02nd July 2019
Using Data To Enhance Business Impact
In the age of smart products, data leads everything. Data enables experiences that are personalised. Data reveals key trends that inspire innovation. And it should be the driving force behind all business activity. “At Made to Engage, we use data to help clients unlock business intelligence,” says our Data Analytics Specialist Carly O’Kane. “I focus on empowering organisations with the insights I perceive and helping them to make smarter decisions through data.” Here, Carly explains how businesses are using data to transform and drive growth today.
1. Data doesn't stand still
It’s important that you understand how your digital experiences are performing by tracking key, quantifiable metrics. The world is constantly changing and what is selling well through your ecommmerce platform one quarter can rapidly slow down the next. When figures are annualised, it can be hard to see these trends; a closer view on the data will help you focus your activities and budget where it counts. It also allows you to retarget users who have browsed your site without converting with ad campaigns.
Take Air B’n’B - the travel adventure company is constantly running data-driven tests by iterating on its customer experience, from changing the look of its website to optimising its smart price algorithms. By leveraging an internal tool that performs A/B testing, Air B’n’B measures the impact tweaks have on key metrics like the number of bookings or click-through rate. A/B testing can help you discover which value proposition drives the most sales and is inherent in most of the platforms we deliver at Made to Engage.
2. Understand the insights you’re getting
Making data easy to interpret is vital when building great data-driven experiences or even managing your own marketing teams and strategies. For example, fitness tracker apps use simple charts and graphs that can be read at a glance. Data visualisation is nothing new yet doing it without complicating the issue is difficult to get right. Making careful use of shape, colour, size, motion and other ways of displaying information draws attention to key information.
At Made to Engage, we simplified complex data sets through visualisation for ERM, the leading provider of environmental consulting services. These graphs expand the intensity of the data experience and create more impact than any written mode of representation, offering ERM opportunities to uncover new insights into improving health and safety in the workplace.
Data visualisation is particularly important for energy providers who wish to display complex information. Marketing products in the energy sector invariably depends on how the product is bought rather than anything inherent in the energy itself. Complex pricing plans and lock in deals need to be brought to life to communicate the benefits. The same is true in finance industries.
We worked with Power NI to create a customer portal with easy-to-read charts that allowed customers to monitor their spending and energy usage and make decisions using this information. Within months, the number of actions being taken within the online portal increased by 1500% and there was a staggering 86% increase in users requesting to switch to Power NI from other providers.
Data visualisation is also important for internal teams who have to interpret performance data. We create dashboard interfaces that help our clients manage the product development of their web channels. It provides a feed of interpreted data that empowers decision-making and onward investment.
3. Data enables personalisation
Whether in-store or online, data can reveal patterns about how customers interact with businesses. It’s data about customer preferences (including purchase history) that informs personalised experiences. Every interaction can be designed to feel more relevant to individual customers - then scaled up to a vast number at once. During a recent project with a major retailer, the Made to Engage team leveraged Episerver Perform to allow for data-driven automated product recommendations that led to a 75% revenue uplift for the client.
Focusing the conversation with customers in the area they are most interested allows for far more productive product conversations. While privacy and GDPR is certainly an issue, 80 per cent of millennials say they have some or a lot of trust in organisations to keep their personal data safe. This is essential, organisations that engender trust through careful and informed use of data will be better equipped to compete in the market with products and services that use personal data.
4. Data transforms internal operations
Data can be used to drastically improve your internal processes. At Made to Engage, we used click-through data to improve our online job application experience for our candidates. We redesigned our careers interface to help more applicants complete applications on their first interaction. We used data to estimate the impact a change in the application form would have on completion rate. The result is a better experience for users - and applications have risen by around 50%.
5. Solve business problems through data
And finally, but most importantly, data will help any business prioritise its focus and budgets into making better informed decisions. Decision-makers who would’ve previously acted on a hunch can make powerful decisions if backed by trends based on the data available.
For example, we analysed data for a large travel organisation to understand why they weren't meeting their business goals. Through careful analysis, we discovered they were driving the majority of their traffic to sites offering accommodation. This conflicts with their overarching objective which is to support a broad range of businesses across Northern Ireland. This insight is currently being used by our UX team to create better user journeys that meet the organisation's business objectives across 11 sectors.
The future belongs to businesses with data intelligence and insight
At Made to Engage, we fully understand the transformative power of good data and good data management. Organisations that are building solutions where customer insights are examined regularly are the ones most likely to step ahead of the competition. Any business would do well to use data to inform merchandising and marketing, while making sure they test, learn and optimise. And they should ensure insights are understood and communicated in an accessible way to all. Businesses across all industries will find they will profit from these measures by reaping a greater return on investment.