Want to Tell Strong Stories? Make Data Work For You
December 8, 2017
There are endless discussions about the importance of data, and its relevance in business decisions, communicating a company’s story, benchmarking success…the list goes on and on. But how do companies find opportunities to tell their story using data, and conversely, how do they find meaningful data that holds the opportunity to tell a good story? Recently, I took an online course about interpreting and communicating data insights focused on this very topic.
The course sparked some insights about the different ways companies can find value in data, and how we can better counsel our clients to do the same. According to the course, the two ways of analyzing and finding data are:
- Knowing the story you want to tell, and analyzing available or mined data to support that story.
- Analyzing available or mined data to uncover surprising or compelling stories.
While both are equally viable options, these two practices can be applied to both large and small scale businesses. Our clients come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the stories they want to tell. So, how do they access data in ways that are meaningful to their needs?
What’s most important to remember is that just because you don’t have data, doesn’t mean you can’t create your own to support your story. When discussing opportunities for companies that don’t have access to the data they need, a survey can be your best asset. By utilizing survey tools, such as Survey Monkey, Qualtrics or Fieldbloom, you’re able to work with your clients to craft the perfect survey that unveils the data you need to support your angle.
A great example is a recent Vertafore survey we used to discover the sentiments of millennials working in the insurance industry. After polling 3,500 respondents, we uncovered that nearly 82 percent of millennials would recommend a career in insurance. Which, to be honest, surprised me, and interested the media as well. Using the survey data, we were able to position Vertafore as a thought leader on the next generation of professionals, securing coverage in publications like Carrier Management, Insurance Thought Leadership, Property Casualty 360 and Benefits Pro.
For companies with access to proprietary data, they can skip the survey and focus on analyzing and drawing large scale conclusions to tell the most compelling story.
In the case of Ibotta, a mobile app that rewards users with cash back on their purchases, we wanted to leverage a strategy from one of our previously successful campaigns that highighted the best days to buy pantry staples like milk and produce. For this new campaign, we wanted to capitalize on the trending topic of millennial spending habits and uncover the “best days to buy millennial.” We outlined the stereotypical purchases made by millennials (avocados, kombucha, rosé, hot sauce, coffee, etc.), and analyzed Ibotta’s receipt data to determine which days were the cheapest for those products. The outcome – Ibotta’s Millennial Shopping Analysis. You can read more on the shopping app’s millennial shopping report in outlets like Forbes, Parade, Consumer Affairs and Well + Good. It’s easy to see that mining Ibotta’s receipt data has allowed us to establish the brand as a leader in shopping reports.
Moral of the story? When strategizing potential angles and storylines for your clients, don’t shy away from the fact that you may not have the right data set off the bat. Explore your options, utilize surveys and be creative. You never know what you may find hidden in your data.