What Are The Steps In Data Discovery?
ALL businesses benefit from some form of marketing driven by the numbers that make up the ins and outs of their daily operation. But getting to the nitty-gritty of a business’s data footprint takes a little work. It’s a multistep process the likes of which many companies just don’t have the manpower, know-how, or confidence in jumping headlong into. Data discovery is the first step of this process. While it may not be the flashiest, it certainly stands to reason that it is the most important step of all.
First and foremost, data discovery is tantamount to gaining an understanding of the numbers that make up a business. The figures can, and often are, disparate and unorganized raw data. These numbers are mostly grouped together in some loose fashion so someone can given them a casual glance & denote them as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This, of course, is just not going to work. Raw data must be prepared in order to be set for analysis. You wouldn’t chug raw cake batter, right? So, why would anyone assume raw data was ready for consumption?
Keep in mind again that this is all a process. Data discovery, while part one of effective data-driven marketing, in and of itself contains four major steps in its own process:
- data acquisition: customer, order history, and prospect data list data in places such as e-commerce software, CRM systems, .csv files, and MySQL databases
- data description: getting to know data; assessment of fields (or variable types) present, type of data in each field, number (of records) in each data set; creation of descriptive statistics outlining data including averages, max/min values
- data quality assessment: check on complete & usable nature of data in current state; check for missing/inaccurate/misclassified data & data type errors
- data preparation: final stage of data discovery process; fill in missing values found during quality assessment; aligning data with proper fields; enacting data transformation, data imputation, data filtering, data reduction, data sampling, dimensionality reduction, and data discretization.
Needless to say, data discovery is no easy task. But it is essential to know the best way to market one’s business to the right audience. It’s all in the numbers; it’s just a matter of knowing how best to mine the information from it source. But, of course, that is easier said than done.
Marketing agencies are quite vocal & fervent in their belief that they can help turn your business around in no time. Promises of unbelievable ROI are practically a daily mantra. Yet, results often fall flat. What happened? Simple — they got as far as the data acquisition step and stopped. While being presented a lot of numbers about your business is appreciated, an even better outcome would a way of being able to use those numbers.
Always keep in mind the following: “Information is data with context.”
The best marketing agencies who provide amazing data discovery services aren’t just giving you numbers — they’re giving you useable information that has the power of transforming your business. MindEcology, an Austin advertising agency, is all about that data life. We eat, breathe, and sleep data only because we know it means so much. Let our team of experts sort through your jumble of numbers to not only bring a little order to your life, but also help take the first steps at creating on heck of a marketing campaign.
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