Data is a driving force in business today. In order to run a successful company of any size, you need to collect data about your target audience and your market on a whole, and then use this data to guide your decisions to move your company forward.
But in addition to actually conducting market research and collecting data, you also need to know how to use it in order to make the most of it. Otherwise, you’ll end up having a lot of data without really understanding what it means or how it’s useful or relevant to your organization. Continue reading to learn more about getting the most from your market research data.
It All Starts with the Process You Use
When it comes to conducting market research to collect valuable data that your organization can use to make important decisions, it really all starts with the process that you’ll use to acquire the data in the first place.
What should you be researching first? A good place to start for a lot of small businesses is the products or services that you offer to your customers. Use this as a baseline to conduct the research you need. For example, do customers know about your product, do they have a need for it, what problems does it solve for them, and how does it improve their lives? If you answer these questions, you can determine if the product or service even has a relevant place in your target market before you start conducting more research.
Once you know what questions you want answered, you can then move on to performing the actual research, which can be done through surveys, interviews with consumers, and focus groups. You can then conduct secondary research with various tools as well in order to gain more insight into the market as a whole.
Use the Right Products to Organize and Use Big Data
The data that you’ll end up gathering from your market research efforts will be difficult to understand unless you use a specialized product, especially if you’re dealing with big data. Using Big Data Analytics products and strategies will help you organize and structure the data so that it will be a lot easier to digest and use across multiple departments in your organization. In other words, you will really derive value from the data that you’ve collected if you have the right platform on which to aggregate and enrich, as well as correlate, the data prior to moving it onto big data platforms.
Properly Analyze the Data
After you’ve collected data, it won’t do you any good, nor will it make any sense, until you have actually analyzed it. There are basically two main methods that you can use to analyze your data, and these are descriptive analysis and inferential analysis. Both of these will show you what you can actually learn from the data, and you can use this information to make smart business decisions across the board.
Descriptive Data Analysis
Descriptive data analysis can be used in order to describe the results that your company has obtained through its data collection process. For example, you can use the results to create a summary of what information has been collected, such as how many people disliked your product idea.
For qualitative data analysis, a researcher can share his or her interpretation of what the data means, so the data can be summarized, categorized, and coded. But when dealing with quantitative data collection that works with numbers, you can use descriptive data analysis to look at data and then represent it visually through the use of tables and charts, as a couple of examples.
Inferential Data Analysis
When it comes to inferential data analysis, you’re going beyond merely describing the results of the data. In this case, you can really make the most of the data by using advanced statistical techniques to make inferences and judgments about a particular issue that your company is dealing with. For example, you can use this type of analysis to determine if one type of consumer is different from another.
Inferential data analysis is more complex than descriptive data analysis, so it requires a structured plan for research that uses the scientific method. Also, you’ll need to focus on quantitative data collection rather than qualitative.
As you can see, there’s more to data analysis than first meets the eye, but with the right background in market research and the use of data, you can really make the most of your market research for your company.