Are you making the most of your data?

Big data is big news. Or at least that’s what we’re told. The allure of this new industry buzz word cannot be ignored – it promises to tell stories and offer insight and make connections you’ve never noticed before. The only thing standing between you and the big picture is your inability to “wrangle” your data.

For small businesses, the possibility of capturing and measuring data on any scale larger than a brief glance at your Google Analytics dashboard may seem intimidating. But small businesses in particular are the ones who can benefit from understanding their customers and their niche market.

Small businesses have the benefit of being agile and scalable – when new technology comes along, you’re the first to adopt, since you don’t have the weight and heft of a huge organisation holding you back. As you adopt all of the latest website developments, social networks, apps, and mobile technologies, the data you’re collecting becomes fragmented and difficult to view as a whole.

The challenge then is to learn how to pull everything together in one place and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to your business. Sounds like a scary prospect, but the rewards can be incredible.¬†Fear not, as you’re not alone! There are some amazing resources out there that can help you to learn how to manage your data.

At the end of September Marketing Profs are hosting a free online seminar titled “Data Wrangling: Solving Marketing’s Biggest Chore”. The seminar aims to helps marketers to learn to use their data effectively. They’ll lead you right through the process, from collecting the data, to making it meaningful, and finally presenting it in a way that makes sense.¬†Wouldn’t it be great if you could be one of the companies producing insightful infographics about your industry?

The seminar will be lead by industry veteran John Lovett, author of Social Media Metrics Secrets, so it’s well worth checking out. I’ll be writing up a full review of the seminar anyway, so it will be interesting to compare notes with people.

If you can’t wait until September 25th to get your teeth into some serious data learning, check out these articles so you can be top of the class.

5 Ways to Use Social Data to Grow Your Business is an article by the social media examiner. Although the focus is on social, it offers some great new perspectives on areas of data you probably haven’t even thought about before.

Duct tape marketing offers up 5 benefits of real time data tracking for your business – well worth taking the time to read.

And finally, one of the content creators: how to use data to enrich your content, from Pro Blogger.