By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" IS A WEEKLY COLUMN WHERE TANYA EXPLORES KEY ISSUES. TODAY TANYA TALKS ABOUT DATA IN BUSINESS.

Being informed in business is a pivotal aspect in achieving ongoing success.

Knowing your audience, exploring the demand, and being nimble enough to pivot to remain relevant are important aspects of running a profitable business.

Offering something that people want or need is ideal, but how do we stay informed about our consumers and up to date with demand?

This is where data comes in.

Understanding the power of data

Operating solely on word-of-mouth often isn’t enough these days, and it leaves businesses at risk of becoming irrelevant and wondering why.

Through data collection, businesses and organisations can identify who their target market is, how their consumers know about them, what marketing material they respond to and how to keep them engaged.

With this knowledge businesses are given a sense of clarity that can be used in a number of ways.

IMPACT is currently on a data journey; we know how important data is and we are striving to improve the way we capture, store, manage and use data to fulfil our vision.

We have developed a data strategy with the purpose of harnessing existing and future organisational data to integrate day to day operations and improve decision making.

The aim is to improve the way that we do things, including the quality of services that we deliver to our customers.

We value feedback and want to better understand what participants want to ensure that we are delivering the programs and services needed; not those that we think are relevant.

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Using data to inform business decisions

We understand data is a strategic asset that helps us become more informed.

For example, a recent perception survey we conducted found one-third of our consumers were not seeing us on social media.

Knowing this, we have been able to target other areas outside of social media where potential clients might see us and feel the desire to engage with our programs.

Feedback surveys are one example of data collection that can be used to improve services and customer experience, which can also assist with streamlining business workflows and have a significant impact on strategies and processes.

It can also be used for our website, so people can find the information they need much more quickly.

Put simply, data can help inform any business decision we make, while also supporting us to meet the changing needs of our customers.

Data collection and marketing strategies can at times attract a distasteful reputation, which is why it’s important businesses know their responsibilities and have a secure means of storing information when collecting data.

Your business relies on consumers returning to provide repeat business, so respect for them and their privacy should always be of upmost importance.

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