In my experience, there are two types of answers to that question:
“Yes! How do I get started?” and “Nah. We’re hitting our numbers, so why rock the boat?”
Here’s why you want to rock the boat: you could be leaving lots of money on the table.
Your company is comprised of assets. Many of these assets are “data assets,” or information that can be used to increase your profits.
If your data is stored in multiple places, is disorganized, or is only accessible to a select few in your company, it becomes extremely difficult to turn that data into cash.
A data audit is an effective, comprehensive way to see what you’ve got in terms of data, and decide what to do with it. From there, you can make intelligent marketing decisions that will increase your profits in a proven, predicable, data-driven way.
Here are 4 signs it’s time for a data audit (even if you’re hitting your numbers):
1. You can’t find anything
If your senior executives and middle managers are constantly complaining that they can’t find the information they need to make decisions, a data audit is essential.
When people have to scramble for answers in lots of different places, time is wasted and money is lost.
If you are storing similar information in several separate databases, like CRM software, an email marketing program, and a POS system, you’re most likely paying for tools and functionality that are redundant.
A data audit will help you identify which tools you need to store and organize your data in a central location, tell you what’s extraneous, and help you streamline all of your data assets into a single, navigable system.
You know, where you can find stuff.
2. You’ve hired someone new
When a new person joins your team, they need to have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them, and where they can go to find the answers they need.
Without a data audit, new hires can waste hours upon hours trying to figure out where things are, how things are done, and why processes are set up a certain way.
A data audit will help your new hire familiarize themselves with the tools they need to succeed, regardless of whether or not the person they’re replacing left clear instructions for them.
3. Your budget has been cut
If you suddenly need to do more with less money, a data audit can find areas where you’re either wasting money, or missing out on a profit-generating opportunity.
During the audit process, you’ll gain a clear vision as to how you’ve been wasting marketing dollars and time, and see exactly how to use every penny of your reduced budget in a strategic, effective way.
4. You’ve hired a marketing firm
If you’ve decided to work with a marketing firm without first doing a data audit, your investment could be at risk.
When you work with a marketing firm, they will need access to all of your data assets in order to do their job effectively. If you don’t have the information they need, or have to go to multiple places to find the information, you’re wasting precious time and quickly making your relationship with them more expensive.
Food for Thought: Master Recipe for Homemade Ice Cream
Thanks to my thoughtful niece Melissa, I am the happy owner of an ice cream maker attachment to my Kitchen Aid mixer. I make ice cream all summer long because it tastes so much better than store bought, and because I can make whatever flavors I like!
Melissa is a very perceptive woman. She saw me wasting tons of money on expensive, store bought ice cream that wasn’t even that tasty to begin with.
For her ice cream-loving aunt, she had two choices: buy an ice cream maker, or keep on buying pints of Ben ‘n Jerry’s. Yes, the up-front cost of the ice cream maker was more expensive than a pint of Chunky Monkey, but the long-term benefits of homemade ice cream far outweighed the initial investment.
And so it is with data audits! If you’ve never done a data audit, chances are good that you have no idea just how much time and money you’re wasting (just like if you’ve never had homemade ice cream, you don’t know what you’re missing). An audit shows you exactly where you’re overspending and what to do about it.
But back to the important stuff: I stumbled across this Master Ice Cream Base recipe in the New York Times. After you read the base recipe and see how easy it is to make, scroll down to the Chocolate Hazelnut recipe. Make that one! It will make your brains fall out!
Isn’t it time your company did a little spring-cleaning? If you’re ready to stop wasting money on redundant software, pinpoint areas of untapped profitability, significantly increase your profits, and sample some REAL ice cream, contact Bonnie at (312) 463-1050 or by clicking here now.