Guestblog: Rym Bachouche, Head of Marketing and Commmunication EMEA | Meltwater

We’ve all heard that we should be using data to optimise our strategies. But what kind of data? It’s easier to look inward, (sales figures, internal reports etc) but internal data can create a filter bubble if you forget to look outside. Information found on the outside is just as valuable as internal data, and these are three ways you can use external data to make decisions that grow your business.

1. Find the data

Obviously accessing the data you need is the first step. The problem is, we can sometimes feel completely inundated with all the data that’s out there.

This is a strength, rather than a weakness. When you extract the relevant insights from all the many data sources available, you end up with an in depth overview of what your employees, competitors and customers are thinking today, and what they could be thinking in the future.

There are plenty of tools to help you collect relevant internal and external data. Think about leveraging free tools like google analytics to understand how the public uses your site, social media monitoring to understand trends in your industry, or keeping an eye on patents to understand where you need to develop.

Once you’ve selected and collected the right data, you can identify potential threats and opportunities in real-time and stay ahead of the game.

But how do we leverage this data? Well, we analyse.

2. Analyse, analyse, analyse

You’ve got to be able to translate big data into big decisions. Admittedly, navigating our data obsessed world is no easy task, which is why developments in AI and machine learning are becoming increasingly important for data analytics. Data science is making it easier than ever for businesses to combine the data types discussed above, and get a good overview of what is going on in their domain.

If you don’t have access (yet) to cutting edge AI or machine learning, apply a growth hack mentality to your data. What do I think this data will tell me and what can I do to find out what it actually means? Be scientific, and make everything as concrete as you can.

3. Share your insights

Once you’ve distilled your data into insights, it’s time to share. Getting the right data to the right people in your company will lead to organisational success. Product development, executives, and marketing are just a few of the teams that could benefit from external data analysis.

Collect, analyse and share. That’s it. There are a myriad ways these steps can be applied in all kinds of businesses. The most important lesson is to keep using outside insights so you don’t miss out on opportunities to transform, disrupt and adapt to the real world.

Want to learn more? Check out the free webinar (in Dutch) Meltwater and RevelX are hosting together and discover how you can use your Data the Growth Hacking way!

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