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How to Start Collecting Data: Part 2

  • By Ryan Skidmore

Shake What your Customers Gave You

Start paying attention to the info that has already come in. (Forbes.com) In Part 1, we discovered the well-spring of data created from business as usual, thanks to devices like POS systems and Car Tracking Devices. It is our sacred duty to put that resource to work. In order to eat this elephant one bite at a time, focus on one or two outcomes only. (Forbes.com) Example, drive down the cost of local deliveries or increase upsells to a certain type of customer common to your business. At this stage, learning how to reach a goal with existing data is just as important as actually reaching the goal. Keep the goal simple, but specific. Also, make a pipeline for acting on the information. (Forbes.com) Be agile when the data is different from expected. As Seth Godin quoted in a recent blog, “Be open to things you didn’t imagine.” (Seth Godin Blog) Create a middle and an end. Know when you’re going the right direction. Know when you’ve arrived. Most importantly, have the nerve to change one exact thing without changing other issues, real or imagined. In this stage, don’t set any hard dates. This process will flow to places you can’t anticipate. Accordingly, Car Tracking Devices will reveal surprises and will provide you with information that will allow you to make well thought out decisions.

Please Sir, May I Have Some More.

Gather as much data as possible with all data collection tools, create a survey. (Forbes.com) Surveys have very predictable but profound outcomes. They are easy to craft and easy to implement change from. Again, this is a learning exercise. Results may vary, but it remains the best way to level up. When constructing the survey, follow these guidelines (Forbes.com):

  1. Keep it straight forward. Staying simple at every level will keep the process easily actionable and maintain a smooth learning experience.
  2. Construct for one outcome. Try to coax answers that will enlighten on something specific. Data is a one piece at a time game. Learn to gain insight on something exact is all important.
  3. Craft questions for specific answers. Learn to word questions such that customers will give one of a few answers. Don’t ask open-ended questions.
  4. Always capture demographics. Discovering who is bestowing the insight is an important stepping stone to why and will allow you to do more targeted messaging.

Lastly, stick with your method and perfect it. Dumping the method after any modest amount of time equals ignoring lessons learned. Most successful business owners learn from their mistakes and keep improving. “Perfect it” may consist of changing the method so drastically it’s unrecognizable from the first incarnation. Do anything but go back to the same old same old. With Car Tracking Devices in place, the amount of useful information that a company would receive could have a huge impact in the business and what steps they need to take.  Of course all of those steps will be to improve the bottom line for the company.

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