For a long time, internal data has been used by companies and organizations to better their products and services. With the onset of the global pandemic, Covid-19, data as we knew it earlier, has been rendered futile. In the absence of help from existing and easily-accessible internal data, organizations had to look at external data for predictive models and for getting an insight into customer behaviour as well as market demand. Restaurants for example, being heavily impacted by the lockdowns, can look at external data such as traffic reports to know when more people are venturing out and may be open to dining out in patios or ordering in more ‘outside’ food. They can also use external data to know about the Covid-19 cases in particular locations and make a decision to open their branches/delivery systems there or not. In fact during the early stages of the spread of Covid-19, last year, we at Infinite Analytics conducted a comprehensive contact tracing in association with 30 state authorities across the country and traced people across hotspots in 23 states in India. You can read about it here.
Things took a highly unpredictable turn with the onset of Covid-19 and hence all previous consumer activity which was used to foretell future consumer behaviour was now invalid. Businesses had to resort to external data to see things in a better light and from a wider perspective. But external data comes with its set of challenges. For starters it is hard to come by, and needs a lot of work and resources before one can make sense of it.
The data heads of businesses can improve upon their existing data by asking relevant questions. This will help build efficient predictive revenue models which take into account the price changes, if any, and the flow of the economy. They can, for example, come up with a performance matrix on the basis of work from home situations, or even on the rise and fall in overall Covid cases which may affect the health and functionality of the staff.
To get the most from external data it needs to be clubbed with internal data as soon as you lay hands on it. If you use the correct data platforms and tools such as company enrichments, geospatial enrichments, etc. to connect with external data, get answers your business may need, and get relevant information, it can be used effectively. This strategy will sail you through the unprecedented times such as the current pandemic. External data helps surpass the use of internal data as it caters to the altered reality, provides the right answers and helps businesses stay relevant. Performing a data audit across the various aspects of your business and doing away with overheads shall help clear up some funds for investments on external data.
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