I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is, you’ve already got all the data you need to make a real impact on your most important business metrics!
The bad news is, you’re still not doing anything with it.
So what’s the real issue? As it turns out, someone has already identified what’s really going on here (and has even coined a nifty little phrase to describe it)! According to research firm, IDC, up to 90% of “Big Data” is actually something called “Dark Data.” It’s defined as information that organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities but generally fail to use for other purposes. Sound familiar?
Now that you know what’s actually going on here, what are you supposed to do about it? These 5 steps will walk you through how to begin taking advantage of the data that has been sitting around gathering dust in your organization’s closet.
1. Define Your Priorities
The key to moving past an overwhelming amount of data is to narrow your focus by defining a single goal that is most important to your organization.
Bad example: I want to attract a larger audience.
Good example: I want to increase attendance at my annual event by 5%.
2. Define the “Right Data”
Now think about what kind of specific information you need to obtain to help reach your goal. Limit yourself to about three critical pieces of information to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed with too many possibilities.
3. Locate & Organize Your Information
Anything you want to know about your organization, whether it’s registration, invoicing or sales, should be stored in a database. Ideally, a software solution that’s optimized for both data collection and analysis will consist of a single system able to handle all event-critical details, real-time updates and effortless reporting functionality.
Analyzing the proper reports that relate to your organization’s main goal allow you to make use of your Dark Data. These reports may include Exhibit Hall Floor Revenue & Costs, Exhibitor Profiles, Exhibitor ROI & ROO, Attendee Reports, and Year over Year Pace Reporting. If this information is not easily accessed, you may want to rethink the way data is structured within your organization.
4. Get Your Team on Board
Getting everyone to commit to a new process can be difficult, however, having the whole team on board is the best way to conquer Dark Data. A good way to do this is to make access to your data as easy as possible. Software systems that are able to create customized dashboards that consolidate important info on a per user basis are a great asset here.
5. Measure, Reward & Repeat
Make sure to remind yourself to go back and look at the results of implementing a new process. Measuring these results will help your team know if they were able to use the data to achieve your original goal in Step 1. If not, press reset and try again. If so, reward your team accordingly and repeat!