Despite its name, dark data is not quite as mysterious as it sounds. In a way, it is your X-files, the type of information you gather but don’t put to good use, to paraphrase Gartner. It is estimated that over 90% of your data is dark and unstructured. Unfortunately, most companies don’t realize that they could mine the data collected during routine interactions with the right technology. When you stop to think about how much data you compile every day when dealing with customers and your target audience, this adds up to an absolute goldmine. Now it’s just a matter of profiting from this Goldmine with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and CRM.
What you will learn in this article
- How Artificial Intelligence helps you mine dark data
- How to unlock your dark data goldmine
- What you can learn from AI
- How you can exploit dark data in your small business
- How to get started with CRM
Using Artificial Intelligence I to mine data
Cutting-edge CRM systems are today unleashing the power of AI to unlock the data black hole. It does this by:
- Leveraging unstructured data to produce predictions and forecasts
- Helping companies to utilize their unused data
- Helping businesses to generate extra revenue
How built-in AI tools enable CRM to get at your data goldmine
So, how do these AI tools work?
First of all, your company collects data from every customer interaction via their CRM system. So everything from phone calls, email, marketing, and sales campaigns gets logged. However, a lot of this data remains static in a manual system rather than remaining in play. So, for example, marketing will hold onto information that made a lead qualified before handing it to sales. Typically, the information is spread over multiple systems, leaving you and your company unable to exploit this internal data source fully.
The type of information that falls into this black hole includes:
- Customer contact details
- Log files
- Email conversations
- Account information
- Notes or PowerPoint presentations
- Older versions of relevant documents
What AI helps you discover
With AI-powered tools and machine learning at your disposal, dark data can be swiftly analyzed and interpreted into actionable insights. This is a game-changer for small businesses who may not realize that every department’s data has company-wide significance.
For example, marketing should recognize that sales can use their information and data from customer interactions to develop more effective sales pitches. Your marketing people can also be feeding sales with a heads-up on lead product or service interest, qualifications, etc.
But to be successfully leveraged at an organization-wide level, all the marketing data must be crunched by advanced software to produce the context for each lead. Therefore, the apparent solution is the centralized platform of CRM sporting AI tools.
However, your internal data only paints part of the picture.
Unlocking public source data
In addition to your data, there are tons of unstructured publicly available data that AI can add to the mix. With AI tools and machine learning on the case, your CRM can track down public info and convert it into data for company growth.
Public data is valuable because:
- It enables you to innovate
- Differentiate your company from the competition
- It’s free
Typically, the further you move from internal company data to the web, the more valuable the data becomes potentially. For example, the type of information you can glean includes:
- Public company records
- Publicly available employee and employer profiles
- Mobile geolocation data
- Financial data
- Raw survey data and more
Usually, this kind of data gets published and then forgotten. However, it is worthwhile digging through what’s out there.
- Streamlining processes: Leveraging public source data can help you and your team create new and innovative internal processes.
- New products and services: By aligning with trends within your market, you will find opportunities to design new products and services to match.
- Training: Mining public data may also throw up knowledge and skill gaps that you can address through training.
- Partnerships: You may also discover new partnerships opportunities you hadn’t considered before.
- Customer trends: Arguably, the most significant benefit to be obtained is better insights into customer expectations and trends. You can use both of these to ensure your customer interactions are on point and draw upon the analytic and forecasting capacity of CRM.
While it’s relatively straightforward to structure public source data, interpreting it and drawing firm conclusions is a job for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. This context is, of course, where CRM comes into its own. Without CRM, any small business would be struggling to make sense of the data, let alone figuring out how they can use it to their best advantage.
How to get started with CRM
All businesses – including your small business – are sitting on a treasure trove of data. But, unfortunately, it’s so-called because you can’t see it without the right tools.
However, CRM is the answer. It allows you to drill down through your data to extract actionable nuggets of information you can use to boost sales. And that’s just part of the story with CRM. Many other benefits let you grow your business and delight clients with exceptional customer experience.
Today is a good time to get started with CRM. So don’t delay; start investigating cloud CRM providers. A CRM system is by far the best option for small business as it’s affordable, easy to implement, and can stay in step with your expanding business needs.
Small businesses are sitting on a wealth of data that they aren’t tapping into to boost sales. Forward-looking companies are using cloud CRM as an affordable means of extracting this data and exploiting it fully. You should too! Contact us today. We are the cloud CRM expert for small business and will help you mine this hidden trove of leads.