provide insights on how to attract, more commonly explored in B2B marketing as someone may be using your competitors or types of skills available. 

  • Analytical Software
  • Javascript Frameworks
  • Cloud Delivery Networks
  • eCommerce Functionality

The technology stack reveals how businesses are conducting their operations, but more importantly, provides you opportunities of engagement by suggesting actions to fill in their gap.

4. Performance Data

The most important form of data is when you are able to use your insights to draw conclusions on past events. If you are running campaigns within your organisation, it is important to use the analytics to draw a measurable performance metric to measure the success of the campaign. For example, are your online campaigns doing better than your traditional campaigns? You have data available for both metrics you should be analysing these results on a determining factor.

  • Analytical Software
  • Javascript Frameworks
  • Cloud Delivery Networks
  • eCommerce Functionality

The technology stack reveals how businesses are conducting their operations, but more importantly, provides you opportunities of engagement by suggesting actions to fill in their gap.

Your Data Capability Relationship

To be able to fully upgrade your data capability, it requires mindset shifts to reevaluate your current state to address the new norms. Understanding how you are able to play with the new skills. An upgraded data capability is not just an investment into technology but rather an organisational shift of accepting continuous improvement. 

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