Any business, even one with the smallest presence online, generates a huge amount of data. This can be used to improve the business by pointing out the areas where things aren’t going so well and used as a tool to amplify the areas where things are more successful.
However, collecting and using that data effectively is a big problem for many small businesses who just see a large morass of numbers and don’t know quite what to do with it all. If this is the position that you’re in, then you should pay attention to these three areas which could make the whole process a whole lot easier for you.
Make Sure the Data You’re Collecting and Reporting Is Relevant
You’ve no doubt read in many places that effective communication is key to the successful running of any business, and that is completely true. However, at the same time, too much information can create a situation where both employees and management alike cannot see the wood for the trees.
It’s also true that reporting remains a pain point for many marketers because they have so much data to sort through to find the useful things that they are looking for. They might not be sure what period they should be reporting over, which metrics exactly they should be focusing on, and which numbers are merely making life more difficult. A possible solution here may be to define an outcome and work backwards from there, rather than take all the data you have and try and navigate that.
Make Sure Your Reporting Can Be Easily Understood
Once you have your relevant data, you need to be able to present it in a way that those who do not necessarily have the same level of insight into the day-to-day running of the business as you do can understand it. Take, for instance, a CEO or a potential investor who you need to back the improvements you want to make based on the data you have just distilled.
Rather than a huge column of numbers, it may be a good move present this data in the form of graphics and charts that are easily digestible and can be pointed out, to illustrate any points you are making during the presentation of this data as a report.
Make Sure Your Data Is Actionable
Another key element of effective reporting is to present actionable data. This means only having data for things that you can do something about. For instance, if a PCC click campaign is not running particularly successfully, you could present the results of augmenting this with something like geotargeting, which will then give the best physical areas in which to concentrate your efforts.
A Few Final Thoughts
The amount of data created by your business can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have all the information that you need to take your business forward, but you also have a lot of data that, while useful, may not be relevant to the job you have in hand. However, by distilling the relevant information and presenting it to other stakeholders in a way that is easy to digest and actionable, you can make the most of the opportunity that this data gives you.