We’re going to be perfectly honest here:
Data isn’t sexy.
If you’re like most people, talking about datasets, processing power, and machine-learning will put you to sleep faster than an Ambien-martini...
But that doesn’t mean data isn’t powerful.
(As long as it’s properly harnessed.)
With recent advancements in technology, the amount of data that’s available to be collected, understood, and put into action is unprecedented.
That’s a big deal because data allows franchises to make better business decisions.
Having said all of that, it’s time to discuss What Big Data Is and How You Can Use It to Grow Your Franchise.
What is Big Data and Why Should You Care
Essentially, data is any bit of information that’s collected and organized for an explicit purpose.
While data can be collected and collated manually (by humans) it is increasingly collected and collated by machines.
Ever wonder how Google Maps knows EXACTLY what traffic looks like right this second?
It knows because it’s using BIG data.
Google Maps automatically collects details from dozens of G.P.S. satellites, and millions of mobile phones to determine where you are, where you’re going, and how many cars are on the road with you; it makes sense of all that information, forms a clear picture of the current traffic conditions, and then precisely estimates when you’ll get to your destination.
Put another way, big data is the application of data at scale—immense sets of data points used to create predictive analytics and other advanced metrics that decision-makers (from moms navigating the fastest route to soccer practice to CEOs trying to guide Fortune 500 companies to higher profitability) can use to better their lives.
Where does all the data come from?
Anywhere and everywhere.
It comes from your Facebook behavior (you didn’t think those “Likes” weren’t being put to use, did you?).
It comes from your latest Google search.
It comes from your smartwatch and smartphone.
Heck, data even comes from your credit history.
Pretty much anything that’s connected to the Internet is actively collecting data that you and every other consumer unknowingly generate on a daily basis.
And when all that data is analyzed and reviewed, it can lead to some incredible insights that allow franchises to better understand their...
- Advertising Reach.
- Advertising engagement.
- Total Revenue.
- Return on Investment.
- And more...
How big data can be used for franchise growth
Step 1: Define and publish the KPIs for your brand & zees
When analyzing data, you need to know what you’re looking for. Key performance indicators (KPIs) give a clear objective to the results you wish to measure and improve. To get started with Big Data, the first step is deciding what results are most important to your franchise: cost-per-leads, total revenue, etc. Once you’ve determined what your most pressing KPIs are, publish this information for your brand and franchisees.
Step 2: Put the tools, processes, and expertise in place to measure those KPIs.
Consolidate and integrate. When the data is rolling in, how are you capturing it? Do you have full visibility into how all of your marketing campaigns are performing? Do you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system? Can you qualify and analyze the leads that are coming in? By integrating your point of sale system (POS) with a CRM, you can capture key sales data.
Step 3: Analyze the data and put it to work for your entire system
Once the right tools and strategies are in place (and the right data has been identified), it’s time to organize the data so it’s easy to understand for decision-makers—if data isn’t easy to understand, it can’t be used to take action. With the system established, and proven processes at work, you’ll be collecting vital business intelligence that will allow you to make smarter decisions, increase your sales revenue, and expand your franchise.
Review your KPIs and measure them against your goals. See how you can better refine and optimize your campaigns. Establish new KPIs (if needed) and chart your course for the next quarter knowing that big data is paving a clear path forward.
Drawing even deeper conclusions…
If understanding big data is something your franchise wants to do, it will be worth your time to watch this free webinar on the topic, which discusses:
- How big data benefits both franchisors and franchisees at the local and national level.
- Why clarity and transparency in data reporting and analytics accelerate growth trajectory.
- The key performance indicators that reveal whether digital marketing is paying off for a franchise.