How much data does the Internet process every day? The numbers can vary, depending on the source. What is clear is it is already in the quintillion – 18 zeroes! The vast amounts of information are one of the primary reasons data centers now occupy several square feet of space. Facebook’s alone covers 40 million square feet.
However, these data are useless when they are not optimized and used to meet the organizational objective, whether to increase sales, create a more accurate buyer’s persona, or improve online marketing strategies.
It’s time to make the most of the collected data beginning with these ideas:
1. Manage the Database Properly
Develop a data quality policy to guide all members of the team. Create transparent processes for identifying, collecting, storing, and sharing data. Develop strategies on how to deal with incomplete or missing data. Consider setting up an enterprise-grade database management system or use one that the hosting provider can already do.
When the information is complex and managing it isn’t easy, reach out to database management consultants. Jmgse.com, for example, specializes in data architecture and development.
2. Annotate Data for Insights
Another way to make full use of the data is to annotate them with meta-information, including descriptions, explanations, notes, comments, tags, ratings, or other contextual information. This will help users understand the data better and know if it is reliable.
A great way to do this is through a metadata registry or even a flat-file database that makes organizing information easier. The annotations become part of the record, not something separate from it.
3. Uncover Unstructured Data
The web may be chock-full of reliable information, but the challenge is to get it. Many are in unstructured formats. This data is typically in the form of documents, images, or video files.
Consider developing a program that automatically reads the data and then encodes them into the database. The program should also identify repeated information, apply different weights to it, and make other decisions on how to use the data.
This will help retrieve statistical data for market intelligence, financial analysis, consumer analytics, business intelligence, and competitive intelligence studies.
4. Get Insights from Data
The most valuable data insight is actionable information that tells you what to do next. Make the most of these using visualizations. For example, instead of just creating tables or lists with the information, create charts and graphs that clearly show trends or patterns. These will help spot opportunities for improvement easier than raw numbers do.
5. Make the Data Relevant
The volume of data on the web is growing every day, but it does not mean you have to keep everything. Some information is more valuable than others.
Determine what each type of data can help your team achieve and eliminate all extraneous information that will only take up storage space. Review the data periodically to see if there is still a need for them.
6. Track Data Changes
Another critical aspect of optimizing data is tracking changes in it over time. This way, you can check how the information has evolved and what will be needed next to make it even better.
To track changes, create a history of the data that records who collected it and how it was collected. This information is also beneficial when auditing or troubleshooting any issues with the database.
7. Optimize Data for Mobile Devices
Nowadays, mobile devices are used more than computers by Internet users in some countries. Make sure your website also displays well when accessed through smartphones or tablets.
This means optimizing content for the different screen sizes and ensuring that buttons, links, menu bars, and other components can be easily tapped on touch screens. This also means condensing data into concise sentences that are easy to read.
8. Remove Latency
Latency is the delay experienced in data transmission. A large amount of latency can result in poor connection quality, making it difficult for users to read, review, and reply to information online.
Spending too much time processing the data means they might be outdated when you use them, so access to current information is essential. To improve latency, consider moving or replicating your data closer to the users. You can achieve this by storing it in the cloud, on a local server, or through another method.
9. Build a Solid Backend
Developers are always looking for ways to make their work more manageable, but some developers forget that there is more to coding than coming up with code. They also need to build a reliable backend to support the system they create.
Building a solid backend begins with creating an architecture that will allow you to do what you need it to do. Check that your database platform can address all of your requirements and then decide if it is scalable enough for future needs.
By using the tips above, you can make your data more beneficial for your business. You will make better decisions and improve operations with good-quality information. This is especially important in the fast-paced world of e-commerce.