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How to Extract Actionable Market Insights using a Holistic Data Approach

In the age of abundant information, companies face the challenge of extracting actionable insights from an overwhelming volume of data. Merely having access to good data is no longer sufficient; businesses require accurate, reliable, and unbiased information about customer opinions, behaviors, and motivations. 

Making informed business decisions necessitates holistic data that encompasses the entire market, managed with consent and sophistication. Building this encompassing “big-picture” data set goes beyond first-party data collection – it requires combining and analyzing data from across the industry, including data from competitors and objective third-party sources.

Unfortunately, several sectors are falling behind in the quest for comprehensive market data, impeding their ability to capitalize on the full potential of their data assets. 

Integrated, Multi-Source Data Means Better Insights

In an era of rampant misinformation and data manipulation, obtaining accurate, objective, multi-source market data becomes paramount. Businesses can no longer rely solely on first-party data within a “walled garden” environment – doing so will result in biased data sets that can provide only a partial picture of the market landscape. 

Imagine if everyone’s favorite AI language model, ChatGPT, only sourced its input data from a single site – the result would be a far cry from the paradigm-shifting sensation that we see today. Rather, the platform’s API scrapes and integrates data from across the entire internet, allowing it to tap into almost the sum total of human knowledge. Similarly, businesses across industries must increasingly rely on data from multiple sources to gain deep insights into customer preferences, sentiment, and purchase behavior, and tailor their products, services, and marketing strategies accordingly. 

Emerging technologies are making it easier and more cost-effective to store, process, and analyze large volumes of data. Additionally, the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques is enhancing the ability to extract valuable insights from unstructured data. These technological advancements have lowered barriers to entry, making big data analytics accessible to a wider range of businesses.  

But it’s not just about having the largest amount of available data – the type of data used is key to making the most informed business decisions.  

Consumer Purchase Data Unlocks New Value

The combination of third-party competitor and survey data with first-party consumer purchase data, such as transaction revenue and other direct sources of consumer information, is important for several reasons. Data obtained directly from transactions and consumer receipts provides accurate and reliable information about customer behavior, preferences, and purchase patterns, and offers an additional level of granularity and detail.  

Transaction data captures specific information such as the products purchased, the time and location of the transaction and the payment method used. By supplementing these findings with self-reported data or surveys, businesses can achieve a more accurate understanding of their customers’ actions and make informed decisions based on factual information. 

Partnerships and Collaboration Drive a More Well-Rounded View

Partnerships, including those with competitors and stakeholders in the broader market, also play a significant role in accessing diverse contextual data and driving better analytics and return on investment (ROI). These partnerships enable businesses to access a broader range of data sources that they may not have access to independently.  

By collaborating with competitors and objective third parties, companies can pool their data resources, creating improved data quality and accuracy by cross-validating and verifying information, as well as leading to cost and resource optimization. This expanded market reach allows organizations to tailor their strategies and offerings more effectively, driving better customer engagement and the all-important ROI. 

Harnessing the Full Potential of Data Is Easier Said Than Done

The amount of data generated globally is increasing exponentially. With the proliferation of digital devices, social media platforms, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and other sources, there is an abundance of structured and unstructured data available. Traditional databases and data management approaches struggle to handle this vast volume and variety of information effectively. As a result, companies face added costs in terms of data management, storage, and infrastructure. 

But the benefits of stronger, more comprehensive data and insights are well worth the cost. Advertising and CPG companies have embraced data-driven approaches, leveraging advanced analytics, machine learning and AI algorithms to optimize marketing campaigns, refine product offerings, and enhance customer experiences. These industries have realized the importance of accurate and holistic data in gaining a competitive edge. 

In contrast, retailers and consumer durables brands, which constitute a significant portion of the retail market, are lagging. Many of these businesses continue to hold their data hostage or lack access to reliable objective data from external sources, narrowing their view of their own markets. 

Failure to unlock the full potential of available data can result in reduced market share and diminished customer loyalty and profitability. These industries must prioritize the adoption of sophisticated data management practices, including comprehensive data collection, integration and analysis, to bridge the gap and remain competitive in the information age. 

Date: August 24, 2023

Author: Chad Pinkston

Source: Dataversity