The data available today, both structured and unstructured, provides a great opportunity for businesses. The structured data resides in relational databases and unstructured data is all the other data, both textual and non-textual. Both structured and unstructured data can be used in a number of ways once a business knows how to access it. This might be through text mining or data mining, which are sometimes used interchangeably, though there is a distinct difference. As defined by the UK government, text and data mining (TDM) is “the process of deriving information from machine-read material. It works by copying large quantities of material, extracting the data, and recombining it to identify patterns.” The core difference is that in text mining, the data is unstructured. In modern business, the data available needs to be accessed, analyzed and used properly.
Importance of data
Raw data provides the figures and facts that businesses need in order to see every day progress. Once data, such as sales numbers, etc., is accumulated, it can be processed and turned into useable information. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to be able to work with the data and gather knowledge from it. The more data that is gathered and the better the analysis mean that greater action can be taken. It can be used to drive business decisions, adjust learning routines and drive overall innovation.
Uses of data
Data can be used in a variety of ways across different divisions of a business.
Salespeople: Salespeople can use data to track performance, transactions and high-level information important for sales processes such as profit margins. For salespeople that work with a long sales cycle, a CRM system can be used to organize data in a way that helps track progress and organize the sales cycle.
Marketers: Marketers may use data to help reach current and potential customers. For example, data can show: emails that are opened/clicked on, which subject lines were the most effective, which online ads resulted in the most traffic, or which keywords relate to their business.
HR: HR can utilize business data for internal purposes as well as for support with recruiting and hiring. For example, with employee benefits that are offered, data can help the HR team understand which benefits employees are taking advantage of. This can mean the difference between offering benefits that keep employees happy at work and looking elsewhere. Recruiting and hiring can also benefit by leveraging data by running reports to see what sources applicants use to find job opportunities.
Modern businesses must leverage data to back up their decisions instead of running off pure ideas. Data can be used to drive business decisions, adjust learning routines and drive overall innovation. With all that is available, a business that digs up data, analyzes it and uses it will be able to better understand their employees, customers, competition and overall position on the market.
Artificial intelligence technology is being developed more and growing faster than ever, in ways that will improve and change the face of business forever. In terms of data, it is crucial to collect it with a set way on how to both organize and understand it. This way, the data gathered can actually be used to inform new business decisions.