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Entries in big data (4)

5 Ways to Win the Battle Against Information Overload

Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 11:14AM by Registered CommenterOrlaith Finnegan in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The sheer amount of information on the web can deliver real competitive advantage in business, but it also creates genuine challenges for information retrieval and storage. It can be incredibly frustrating and time-consuming having to wade through reams of irrelevant data in order to find that crucial piece of information you’re looking for.

Here are 5 simple ways that intelligence professionals can tackle information overload, which in turn will make you more efficient and productive in your job.

1. Filter out the Noise
Reduce the amount of irrelevant information you receive on a daily basis by putting filters in place to remove low-quality, high-frequency sources. For example, instead of getting all the news from your RSS feeds, exploit a tool which will check that the articles behind your RSS feeds include your selection of keywords (competitors names, technologies…). Your information stream should provide you with regular, insightful data pertaining to your industry and tailored to your specific needs. Everything else is just noise and will distract you from your main mission.

2. Prioritize Key Sources
Compile a list of key web sources that you rely on for keeping up to date about any changes in your industry. This can include a range of sites such as competitor websites, twitter accounts, news sites, industry blogs, discussion boards etc. Review your sources on an ongoing basis to make sure they are still relevant and setup a tool to get alerted automatically when new sources appear.

3. Data Visualization
It is much easier and far less stressful to process highly complex data when it is presented in a well structured, visually appealing format. You can achieve this by alternating text with the use of graphs, pie charts and word clouds to illustrate key pieces of information when presenting to colleagues.

4. Organize information into Folders
One of the reasons people become overwhelmed with lots of information is they lack a structured system for handling it and storing it for future reference. By filing information into carefully labelled digital folders it becomes much easier to find, share and archive information.

5. De-Duplication
If you are spending valuable time sifting through email alerts that contain the  exact same information from a variety of different sources, de-duplication is a must-have solution. Deduplication of information means removing information that occurs more than once. Trawling through repetitive news is a tedious task that chokes up far too much time. Your time should be invested in more value-added activities. To prevent your news stream becoming cluttered with redundant or duplicated information make sure that you have an automatic system of de-duplication in place.

If you’d like to know more about how we at Digimind can help you to manage your information flow contact us today  to discuss your needs or see a live web demo.

The Future of Marketing - It's All About Data

“If marketing is both an art and a science, then clearly the pendulum has shifted toward the science, thanks, in part, to advances in technology and data analytics.” (CMG Partners)

Analyst firm Software Advice produced some interesting results, from a survey of marketing and recruitment professionals, into the type of marketing roles they expect will emerge in the next decade.

The survey highlights some of the key changes in roles and responsibilities taking place within the marketing function. The catalyst for these changes is partly due to a move away from the traditional, linear marketing process to a digital model that is driven by consumer engagement and interaction. According to Ashley Furness, who conducted the survey: “Recruiters are ditching mass media and direct mail acumen for candidates with SEO, analytics, mobile, social media and content savvy.”

We’ve moved beyond the social media experimentation phase and companies are now beginning to explore how they can extract greater value from the social web as a source of information and competitive insight. The next frontier lies in extracting useful insights from the vast quantities of data available online and leveraging them to increase brand awareness and market share.

The survey points to a future where the average marketing department is made up of people with a range of different skill sets, but one thing they seem to have in common is some very inventive job titles such as ‘‘Crowdsourcing specialist’, ‘Content Marketing Czar’ and ‘Vice President of Marketing Data Analytics’.

The marketers of the future will focus more on delivering targeted, tailored propositions to customers rather than a one-size-fits-all mass market strategy. By engaging with online consumers and eliciting feedback they will aim to deepen the connection between the brand and its supporters. They will also focus heavily on providing measurement and evaluating the results of marketing activities via a number of different metrics. The ability to convert data into actionable results will become increasingly important as companies strive to improve their return on investment and better align marketing activities with their core business objectives.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

  • Monitor and evaluate online discussions and commentary regarding your brand or products in real time.
  • Engage with consumers across multiple social media platforms.
  • Analyze sentiment from comments and brand mentions across the social Web
  • Monitoring online competitor presences and perceptions
  • Providing management with insights and information needed to drive better decision-making
  • Use feedback and data on consumer purchasing habits to drive marketing activities

This article originally appeared on Digimind’s Web Intelligence blog.

