A strategic approach to data that delivers results, says Dataconversion’s Gleeson

Colum Gleeson, Dataconversion (Image: Dataconversion)

13 April 2018


“Data is the new oil” is a saying that is gaining a lot of currency right now. It is intended to show the value of information to an organisation. But just as oil only truly becomes useful when refined, an organisation’s data also needs work to unlock its true potential.

Many organisations struggle with this challenge, but it is something we spend a lot of time thinking about at Dataconversion. We talk to many technology, marketing and analytics leaders about how to make their organisations perform better from a data management point of view. We help them to overcome obstacles and put in place strategies to get more from their data.

Dataconversion often designs and builds customised solutions for our clients to enhance their performance in three main areas: creating comprehensive data strategies to complement customer experience (CX) initiatives; developing customer engagement platforms to boost performance; and data integrity management to improve CX and ensure compliance.

The strategy element may involve a commitment from the organisation to invest more in gathering data because they understand its intrinsic value. We find that many organisations underestimate the potential of their data, or else are not ready to take advantage of the data they could be gathering. With a little extra effort, it is possible to enrich the data they have, and, once that’s achieved, it is essential to maintain the integrity of those data sets.

Here is a simple example from the first category: many companies contact their customers and prospects via email. With some extra work, it is possible to know not just if the email was delivered, but whether the recipient opened it, and if they followed a link it contained. With a bit more investment and thought, you can gather five or six more pieces of data. This information makes it possible to understand whether the cost of sending that email is justified by the return in terms of transactions, or sales leads.

“Just as oil only truly becomes useful when refined, an organisation’s data also needs work to unlock its true potential”

The second category of work we provide is in customer engagement. With customer expectations higher than ever before, there is a growing recognition that continual engagement can lead to increased loyalty.

The aim is to acquire more customers and keep the ones you already have engaged – but organisations need to have an appetite to create engagement and have a presence on the front line with your customers. If they have a product that is suitable for selling online, but they have no digital presence, then that’s a shortfall in customer engagement. The growth in mobile device use has expanded the number and reach of sales channels. Using digital technology also makes it possible to reach many more customers and prospects cost-effectively.

The third category, data integrity, also has a customer experience component to it. Many organisations have built up silos of information over the years. Having the right details in one place means customers are not bombarded with repeated messages when one targeted email would be more effective. At the same time, ensuring the data set is correct means the company can take advantage of cross-selling potential by having a clearer understanding of customers’ previous interactions or purchases.

The common thread to all three services is data quality and integrity. Organisations get far more value when they bring diverse data sets together in a coherent, strategic way.


Colum Gleeson is director of software development for Dataconversion


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