The discussion for the use of big data typically centres on the internal transaction data. This data collected from the CRM and ERP applications in the business, can provide vast insight into market trends. Yet they are not the only sources from which businesses can collect data.
In fact, IT business leaders feel that big data solutions should incorporate and draw on data from various sources. According to a survey conducted in 2013, only about ¼ of businesses currently do this successfully.
This is not an intentional omission on the part of businesses. It is simply a misunderstanding or underestimation of how much data can be collected and used. However, by limiting the number of sources, businesses are also limiting their view of the big picture.
To get ahead of your competition you should monitor the following data sources:
User Generated Data
Customers share their opinions about brands all the time . This information can be found on social media, their personal or company blogs, customer reviews and forums. Combining this information with data from call center records and other back-office records can help your management spot trends, be more accurate in your predictions and improve your communications with customers.
Many businesses think that their partners will instantly share things you need to know. However this isn’t always the case and it can be difficult to manage, so it isn’t possible to rely upon the timely receipt of information. Therefore you need to start collecting data about your partner’s operations and their interactions with you.
By collecting this information you can spot problem areas in processes within the system. Once identified, you can trial new methods of completing the process to make it more efficient.
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Public information is often the most overlooked source. Yet the records from federal, state and local agencies can support your business in a multitude of ways. For instance you can use records for background checks, credential checks, monitoring compliance regulation and legislation tracking.
Keeping track of your competitors is always important, especially in this fast paced world. By monitoring a competitor’s press releases, website, blog, online store fronts and social media you can spot opportunities and threats for your business and act accordingly and timely. For example, noticing when your competitors are having a sale can allow you to be proactive and counter that or when your competitors have had bad publicity, ‘newsjack’ the event to draw attention to your own brand.
By accessing all the information from different sources which are both internal and external you can generate a greater awareness of the environment your business is currently in. Then you can move your business in the right direction and achieve greater success.