While most companies have customer-related information at their disposal, especially those who offer digital products usually try to gather as much of this data as possible. Actually, most of the interaction the users or customers have with said companies or their products leave measurable or trackable data one way or another. This information which effectively describes the target group that the companies are trying to address is valuable to numerous departments such as marketing, product development, and UX/usability and user researchers.
As a consequence of companies valuing user and market-related data highly, data is gathered where- and whenever possible. There are multiple sources that feed this growing amount of information, which can result in companies having an abundance of raw data but not knowing how to use it. As a consequence decision-makers can feel like they have gathered a lot of information about their users and still don’t really know what characterizes them and their needs.
How to gain Knowledge from Data
When trying to figure out how to increase your product’s usability or improve its UX, data itself isn’t the key. In order to figure out what your customers want or need and which actions you need to take to reach this goal, you don’t need data but knowledge. The crucial part of this problem is that data doesn’t generate knowledge if it isn’t evaluated appropriately.
The problem that prevents the efficient use of data available to companies is the fact that evaluating data is extremely time-consuming, especially without the appropriate tools. Because of this, the bottleneck no longer is gathering data-especially considering modern survey technology and the possibility to recruit participants online-but in evaluating it. If data is gathered from different sources such as newsletter subscriptions, sales, monitoring, marketing, and web analytics, it also needs to be gathered and ideally managed in one central place.
Using intelligent tools and supportive technology as a research aid can help researchers solve this problem. Using AI that has been trained with the available data using machine learning may not yet possible, still there are a number of tasks that can be facilitated. Transcription of audio files, comparison and visualization of data, tag and keyword searches within texts are just some example of assistive technology that can help researchers to annotate data and connect insights intuitively.
Gaining structure through Insights Management
Consistent insights management helps to gather, process, analyze and interpret user-related data. As a result, product developers, designers, and other stakeholders have access to reliable information about the target group’s desires, motivation, needs, opinions and behavior. Questions such as “How do users feel about my product, service or brand?” “What is the motivation behind their purchases?” “Which actions should I take to increase scquisition rates and customer loyalty?” can be answered and deeper insight into the customers can be achieved.
Besides helping you to identify and discontinue old and dated ideas about your user base, insights management can also help you in the following areas:
- Product development: development teams need to be well informed about users’ needs and preferences in order to design products that will be accepted by the intended users. Products offered by the competition and users’ reaction to previous versions and prototypes of the product should be considered as well.
- Defining a target group: Use all data available to find out who your customers are, what they value, which opinions they share, which alternative or additional products they use and what they think about your service and competing offers.
- Content Marketing: Use reliable information about your target group to align your interests with your users’ and develop a coherent marketing strategy. Determine how to address users appropriately, which stories speak to them and which channels to use to reach them.
- Sales: Use your knowledge about users’ needs and their motives for buying or not buying products to find out how to increase sales numbers. Information about their preferences and expectations as well as what price they would be willing to pay for your product or service are especially helpful when trying to improve sales.
- New features: developers don’t always have a lot in common with their intended user group. Because of this implementing features that are helpful and interesting to your customers can be tricky. Insights management can help you to figure out in which areas your users would be willing to pay for your product is lacking.
Sharing Insights within and across teams
In order to make the best possible decisions, decision-makers should always have access to up-to-date information concerning the market and the customers. Said information should ideally also be accessible within minutes even if the total amount of existing data to sift through seems unmanageable. Not being able to she knowledge and data efficiently can result in multiple parties being blocked in their work and as a consequence processes take longer than necessary.
Insights management tries to remedy this problem by storing data in a way that enables all decision-makers to access it. The bigger the amount of available data becomes, the more important it is that teams can base their work off a unified source of shared data.
Employing research management can help whole organizations to become more user-oriented. Justifying decisions to managers, higher-ups or other external stakeholders can also become easier as every decision is based on facts that are known company-wide. Insights management not only improves knowledge of the market and target group while lowering time and resources spent on research but also helps you find the needle in the haystack of user-related data. On top of that decision-makers have access to the needed information whenever they need it and can make efficient, informed decisions.
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