Has your business decision-making blind spot been right in front of you this whole time? Data is all around us. And key insights that help forecast financial and technology climates are going strong. So why haven’t marketing insights been given a similar degree of priority?
Insights used to mean collecting data on events and items that occurred in the past. If you’re focused on what’s happened in the past, it can certainly provide some information about the present. But you should also be looking to the future to ensure the path your organization is on is the right one. That’s where outside insights come in. If you’re not trying to clarify trends and perceived actions that are "in the works," then you are moving headfirst into your blind spot.
Let’s apply this thinking to two things we come across every day.
Currently, most products are being reviewed online, and most companies have employees that are sharing their thoughts on the company they work for. The insights that can be gleaned from collating the information that companies and people leave behind on the internet ¾ digital breadcrumbs ¾ will say a lot more about the future success of a company than one might think. Forget about KPIs. It is a leading performance indicator!
If a patent for a new technology gets filed today, it would be useful to distil what it means for that technology’s industry in the coming years. If 400 job listings for a unique engineering skill set were posted, it would be logical to analyze the reasons that companies are investing in that discipline and derive the impact on the market.
These outside insights help decision makers identify and track indicators that might influence business in the future.
Completely new software categories like ERP and CRM, and billion dollar companies like Oracle, HP, SAP, and IBM have been built from the existing business need to crunch and analyze internal data and better understand performance. This data presently exists within our companies’ firewalls.
While internal data will continue to be extremely important, we believe it is being disrupted by the explosion of external data. New software categories and companies will be created from understanding and benchmarking this third-party external data in real-time. Those new categories mean new opportunities; they also mean more competition.
This wealth of external data will help you get key insights into employee satisfaction, brand perception, hiring patterns, share of voice, client satisfaction, and industry trends. Without it, you may lose track of those trends before they become business practices. What’s more, you may also miss the moment that your competitors pass you by.
Kaveh Rostampor is Executive Director at Meltwater