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Our founder and CEO, John Cunningham discusses how access to different types of data drives smarter decisions in business.
Last year the World Economic Forum predicted that “the entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020.”1 As a point of reference, one zettabyte equals 21 zeros. Think about that for a second… The numbers are staggering. With so much data available, it’s easy for business leaders and decision-makers to get overwhelmed.
The key to success is for leaders to realize not all data is created equal. Just because data is available, doesn’t mean it’s pertinent to your business or operations. In fact, “organizational data is likely doubling every two years.”2 That is a lot of data that probably may go unused.
The key to using data effectively is to prioritize your goals. In setting strategic goals, or even managing day-to-day operations, business leaders need to understand which data, and what type, is necessary to accomplish the stated goals.
Data has always been important in helping me make smarter decisions. Whether you are in the start-up phase or are more established, one of the easiest kinds of data to take advantage of is customer data. Customer data is any information gleaned from your interactions with customers and provides a lot of insights. Notably, you don’t even need complex software to gather it — what’s most important is to pay attention to it. Customer data can be both quantitative and qualitative in nature.
Quantitative data is “measures of values or counts and are expressed as numbers.”3
Data you can obtain from just one customer includes: what and how they purchase, customer service information (how often they access customer support, what methods they prefer and, which products require the most support), retention data (how long they remain as a customer and why), customer feedback (from surveys, calls, and testimonials), and more.
Qualitative data is “information that can not be counted, measured or easily expressed using numbers.” 4
When combining market and customer data, you start to see trends that will lead you to different conclusions. You may develop new features or products or establish ways to improve your accounting process or even the entire customer experience.
At IntelliShift, our customer success model differentiates us from other companies and drives our growth. We leverage different types of data to improve the model and ensure our clients achieve their desired outcomes.
At a corporate level, we track Net Promoter Scores to gauge customer satisfaction, but we also scrutinize feedback our clients provide. Whether voiced to team members, left as a voicemail, or delivered in written form, all client comments, which are considered to be qualitative data, are an important measurement of our clients’ sentiment. We use this data to improve our customer service and onboarding practices or combine it with other data to improve our product portfolio.
We also provide services and as a service provider, we collect data about where our technicians are located, where we are scheduled to be, travel times, etc. (Note: we use our IntelliShift platform to obtain this information). Most importantly, we use this data to track how we are doing relative to our goals. Armed with insights, we make improvements in how we serve our clients, ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction. These are our most important objectives to meet.
Today, capturing and using data is critical to a business leader’s success. Whether your objective is to improve the customer experience, decrease the total cost of ownership of a fleet, or just sell more widgets, it’s important to set goals so you can determine what data to capture and how best to apply it to your business.