I recently had a landscaping contractor come out to give an estimate on work I needed done. He asked questions, took measurements, and recorded a bunch of information by writing it on a paper tablet. I thought that was quaint. Later on, he sent me an estimate via email. It turns out the file he sent was just a picture of a handwritten estimate. Again, how quaint.
No offense is intended toward that contractor, but modern business has left paper behind. That train left the station when cloud computing was introduced at the turn of the century. Modern business is driven by digital data, not by paper records offering only a limited amount of information.
In fairness, the landscaping contractor is terribly busy. His work is by no means limited by his lack of digital technology. And still, he utilizes some technology. Email and digital photographs are at least something. But if he hopes to expand beyond what he can do by himself, he has to go digital.
- Give Us More Data
We can see the drive for more data all around us. Go to a new hardware store for the first time and you can bet the person working the register will ask for your email address and phone number. The information will be linked to whatever credit card you use to make your purchase.
Visit your doctor and the receptionist will ask you to verify your information. You might even be encouraged to create an online account with your doctor’s medical group. Want to schedule an oil change for after your doctor’s appointment? Doing so online requires setting up an account.
So what happens to all that data? For starters, companies keep the information for their own records. They use it for marketing purposes. They keep records for their own legal protection. But guess what? Some of them also sell the data to companies that compile it and repackage it for sale to other marketers.
- Data Drives Sales
When push comes to shove, big data is all about driving sales. Companies analyze their data to figure out what customers want. Data tells them where they are succeeding and where they are failing. It gives them a variety of ways to look at company performance. All of it points to finding new ways to increase sales.
Buying data from third parties is no different. Companies are willing to pay a steep price for vetted data because it gives them access to potential customers. The more focused the data, the more likely those potential customers will become paying customers.
- Data Drives Efficiency
The drive for data goes well beyond sales and marketing. Data also powers cloud-based platforms through which companies do business. It essentially makes those businesses more efficient. If you’ve not heard of it before, that’s what the Digital Transformation is all about.
BenefitMall, a Dallas general agency that gives benefits brokers access to more than a hundred insurance carriers, talks a lot about digital transformation. They believe it is paramount for brokers and agents to go all digital in the modern era. Doing so increases efficiency. It reduces the number of manual tasks brokers have to do and provides a one-stop environment through which brokers and their clients can conduct business.
There is little doubt that data rules the world in 2022. If you are having trouble believing that, look around. You are constantly being bombarded with requests for more data. Meanwhile, the companies you choose to patronize thrive on every bit and byte of data they can get their hands on.