How Your Business Can Improve Data Collection

by | Last updated Nov 18, 2022 | Digital Marketing

From web analytics to self-reported user information, businesses work with all kinds of data—all of which must be relevant and accurate for data-driven marketing to work correctly. If you’re looking for ways to improve your data collection process and get better results, here are ten tips!

Run a Data Audit

Collecting data without goals in mind wastes valuable time and resources. A data audit can help bring your data collection process in line with your objectives so you can make more-informed business decisions and better serve your customers.

For data collection to be effective, your business will need to identify objectives and determine what data will be useful in achieving those goals—for example, data regarding user engagement. Then, run a data quality assessment to identify any technical problems with your collection process, as well as any gaps or duplicate data points within the information you’re currently collecting, so you can make adjustments to how you’re obtaining data.

Streamline Data Collection Software

If your business uses multiple tools for data collection and management, make sure they’re compatible with each other to avoid redundancies and bad data. Streamlining your data capture processes will improve data quality, allowing you to better serve consumers.

Be strategic about which data collection tools your business uses moving forward, and free up space in your systems by deleting any outdated, inaccurate, or unnecessary information identified during the data audit. There are plenty of effective data collection software options to choose from. FastField and Jotform are great for creating digital data collection forms, while Microsoft SQL Server and Profisee for managing customer data.

Track Customer Interactions & Behaviors

Consider what information matters to your business. Do you need to know who your audience is? What they’re most interested in? Why potential customers aren’t converting? Website and social media analytics can help you track customer interactions and behavioral data—like clicks, mouse movement, pages visited, and time spent on page—for insight into the buyer’s journey.

Use digital marketing analytics relevant to your business’ objectives to follow each step of the user’s journey. This can help you see how people find you, what paths they take through your site, and the point where they convert or leave. Try using website heat maps to see which areas of your site receive the most and the least interaction. Tracking this information will help you identify what is or isn’t working so your business can improve overall user experience.

Consider Proper Channels & Platforms

If you’re seeking self-reported information from users, improve data collection by being mindful of where you’re collecting it. Your target audience’s preferences and the type of information you’re trying to obtain will factor into which data collection methods you should use.

For example, if you’re trying to grow your email list, you might use lead generation landing pages, which collect basic personal information like name, birthday, and email address. But if you want to know how buyers feel about a new product, conducting surveys through social media or email campaigns could be more efficient for engagement.

Collect Only What You Need

In addition to being a waste of time and resources, collecting superfluous data can strain your customers’ trust and patience. In fact, asking people for too much personal information is one of the factors that can contribute to high bounce rates on your website. Rework your data collection plan to collect only the necessary information.

For data that’s useful but not essential to your digital marketing efforts, give people control over their data by providing the ability to opt out of providing those details. When determining what you need to collect, reevaluate your current data capture forms based on what users have been willing to provide in the past, and then adjust based on customer preferences.

Be Transparent About Data Collection

70% of consumers are more willing to share their information when there’s a clear benefit. One of the best ways to improve data collection methods is to give your users more control, and let them know what data you’re collecting and why. For example, a business that asks for a user’s date of birth might do so to send a birthday discount code—but does the customer know that?

Staying transparent allows them to see the advantages of providing their information and decide whether or not they would like to do so. It can also help in building trust with customers. And when you put that data to use to give people a better, more personalized user experience, customers can see that your business follows through on promises.

Make Data Capture Fun

Whether you’re trying to generate leads, get feedback, or update existing user information, incentivizing your audience with special offers or opportunities can be a great way to gather customer data. Since 57% of consumers are willing to exchange their information for personalized deals, offering incentives like individualized discounts and giveaways can be helpful for getting users to fill out a survey or contact form.

If you’re looking for more fun and innovative customer data collection methods, you could also consider employing gamification to make the data collection process more entertaining for your customers.

Protect User Data

User data privacy is a key factor in maintaining credibility. In addition to following any data regulations that apply to your business, make sure to also stay current with ethical data collection best practices and customer preferences.

With so many consumers concerned about data privacy, you can build better consumer relationship by protecting customer data. You can help establish good faith and allow customers some autonomy in protecting their information by allowing them access to the data your company has stored for them, as well as the ability to request that it be modified or deleted from your system.

Employ a Data Governance Strategy

A data governance strategy dictates how your company collects, stores, and uses data, allowing you to maintain continuity throughout your organization and keep data updated and organized.

Setting data governance rules helps your business avoid data corruption, duplication, and data silos by establishing clear data collection and management processes. This, in turn, enables your business to collect information more efficiently and make data-driven decisions. And since data governance ensures every department is operating off of the same information and following the same guidelines, your company can also provide more consistent customer service.

Automate Data Collection

Manually entering data is time-consuming and leaves more room for errors. Your business can save resources and improve data quality by using automated data capture software like Foxtrot RPA or Google Document AI.

Plus, automated data collection tools often have other automatic functions like automated data analysis. How often you should pull reports will depend on the needs of your business, so set a reasonable frequency for collecting and compiling new information.

Need help analyzing data and implementing the findings in your digital marketing strategy? Hurrdat offers digital marketing services that can help you make data-driven decisions. Contact us today to learn more!

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