Using Sales Intelligence to Boost Revenue

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to make accurate forecasts about what might happen six months from now. We’re living in a world that is in constant flux and providing accurate projections so that we can adequately plan our sales strategy, assess competitor threats and anticipate changes in consumer behavior is a perpetual challenge.
Navigating today’s turbulent business landscaperequires the ability to adapt quickly to changing market opportunities and complex sales cycles. The pervasive use of social media tools like Twitter and Facebook has changed the dynamics of the buyer/seller relationship and heralded a revolution in consumer behavior. Our online interactions are fuelling the explosion in the knowledge economy and these social exchanges play an increasingly influential role in brand affinity and purchasing decisions. The lack of control in the sales cycle is a by-product of this changing business landscape. The linear sales process is no longer suited to attracting and retaining loyal customers in today’s competitive sales environment.
According to Robert Safian, editor of Fast Company, “The business climate, it turns out, is a lot like the weather. And we’ve entered a next-two-hours era. The pace of change in our economy and our culture is accelerating–fueled by global adoption of social, mobile, and other new technologies–and our visibility about the future is declining.” He points to the constantly shifting sands of the global mobile phone market as evidence of this tireless creation and destruction cycle. “Just five years ago, three companies controlled 64% of the smartphone market: Nokia, Research in Motion, and Motorola. Today, two different companies are at the top of the industry: Samsung and Apple. This sudden complete swap in the pecking order of a global multibillion-dollar industry is unprecedented.”
It should come as no surprise that sales professionals are struggling to keep up with the frenetic pace of change. In a 2010 survey conducted by OgilvyOne among 1000 sales professionals in the US, UK, Brazil and China, 68% believed that the selling process is changing faster than their own organizations are adapting to it. There is a growing knowledge gap that needs to be bridged to ensure that sales professionals have all the information they need at their fingertips in order to respond appropriately to customer needs and demands. Companies need to better equip their salespeople with the necessary tools and training to meet this new reality or face diminishing sales and loss of revenue.
The ability to automatically monitor and extract information flowing from an unlimited number of web sources such as news sites, discussion forums, social networks and even the ability to analyze the minutes and agendas from council meetings or examine newly uploaded pdf files on your competitors websites – these are just some of the exciting developments that companies are starting to leverage. For example a Sales manager from Philips in charge of selling global lighting systems to equip buildings would be interested in monitoring public tender websites to identify new sales opportunities.
The future of selling is one which relies on targeted sales intelligence, similar to the way Amazon recommends books to you based on your purchase patterns. Once companies learn to harness this information correctly, the insight it will provide to frontline sales teams will reap huge rewards. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is logging one million customer transactions per hour and feeding information into databases estimated at 2.5 petabytes in size. In order to predict or at least anticipate changes in customer sentiment, it’s imperative that sales professionals have access to the latest market data at the click of a mouse. The idea is not to overburden sales professionals with massive amounts of information but to package important data into valuable and intuitive insights to speed up sales cycles and ensure better outcomes. The secret to winning more customers begins with empowering your sales executives with all the information they need to close that lucrative sale.
Benefits of using intelligence to improve the sales process:
  • Receive detailed competitor product descriptions
  • Benchmark sales performance against competitors
  • Enable narrow segmentation of consumers to provide more tailored solutions
  • Measure online reputation and analyze consumer sentiment
  • Achieve faster sales cycles and better results
  • Target resources more efficiently
  • Profile potential customers and identify upselling opportunities
  • Assess opportunities and threats in new and existing markets
This article was originally posted on Digimind’s web intelligence blog.

 

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