When clients expect to see data that proves the success of your marketing strategies, having accurate data is critical to your marketing agency.
However, collecting and presenting clean, relevant data can get complicated, especially when you’re dealing with mountains of data for multiple clients, and each client has multiple data sources through Marketo, HubSpot, Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, etc. Compiling, creating, and analyzing all your needed reports can quickly become overwhelming.
Manual reporting is typically done by an analyst who has to compile information from various data sources into a spreadsheet. Then they have to distribute the spreadsheet via email to the appropriate team members within their agency and to their clients.
Many agency teams use manual reporting techniques to communicate data and findings, but there are a few concerns with this approach.
If you can automate the process of collecting numbers from all of your structured and unstructured data sources, you can significantly reduce your time spent on data. It also decreases the likelihood that your data with be plagued with accuracy errors.
A manual BI or data management approach not only requires that your marketing agency spend more time preparing datasets and reports for each client, but it also increases the risk that mistakes will be made and that you will ultimately share inaccurate findings with your client.
Dirty data is incorrect data that pollutes your data integrity. Dirty data falls into three categories:
While it is true that there is an inherent risk dirty data in any type of data collection, those risks are exponentially higher when you are tracking and updating data manually. Poor data quality can hurt your agency and your clients. When team members don’t have access to accurate data misinformed decisions can lead to significant consequences for your clients and your entire agency.
One particularly dangerous aspect of poor data quality is the false sense of security it gives. Extensive or serious data errors blind your clients to problems or missed opportunities and reflect poorly on your agency service as well as make it all the more difficult for your clients to trust you.
There are many ways that bad data can enter your system, but they all fall into two major categories: human error and systems challenges.
Human error is extremely common for companies where manual spreadsheet data entry is the norm. Employees entering typos into the system by mistyping or due to distraction. Another issue could be that multiple employees are entering the same data causing duplicates in the system.
Systems can cause challenges when they don’t integrate properly. This is especially true during data migration from one platform to another. Platform updates can also cause issues when the update is being performed.
All of these possible system errors can be checked but it is a daunting task with the high volume of data involved. Having to look over all the data to ensure that it is still accurate takes time. And then there is data decay which can happen when data decays into inaccuracy. Things can change and your once-good-quality data becomes outdated, poor quality data.
The best way to ensure that your data is accurate and timely is by looking at the dimensions of data quality (which you can learn more about in our blog post).
Business intelligence solutions (like Grow, wink wink) help ensure better data quality by automatically checking for accuracy and providing suggestions for cleaning up any questionable data. Instead of spending hours manually checking that your data is updated and accurate, you can let the BI system do the work for you.
BI solutions automate data entry by connecting to your data sources correctly, automatically reporting and updating your data in real-time. Every time your data updates it's automatically included in your dashboard.
You don’t need to worry about team members or clients working with outdated data sent in a report. All you need to do is log in and look at your dashboard to see all the updated data. You'll also receive notification of any data errors. Everyone has access to real-time data.
With a robust BI solution, not only do you better protect your marketing agency and your clients from data quality and inefficiency issues, you also have the ability to create and share beautiful data visualizations. By building dashboards that display the data your clients care most about, you can easily share information with the teams managing these accounts and keep both your agency and the client on the same page.
Data analysts are some of the most skilled experts in today’s digital marketplace. However, many data analysts end up spending their time and talent on manual data entry, prep and presentation. Time on those tasks is time taken away from what their most valuable work activity should be, analyzing your data looking for opportunities, trends and ways to optimize your marketing and sales funnels.
Utilizing a business intelligence solution to automate much of your data entry and prep process empowers your data analysts to spend more time studying the data your organization is collecting instead of merely cleaning and compiling it.
Request a demo of Grow to see how a simple business intelligence system can simplify and enhance your marketing process. Or, you can check out one of our marketing cheat sheets here.