complete guide data discovery

What is Data Discovery? The Ultimate Guide

The technologies you use for day-to-day operations at your organization generate and transmit data at an unprecedented rate. Today, businesses collect a lot of information relating to customer buying patterns, supplier lead times, customer search queries, and even their contact and IP addresses. With so much data at your disposal, it’s best to put it into good use to benefit your business.

Nonetheless, such data is usually siloed and can’t be helpful until you consolidate it into one platform and discover patterns. Data discovery involves collecting and analyzing data from different sources to get a clear picture of patterns and outliers for better decision-making. Thanks to data discovery, it’s easier for non-technical business leaders to make data-driven decisions.

What Does the Data Discovery Process Entail?

Data discovery involves navigating your data warehouse and applying advanced analytics to identify informative patterns that would have otherwise remained unknown. It’s akin to a soccer player stepping back from the ball to evaluate the goalkeeper’s stance before taking a penalty kick.

In the same way, data discovery allows your organization to momentarily detach itself from individual data points and combine data on one platform to see the big picture. In turn, this drives your business strategy and overall decision-making. When performing data discovery, you don’t always know what you’re looking for. You could simply be seeking to discover outliers and patterns to understand your data better.

Unlike other similar processes, data discovery does not necessitate building elaborate models. Instead, companies use data discovery as a component of their business intelligence software to get a clear picture of their data ecosystem in a visual format or simplified dashboard. With businesses collecting more complex data by the day, it’s best to invest in a data discovery tool that allows them to connect, automate, prepare, and visualize their data promptly and conclusively.

What are the Business Advantages of Data Discovery?

Agility is the hallmark of business success in today’s tech-savvy world, and data discovery is a critical aspect of business agility. By providing an under-the-hood view of your company’s operations, data discovery makes it easier to understand and address the challenges your organization encounters. Some of the business advantages of data discovery include:

It Allows You to Anticipate Problems

Your business can only thrive if you anticipate problems and address them before they hamper operations. Data discovery is an essential tool for detecting market trends that are still imperceptible and preparing for them accordingly. Some of the problems you can anticipate and mitigate include:

  • Sudden interest in a specific product and placing more orders with your suppliers before competitors’ orders lead to a shortfall and price hikes.
  • Loss of customers due to a market campaign that doesn’t resonate well with them. In this case, data discovery will help you determine how many customers you’ve lost and where they could be heading. With such insights, it’s easier to avert further hemorrhage.
  • Faulty products with high return rates contribute to negative reviews on your website. Through data discovery, you’ll access the underlying problem and determine ways to keep selling the products or return the entire inventory to the supplier.

Better Understanding of Your Customers

Your business can only meet its goals if you understand your target market fully. Knowing your customers helps you plan for the future. Data discovery provides a 360-degree view of your customers. By helping with day-to-day reporting, it allows you to discover future trends.

Through data discovery, you’ll establish whether your customers or products are as profitable as it seems and those that could be denting your bottom line. When you gain daily insights into your customer base and product line, it will be easier to predict the future and plan for it accordingly.

Identifying Upselling and Cross-selling Opportunities

Since data discovery entails combining data from multiple sources into one platform, it allows you to pinpoint upselling and cross-selling opportunities that were hitherto hidden from view. Data discovery makes it easy for you to quickly analyze customer data and predict what they might purchase next. It could be additional products (cross-sell) or premium versions of what they currently use.

Getting more from the data you collect and store is the most critical component of your organization’s upselling and cross-selling efforts. Data discovery allows you to deeply analyze your customers’ data and gain more insights into it. From these insights, you can identify opportunities for raising more revenue from your customers by offering more relevant products. In the long run, you’ll increase customer value and benefit the business and its customers.

Better Data Quality

As the volume of data in your ecosystem grows, so does the need to maintain its quality. An organization that deploys data discovery tools can easily maintain data consistency and quality. Data quality encompasses your data assets’ completeness, accuracy, and consistency. Nevertheless, it’s hard to imagine how you can embark on the journey toward data quality without having a clear picture of your data ecosystem.

Since most organizations grapple with many information systems, maintaining data quality is challenging. According to the principles of data quality, your data systems must be in sync and consistent for quality to be maintained. Disparate systems should get reconciled, especially if they touch on common information, including customer data.

Data discovery provides a sure-fire way to catalog and profile your organization’s data and guarantee its consistency and quality. It also provides greater visibility into your data decay. For instance, CRM databases tend to suffer from rapid data decay. This can only be averted if you implement a proactive data quality program. Data discovery is the first step toward realizing your data quality dream.

Compliance With Regulatory Requirements

image showing the comparaison between ccpa and gdpr

Consistent data discovery and cataloging go a long way in enabling compliance with increasingly complex regulations. In recent years, there has been an uptick in the number of regulations designed to protect the privacy and security of personal information. Your organization must comply with multiple regulations, from The California Consumer Privacy Act to the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you operate in a regulated industry such as banking or healthcare, you must comply with many other stringent data security regulations. Violations can result in hefty financial penalties, not to mention the negative publicity that comes with it. However, that can be a tall order for organizations with siloed data.

Data discovery allows you to understand the data you collect, its sources, its storage and transmission, and the security measures in place. Ultimately, it enables you to stay compliant in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

Enhances the Customer Experience

The most significant challenge modern businesses face is maintaining quality customer service. The data discovery process is a crucial step in understanding and fulfilling your customer needs. On average, consumers spend nearly $1 million per minute online. Thus, understanding the customer journey helps you predict their buying behavior and the products they might consider after the initial purchase.

Through data discovery, you tap into a rich record of customers’ buying behavior and preferences. It can also help you to minimize buying friction and leverage affinity marketing to band similar groups of buyers according to their shared needs and preferences.

By understanding customer preferences and predicting what they may want to buy in the future, data discovery helps you serve their needs and enhance. Likewise, it enhances the alignment with your customers for greater satisfaction.

The Data Discovery Process

Data discovery concept; close up of a human eye with numbers and data in background
Data Discovery

Data discovery generally has three core steps. Understanding each of the steps provides an idea of how data discovery works.

  • Data Preparation

This is the pre-processing stage and entails using statistical techniques to consolidate data from disparate sources before cleaning and transforming it to ensure it’s of the highest quality.

  • Data Visualization

Our brains are wired to recognize relationships and patterns instantly in visualizations. Similarly, data visualization involves analyzing big data to gain critical insights that would hitherto be lost. The data visualization stage in data discovery helps display the results of predictive analytics and machine learning for a better understanding of your data.

  • Advanced Analytics and Reporting

After your data gets visualized, it should be analyzed and reported. This stage of the data discovery process entails organizing, summarizing, and breaking down your data into simple and intelligible reports that are easy to understand. The non-technical leaders in your organization should be able to make decisions based on the reports.

What Data Discovery Tool Should You Use?

Your organization exists in an era of digital transformation, and you can only succeed if you know how to leverage the data you collect. Data discovery is only as effective as the tool you use. You need a tool that helps you learn more about the data at your disposal and act on the insights accordingly.

ClicData is the data integration tool you need to combine and extract data from various sources and understand your data ecosystem better. The interactive and visual business intelligence solution allows you to cross-filter different attributes on one dashboard and understands previously unknown relationships. With this tool, you’ll make smarter, data-driven decisions that help you usurp the competition. Sign up to start your free trial.

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