The technological landscape is always changing, and the pace at which it changes has only increased over the last decade. Video games have taken only 20 years to warp from abstract displays of misshapen polygons to photorealistic representations of complex realities similar to our own. Cinematic special effects of 2005 are laughable in comparison to the special effects of 2015. A major innovation is not something that occurs every 50 years or so. In the modern world, innovation is something that happens in a lot of small ways over increasingly short periods of time.
In an effort to internalize this important reality, many people attempt to include some sort of technology-based education in their everyday lives. Parents might send their children to after-school STEM programs. The odd college student may take a programming course out of idle curiosity. From the perspective of cybersecurity, even governments may want to ensure that their own technological capabilities are up to certain standards. Nowadays, being technologically literate is not just a hobby. It is a fundamental need for thriving in the modern world, whether one seeks to strengthen one’s country against cybersecurity threats, which typically include mass identity theft or stealing large amounts of money, or one wants to grow a profitable business.
Businesses have sought feedback from their customers in less technologically-involved ways. If feedback is to be useful, then it needs to be collected and stored as data. Data collection is always necessary for a business to communicate better with customers. The only factor that ultimately varies is how primitive a business’s data collection process is. Curiously, data collection need not be limited to pen-and-paper surveys to be primitive. Digital data collection processes that fail to implement data enrichment have also become fairly primitive. In terms of evaluating customers’ feedback, the primary challenge businesses face today is the implementation of data enrichment.
What Is Data Enrichment?
Data enrichment is the process of improving existing data profiles with external sources of data. Typically, these data profiles regard customers, so the purpose of data enrichment is to make customers easier to understand. Data collection ensures the presence of data, while data enrichment makes data easier to read. One should not need an in-depth understanding of SQL to interpret data.
Data enrichment allows for businesses to evaluate and cater to customers in what’s almost real-time, as the external sources provide data as that data is collected. Because data enrichment guarantees that data is up-to-date, it also guarantees that the information is accurate and ultimately useful for improving customers’ experiences. As businesses focus more on how data enrichment may assist them, data accuracy will improve, and customers will have better experiences with those businesses.
Why Is Viewing Data in This Way so Important?
There are many different items that evaluate the needs of customers, but these items are not always in communication with each other. In general, data moves from its immediate acquisition through integration with other data to the ultimate series of analytics with which to evaluate customers’ needs. The main problem with the ultimate process of analysis, which is the only useful part of data collection, is that the activity is limited to tech-savvy people: the data teams and those who have an in-depth understanding of SQL. Business teams cannot use this information. They need their tech-savvy employees to interpret data for them, and there are a lot of business teams: marketing, sales, customer support, and others. At least half a business can depend on a database’s information, so it’s a problem if only a few key users can tap into that database.
There are very basic questions that a business’s less tech-savvy departments need to answer but can’t without talking to the data analysts: Which user is on this account the most? What users are active? What plan should this user choose? How often does this user send messages to another user? Ultimately, each tool involved in the process of data collection has its limitations. Not all data collection can be reduced to something that’s easy for all laymen on the planet, but data enrichment reduces the negative effects of data tools’ inherent limitations. It takes information out of isolation and into context, making that information available to everyone who needs to view that information from a certain perspective. Data collection ensures only the presence of data. Only data enrichment can make that data available to each member in a company. Each department can benefit from data enrichment, leveraging data against day-to-day challenges and tasks to create better experiences for customers and lead to infinitely more rewarding business outcomes.
All businesses capture data. In fact, most have captured data in some capacity, but all businesses necessarily excel at employing this data in a meaningful way.