Consolidating Data for Better Reporting Across Multiple Locations

BY: ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2014

Compiling and interpreting data is intimidating enough. If you’re in retail, own a chain of restaurants, or operate a service-based business across multiple geographic locations, it can be an extra chore to combine all your sales and service data to see the big picture.

If you’re not already on the customer data bandwagon, you’re behind the times. Market-driven technology informed by statistical analysis sounds a great deal more intimidating than it is. Let’s walk through from start to finish.

What Kind of Data?

The data you collect ranges from general contact (name, age, email address, location) to shopping specific (last purchase, payment methods) and may even extend to how various customers are connected (some CRMs will find all customers who attended the same conference, for example) or what they discuss on social media.

Where Does Data Come From?

Here’s where it gets complicated. You can collect data on your own via surveys and landing pages. You can engage in social media across several channels using an organizational tool like Buffer. And you can collect it all using great CRM features to integrate the different programs and attach data to each customer’s record to build a complete profile.

Putting it All Together

You may also need to pull in information from different physical locations as well as different data sources. If you own a chain of restaurants, gas stations, or even law offices, the sheer amount of data can be overwhelming.

What you need is an easy way to interpret all that data. One great way is to use DataHero drag-and-drop reporting. Dump all your data in one place and the program will put it together and return charts and graphs you can easily understand and analyze.

Interpreting the data will help you find commonalities and differences between locations and help you figure out why one location is more successful than another. Armed with that kind of information, you can fine-tune your marketing efforts to bring all your locations up to speed.

Putting Your Data to Work

Once you’ve analyzed your data, the next step is creating a marketing plan that puts the information to use.

Say you’re an Italian restaurant, and you’ve collected data on your customers and are monitoring their social media conversations (listening) and you start to see a trend. More and more of them are talking about trying a new place nearby. So...what are they talking about? Fresh ingredients? More innovative or upscale dishes? Bigger portions? Killer desserts? Whatever it is, that’s what you need to improve and build a marketing campaign around.

The point is, it’s important to listen for pain points - things your customers need and can’t find - or for things they want that you don’t already offer. It can also be helpful to take a straightforward approach and simply ask.

Interpreted correctly, data can be an amazing tool. Customers share more than they probably should on social media, and businesses that learn to harness the power of customer opinion do very well.

Conversely, businesses that ignore customer data and fail to manage their own online reputations remain in the dark as to why they’re losing business to competitors.

Your ROI on customer data depends on using it wisely. It’s all about having the right tools and knowledge to gather, aggregate, and analyze your customers’ needs, wants and pain points.


Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Sherry Gray
Sherry Gray is a freelance content writer from Key West, FL, currently suffering the burbs of Orlando. She's a science geek, a political junkie, and a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She writes about business, marketing, technology, medicine...and everything else.
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