How to Harness the Power of Raw Data

Ever since Web 2.0 opened the way to a whole new world of opportunities, more and more data have been generated each day. We can now access more information than we could have ever hoped for, so businesses must adapt in order to ensure continuous development and performance. Let’s find out what raw data means and how to harness its power. 

What is raw data?

Data has become more valuable than ever and come under different terms. The foundation of all information is known as raw data or primary data. This is unprocessed data collected right from the source, waiting to be processed and turned into other types of information based on which you can make data-driven decisions. 

Apart from traditional sources of information, more and more businesses have started to look into alternative data providers. Alternative data refers to any unconventional information you may think of, ranging from social media posts to imagery and satellite information. This is an example of raw data used for digital information, informational advantages, and many more. 

According to the experts, oil is no longer considered the most important and valuable asset worldwide. Data has become the hot, must-have commodity, although the field is still in its infancy. Businesses now invest in data to have a better insight into their target market, competitors, improve their business strategy, and many more. 

Raw data refers to any information that has not been processed. Some examples include:

  • List of customers and how much they spend weekly

  • Amount of taxes paid relative to income 

  • Engagement data, such as how clients interact with a business’s social media profiles

  • Behavioral data, such as a history of purchases or usage 

How to use raw data

According to Forbes, it is already common knowledge that more data available leads to better decisions, as long as these data are actionable. If you do not use accurate data to form a viable business strategy, you risk spending money on inefficient processes or even miss business opportunities. Let’s see how you can use raw data to improve your business performance. 

Engage with your customers

Whether you have a B2B or B2C company, engaging with your customers is crucial for customer retention. You can use raw data to customize your approach and personalize your strategy. For instance, you can collect raw data from your website, such as segmenting customers according to browsed pages, clicked links, and more. Then, you can send them emails according to this activity, such as offering purchase incentives to customers who added items to the shopping cart without actually finalizing the transaction. 

This type of segmentation will help you fine-tune your marketing campaigns and make ads more relevant, depending on what attracts your customers. This, in turn, leads to increased customer loyalty and reduced costs since your marketing campaign will be more efficient. 

Identifying unforeseen patterns in customer behavior

If you access web-scraped information from an alternative data provider, you will have endless opportunities to identify patterns and new shopping behaviors before your competitors. For example, you could determine when customers are more likely to access the website, how often a visitor makes a purchase, or even what type of device is used to access the website. This information allows you to craft strategies to enhance customer engagement within your business. 

Identify patterns or errors

Many businesses make the mistake of considering that processed data are more meaningful than raw data. In fact, it is easy to argue that it is the opposite: raw data helps you trace every single step and identify mistakes. This becomes impossible if you only have the processed results. The more processed your data is, the more difficult it is to identify hidden patterns and improve the quality of your forecasts and predictions. 

For example, assume that your business tracks the number of users who sign up through email, and you conclude that it is extremely low. If you only have the final numbers (i.e., 2.1%), this will not allow you to investigate the case any further. 

However, when the complete set of raw data is available, you can dig into more details, such as the characteristics of users who do sign up for your email. This could help you improve the sign-up rate, but only as long as you have a better overview of the matter. 

Make your digital business safer and prevent fraud

White Ops is a digital security firm that estimates web advertising fraud at approximately $6.3 billion, with an average of about $1.5 billion only for mobile phone advertising. Raw data have become extremely popular for fraud detection as it is the primary source for creating anti-fraud algorithms. 

For example, numerous security systems use cookies and timestamps, two types of raw data that identify fraudulent activity. This also shows whether the visitor is a bot (non-human) or is a physical visitor. Similarly, raw data are employed in the detection of duplicate transactions. 

Summary

All in all, raw data has endless opportunities for businesses. It has become the most important commodity nowadays and, the more processed your data is, the more details you miss. Having access to raw, unprocessed data will help you identify hidden patterns and fine-tune your business strategy. 

 

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