Sometimes success in life comes by accident. But one cannot base their life on the elusive chance of a successful accident. Even more so one can certainly not build a successful business by just hoping for an accidental benefit. Much more often and more controllably success in business comes from hard work and the right decisions. Both of these things are closely related to utilizing the best available means to achieve goals. Alternative data is a means to business success that constantly grows in importance. Therefore, taking advantage of it is the kind of right decision that can give a great boost for businesses and investors today and lead them in the right direction into the future.
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The goldmine of information
Once the sources of information for business decisions have been very limited and not necessarily easily accessible to everyone. These were the times when only a handful of traditional data sources have been regularly used by business people.
All that changed with the advancements of data technology and the growth of the world wide web. Now, online one can find an unimaginable volume of various kinds of information. It is a true goldmine for entrepreneurs, investors, and companies alike, determined for business success and looking for the best ways to reach it. Of course, like with literal goldmines, one has to be a skillful miner to recognize and dig out what is precious, separating gold from rocks and dirt.
With proper tools, such alternative types of data as firmographics and technographics, various public sentiment data, job posting and company funding data, and many more can be collected from online sources and structured for business use. These different types of alternative data offer a variety of insights, but they do have one thing in common – they provide valuable insights that help develop business strategies and identify paths to success.
Thus, alternative data is being used by all kinds of businesses, from luxury brands to small companies looking for the next improvement that will turn into a big break. Supplementing traditional data sources with public alternative data extracted from the online goldmine is now pretty much a necessity for anyone who wishes to improve their data-driven business decision making process.
Alternative data for business success
Even further, the internet combined with various technologies provide access to many types of data that can be used as an alternative source for making data-driven business decisions. Those who have already been acquiring such data have noticed many benefits that it brings on the path to success.
A great variety of data provides just as varied ways of achieving business goals and improving procedures. Here are just some of the ways how alternative data can be utilized for substantial benefit.
1. Improve sales performance
Everybody knows that the success of a business depends enormously on how well the sales team can perform. Alternative data is a huge help for the salespeople and can improve conversion rates dramatically. Segmenting the market with various firmographic and technographic information will help you identify your target audience better. It will also assist greatly in scoring the leads and dividing sales time correctly among the potential customers. Whether you are selling to businesses or private people, with more diverse data, better sales pitches can be designed, reflecting the specific needs of the prospects. Preparing your sales personnel with valuable information will not only make them more successful and efficient but also happier and capable of building a winning atmosphere in the workplace.
2. Hire better fits
A winning workplace atmosphere starts from the very beginning: the hiring process. Prior to major advancements in the big data industry, hiring was a long and tedious process. Now, AI technology compiled with massive amounts of alternative datasets can help businesses sort through millions of professional profiles and find the ones best suited for your company. People’s data from various public sources will quickly tell you a lot about the talent available for hire long before there is any need to get to to the interview process. Utilizing this data will make the recruitment process more efficient and more likely to result in better hires more suited for your company.
3. Make the right investments
Whether you are a full-time investor looking for the next opportunity or figuring out where to invest to advance your business, alternative data can make those decisions much more likely to lead to success. For example, job postings data or company funding data can help you see an investment opportunity in time to act on it. Various data on other companies will show information surrounding a businesses’ internal health and daily operations, as well as where the industry is headed. Utilizing a multitude of data types in conjunction with one another, such as firmographic data, technographic data, and job postings data can paint an extensive picture of how an industry and the companies within it are performing. Ultimately, there are many alternative data types that can provide you with insights and consequently enhance your investment intelligence.
4. Be in touch with the people
A free-market means that businesses succeed when they provide people with their wants and needs. Thus, one is much more likely to succeed not by telling people to buy whatever they are offering, but by asking them what they care about. Alternative data from social media and other online sources enables businesses to track public sentiment in a fast and reliable way. Public web data, such as reviews and social sentiment provide you with information on your customers’ needs as well as your competitors. Utilizing social sentiment data will provide your company with an invaluable advantage of actually listening and speaking with potential partners and customers.
5. Stay competitive
Whenever we speak about competition, intelligence is among the key deciding factors. Knowledge is power thus one strives to know as much or more than any potential competitor. Alternative data is precisely this knowledge that can give the key advantage for businesses and help to ensure their place in the industry. And the more you wish to grow, the more alternative data becomes not only a way to success but also an absolute necessity to stay competitive. For example, firmographic data gives you detailed information on your competitors’ growth, short-comings, funding data and more. This information can keep you ahead of the game, as you stay ahead of your competitors by anticipating their strategy and market moves.
Find your customer
When one decides to start a business, it is usually because they believe that they have something to offer. If you are like that, you know that your customers are out there. What you need to do is make sure you find them.
This is done by marketing, generating leads, and creating a sales funnel. And this entire process is greatly dependent on information. Alternative data here means more data in general and more complete data on potential customers.
The more data you gain access to, the more opportunities you give yourself to find those that are meant to be your customers. And the more you know about them, the better chance you have of succeeding to prove yourself to them. In all, collecting, analyzing, and implementing alternative data insights has become a necessity for businesses globally.
Tom Wilson is a content editor and data enthusiast. When his nose isn’t buried in the latest sci-fi novel, you can find him spending time with his family, or in the kitchen cooking up a storm.