How to Collect Data: A Quick Guide for Businesses

How to Collect Data: A Quick Guide for Businesses

How does your business collect data? What do you use it for? And are your data collection methods secure and legal?

The importance of data for business use continues to grow as competition rises.

Sixty-four percent of small businesses now own a website. Just under half of all customers now share feedback online. Capturing leads through web forms outstrips email and SEO advertising.

This quick guide shows you how to collect data the right way and how best to use it.

Read on to learn about the benefits and methods of collecting data. Discover how data governance should play an essential role. And see how gathering useful statistics will directly impact your bottom line.

Importance of Data for Businesses

A recent survey by Deloitte found that 96% of businesses believe data analytics will become more important in the next three years.

Over half stated that collecting data will help their marketing efforts. The importance of data retention lies in making key business decisions. Yet, they see the structure and governance of data as a major challenge.

Benefits of Data Collection

Why did your sales figures drop last month? Are you able to compare them to a year prior? Or view an average?

Getting access to the right information at the right time is paramount to good management.

The benefits of data collection shape all areas of business including:

  • Marketing – campaign performance and ad spend
  • Processing – R&D and optimization
  • Customer service – understanding consumer behaviors
  • Sales – predicting sales trends

The more data that you can analyze the better informed you’ll be. You can anticipate upcoming challenges and prepare for them accordingly. You can also redirect funds to those areas that require them based on real-world results.

How to Collect Data Legally

Collecting data comes in a variety of forms, from website statistics to social media interactions. However, storing and accessing this information legally requires you to be aware of and follow local privacy laws.

In the US, data privacy regulations stem back to the Privacy Act of 1974. Although those rules apply to government bodies, their effects have filtered into the business world over the decades.

For example, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 outlaws collecting user email addresses without their permission. GDPR governs European data privacy with strict fines placed on those companies that breach the rules.

How can you ensure that you follow the right practices while retaining control over your information workflow?

Data Governance

What’s the correct method to manage the collection, storage, access, and disposal of data legally? The answer is through data governance.

Data governance helps to organize and secure data while making it accessible to verified users. The process covers:

  • Securing data – ensuring compliance with data privacy laws and internal policies
  • Organizing data – identifying data sources and collection methods
  • Presentation – how to present data to personnel in the best way

There’s a lot more to consider than these three points but they’re the foundation on which to build your data analytics platform. To learn more about data governance please visit this website.

More Advice on Collecting Data for Businesses

The benefits of data collection are clear.

The more accurate information you can amass the more informed decisions you’ll make. Data governance helps to manage that process in a legal and optimized way. Follow the rules at all times and make the best use of that information.

Follow our blog for more advice on how to collect data.

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