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Data-driven decisions are the differentiator between many successful businesses and their competitors. Just a few years ago, you could count on the acumen of a businessperson to make tough business choices. And although these decisions still have their place, especially in situations where there is a high level of uncertainty, most bloggers, or businessmen can rely on the ever-increasing power of data to guide them through their landscape. Consumers are more connected and, they’re constantly evolving, which is why it’s important to have a clear picture of what your customer looks like today, and not how they looked a few years ago.

Importance of data to make decisions

Data provides you with the power to treat consumers as individuals. No matter the size of your business. It can be a new blog with an email list or it can be a large online business with many monetization methods. You should aspire to reach the right customer, at the right time, when they display the right intent, leading them to purchase your products and services. Data plays its part when it comes to targeting and segmentation. Data will also tell you how your campaigns perform, therefore allowing you to improve them.

What is business intelligence?

I can’t mention data-driven decisions without exploring business intelligence. It’s, in its basic form, a process where an organization uses technologies and strategies to analyze data from the past and the present to enhance decision-making at a strategic level. This gives the business a competitive advantage. How you approach business intelligence (BI) will be defined by your toolset. You can use dashboards, a data warehouse, data discovery tooling, reporting, and cloud data services. BI is useful to measure advances toward goals, quantitative analysis, data sharing, and reporting and to provide you with insights mined from the data.

The connected consumer

You just have to look around to see that the use of smartphones and computer software is increasing. This makes consumers more dependent on digital devices. Their life is more simplified by fulfilling many of their needs almost instantly. This creates a connected consumer. This connection creates more chances for collecting data. This is the first time in the history of mankind that large quantitative data can be collected automatically. The crucial element to consider is that all this data can be used to fulfill the needs of consumers more effectively.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

It may seem much of the information in this blog post is more theoretical than practical. Stay with me, and I’ll show you that you can make it as practical as you want. You’ll find a great ally in the form of Key Performance Indicators. You may find these KPIs inside a tool, or maybe you’ll find them as an aggregate taken from different sources of data. No matter their level of complexity, you’ll have a clear picture of where your blog or business is going. This information will naturally present you with choices you can take to improve your course of action.

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Setting goals

You can have all the information you want. You can even become skilled at gathering data from different sources. If you don’t have goals, then you’ll only have data, not information or knowledge. The first step to make sense of this data is to measure it with your goals. This is where this data shows its true power. Are you closer to your goals? This is a question you can answer when you choose your KPIs carefully. You’ll be glad to know that you only have to analyze a few indicators, and they are tied to your goals.

Where to get data?

You may think you know the answer to this question. Where to get data? Your first choice could be your website, and you’d be right. And that is only the beginning. You can use offline data such as customer service logs, in-store foot traffic. You can use app store data where app marketplaces can provide you with insights. You can add software data acquired by programs like web browsers. You can look at databases such as loyalty programs and Customer Relationship Management software. You can analyze online data such as email, social media, forums, etc. Third-party information can also inform you of trends and provide you with important insights.

3 Types of indicators

First, you have lagging indicators. This is data from the past, financial results, past campaign results, and sales history. It needs to be used with the following indicators. Then you have current indicators. This is what you’re gathering at this very moment. You’ll find this indicator in the form of website analytics and popular hashtags. Finally, you have future indicators. Where is your blog or company headed? Keyword research can provide you with information about where you’re headed and what your competition is doing.

Customer strategy

How are data-driven decisions related to digital marketing? It’s part of the strategic process, and it should be taken into account at the very beginning of an operation or campaign, and it should also be a constant in day-to-day operations. The biggest relationship to marketing is that it shifts the focus from blindly producing products or services to a customer-centric way of thinking. The result is customized, personalized experiences that represent the brand. This focus is easier to apply if you’re just starting. You’ll have a competitive advantage over a more established business that finds it harder to change its focus.

Being aware of trends

Nobody works in a bubble. Your industry, blog, or organization is part of a larger whole. As an example of this, nobody could have predicted the global health emergency. This advice is compatible with a well-thought-out marketing plan where you analyze the external threats, among other aspects. You’ll discover that being fashionable is part of doing business nowadays. By analyzing trends, you’ll be able to relate your present-day data with better forecasting. You can take advantage of these trends by being of service to your current customer base and preparing your offers when things change.