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7 Data Collection Tips to Help You Gather and Use Data the Right Way

Your business is routinely collecting data, processing it, and storing information. It’s easy to get sidetracked by data you don’t need, and even easier to collect “too much” information and risk violating privacy laws. So many reports, so many different uses; it’s no wonder you’ve got the data collection blues.

There is a delicate balance between data collection and privacy laws. Privacy laws are governed by agencies such as HIPAA and the Federal Trade Commission Act, whether you are working remotely or in the office. Violating these regulations can mean serious trouble for your business, both financially and legally.

Iconic IT has gathered seven key considerations when you’re collecting customer or client data; following these handy tips will keep your databases clean and compliant and eliminate your data collection blues.

1. Set Your Searches for Behavior-Related Data

A key consideration for collecting customer information is to make your analytics a little broader. Knowing how many customers made a purchase from you is useful, but don’t forget analytics such as email open rates, website browsing habits like page visits and time spent on the site, and even how many subscribers you have to your company’s eNewsletter and how many users open it and read your links.

Casting a broader net in your analytics will help you analyze your customer base, see what marketing techniques are working, and how they interact with your website. Focus on behavior-related data to get the most from your reports. When you broaden your data collection scope, you’ll get more informative data that you can leverage.

2. How Do Your Customers Interact with Your Business?

Closely related to behavior-related data, understanding customer interactions will help you breakdown your customer’s searches, purchases, and paths taken within your site. This analytic will help you define what customers do when on your site. Do they read blogs? Do they purchase goods or services? What do they ultimately purchase? Do they leave things in their carts without following through on a purchase?

This data helps you define what your customers are searching for, what is your best-selling item or feature, and what products or services may need “tweaking.” It’s a valuable insight into your customers’ minds and buying habits. Data collection that highlights user interaction shows you what parts of your website are doing well and what could use some attention.

3. Data Collection That Keeps You Informed

Your customer base may be changing without you even knowing it. Data collection should include identifying statistics, such as birth dates, addresses, and genders. This data gives you a basis for evaluating your segmentation and changing your strategy to meet the needs of new buyers.

4. Automating Data Collection

In days gone by, data collection was done by hand. With today’s trends in automation, data can be collected, sifted, and stored without the risk of faulty human data collection interactions.

Using online forms allow the data to be fed directly into your database for seamless collection and sorting.

5. Real-Time Updating

Your data results are constantly changing and staying on top of it is important. Using business intelligence dashboards to collect, filter and organize data is a way of keeping ahead of the competition. When you use an organized data collection method, the information you need is always up-to-the-minute and at your fingertips.

6. System Integration

When multiple databases are in use, errors and redundancies are par for the course. Work with a managed services provider so all your apps, software and databases are integrated into one synced database.  This will not only reduce errors; it will improve consistency across your platforms and eliminate the need for manually entering information. Streamline data collection as much as possible.

7. Identify Your Report’s Target Audience

When you are creating data collection reports to share to your teams, you should identify what teams will benefit from the information. Sales may be interested in sales figures, your HR department will be most interested in labor costs, and your marketing team may be focused on demographics or other customer-based information.

Effective data collection means finding the right tools to create the right reports for the right audience. Eliminate the time-consuming process of gathering every bit of information into one massive report that doesn’t include everyone’s interests.

Iconic IT Can Help You Find the Tools You Need to Optimize Data Collection

Iconic IT has the data collection tech and tools you need to collect data, interpret it, and use it to your advantage. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the best solutions for your data collection blues.


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