Gathering and storing data is the right idea for any growing business. No one could argue with that these days. And yet, in a sense, it is possible to say that storing data is a waste of resources. That is the case when the data that you have is decaying faster than you can put it to good use.
To avoid one of their greatest assets turning into waste, companies employ data enrichment. This procedure can boost all data-driven positions you would encounter in business. Thus, if you are looking for ways to enhance data stored in your firm’s databases, here is what you need to know.
Explaining data enrichment
When dealing with data daily, one gets to see a lot of words referring to procedures attached to it. So, what sort of procedure is enrichment when it comes to data?
Simply put, data enrichment is defined as supplementing the data in your data sets with additional data points from other internal or external sources. Thus, this process enhances both the quality and the quantity of the information you have.
Of course, not every time you add more data, you can be said to be enriching your data set. If you add book prices in 1920s Georgia to your customer database, you cannot really be said to be enriching it. The data has to be relevant and appropriate for particular purposes to add value to particular data sets.
Thus, in order to enrich customer data, you would need to look for data sets about the firms and people that form your client base.
Where does the data come from?
Getting more data is great, there is hardly going to be any disagreement here. But where does it come from? To answer this, we should first distinguish between internal and external data.
Internal data is the information that a firm has in its data sets or can quickly gather from the usual sources. The idea of enriching data sets with internal data might sound strange. After all, if a company already has access to this data, how is it enriching?
The main reason why even an organization’s internal data can be enriching to a particular data set is data silo. Data or organizational silo refers to a situation where useful information is divided among different databases within the same organization and cannot be easily accessed by everyone that could make use of it.
In this sense, using internal data for data enrichment is a way to break data silos. It takes increasing cooperation between various departments within a firm to audit what information is, in fact, available.
External data refers to all the sources that come from outside the organization. Usually, this would mean third-party data providers or data partners that would share the necessary data points for enrichment.
Data suppliers are often professional firms specializing in data gathering, structuring, and making available for other businesses. The most beneficial data enhancements are often done by using such services.
Who does that?
One might wonder what sort of organizations can get the most out of data enrichment. The truth is that everyone uses it. This includes governmental organizations and, especially, scientific agencies and researchers.
Enriching data is also crucial for AI development, as algorithms must constantly be fed fresh data points. The breakthroughs achieved here are also quick to be implemented in business. For example, improved intent detection of users filling out slots in query forms might increase user experience and the rates of finished online surveys.
Even leaving AI technology, however, there are enough ways to leverage data enrichment for business benefits that we should look into. Businesses of all sizes and industries make use of it. And, as we shall see, they do it for very diverse purposes.
Business use cases
As doing business today is all about data, pretty much every important procedure can benefit from enriching databases. Here are some of the most important examples.
- Lead enrichment. One of the most procedures for any business is lead generation. Enriching leads data helps to qualify the leads faster, increasing the efficiency of the entire sales funnel. The data that comes with enrichment can also generate new leads that would have gone under the radar otherwise.
- Better customer retention. Customers today want personalization and deep relationships. Enriching your CRM data enables you to provide better service. Naturally, that increases the probability of them staying with you.
- Improved HR management. Data enrichment boosts both hiring procedures and workplace practices that allow for building a favorable employer brand.
- Attracting funds. Looking for seed funding or additional investments for the growth of your startup? You need to know the right people, then. Data about angel investors can also be brought in through enrichment. Understanding your target investor better will allow you to present them with a more convincing business case.
- Product intelligence. Enriching your intelligence on similar products with data points from a third-party source enables you to make the necessary improvements. Additionally, it provides you with a better idea of what competing products you are up against and what your target audience wants in such products.
Clearly, all these use cases are pivotal to building and growing a successful business. This is, however, a far cry from being all that data enrichment can do. Thus, it is never too early to start looking into the options for enriching your databases.