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What is Data? Why Is It Important?

We live in an age where data enters every aspect of our lives and is very important. It is one of the most effective tools to better understand and measure your data customers, the market you are in and the performance of your company and make the right planning accordingly.

In a study by Deloitte, 49% of respondents said business analytics helped them make better decisions in their companies, 16% improved their core strategic initiatives, and 10% helped improve relationships with both customers and business partners.

According to another study, 71% of businesses say their analytics investments will increase for the next 3 years and beyond.

Etymological Origin of Data

The roots of the word data, which is the English equivalent of data, are based on dare, which means “to give” in Latin. The word data in Turkish is also derived from this meaning. Although data was used to mean “the information given as the basis of calculation in mathematical problems”, especially after the introduction of computers into our lives, this meaning has changed as “transferable and storable information where computer operations are performed”.

Since the invention of computers, humans have used the word data to describe information stored, transmitted, and processed in computers. Although this modern use of the word data has emerged and used with a focus on mathematics and computer technology, what we call data is actually not limited to computers or mathematics. Just like the information on our computers, any text we write on paper, the notes of a music we listen to, and even the information we store in our minds can be defined as data. In other words, it can be said that data means raw piece of information that is not processed. Data is measured, collected, reported, analyzed and data visualizations such as graphs, tables or images are produced. Raw data that does not make sense alone can be interpreted and made meaningful by processing.

Data Types

At this point, it may be helpful to understand the difference between two different types of data: qualitative data and quantitative data. Qualitative data mean descriptive information and are used to describe things, while quantitative data are information consisting only of numbers. For example, “The holiday we spent with you was very enjoyable.” sentence 42 is a qualitative data while the number 42 is a quantitative data.

Qualitative Data
Qualitative data can be used to ask the “why” question. These data obtained from qualitative research; used for purposes such as theorizing, interpreting and developing hypotheses.

Quantitative Data
Unlike qualitative data, quantitative data are statistical and typically self-structured. So it is more organized and defined. Quantitative data is measured using numbers and values, making it a more suitable candidate for data analysis.

Data and Information
Although we often use the words data and information interchangeably in our daily life, they actually mean different things. We can call the data as the raw information particle used in scientific research, business and finance. This is where the difference between data and information arises. Data alone does not make any sense, and any data does not have a function before it is processed correctly. What gives data meaning and function is to process this data manually or with a computer and turn it into information. In this way, raw data start to make sense in the context they belong to and serve purposes such as problem solving and decision making.

The importance of data for businesses emerges at this point. Collecting data of users or customers is not that difficult these days. But the most important thing is to be able to process these data we collect in a way that will help us make easier decisions by inferring from them. Now let’s see what benefits and convenience data can provide for a business.

Data Makes You Make Better Decisions

Almost all types of businesses have a potential of data that they can make useful for themselves by collecting and processing from websites to social media, from sales figures to customer satisfaction surveys. One of the biggest contributions that data can provide to your company is that it can guide you in your decisions. Although there are many other factors when making decisions for your company, the data you collect and process correctly will show you the right way. You can use the data you collect and process while finding new customers, trying to protect your existing customers, improving your customer service, drawing your marketing strategy, monitoring social media interaction, predicting sales trends and many more.

Helps Solve Problems

After a month of falling sales or a marketing campaign that is outperforming you expect, the best data will help you understand where the problem lies. By examining the different data from different steps of the process, you can understand exactly where the problem is.
Data Helps You Understand and Measure Performance
Simply put, data allows you to see the big picture. When you see your past performance from a broad perspective, you will draw your future strategies more accurately.
To use your budget in the best way and get the best return in return, you should be sure of the performance of your employees or the accuracy of your marketing strategy.

Data Helps You Improve Processes in Your Company

Data helps you understand and improve business processes so you can reduce time and money wasted. Every firm needs to know how to use its time and resources in the best way to minimize the effects of waste.
According to a study by McKinsey, an international management consulting and research company that publishes research and articles on business management, companies that invest in big data have an average of 6% in their profits. and this increase reaches up to 9% over periods spanning five years or more.

For example, bad advertising campaigns can be one of the biggest waste of resources in a company. However, different marketing channels

Helps You Understand Data Consumers

Consumers and customers are one of the fundamental building blocks of a firm. Therefore, understanding consumer behavior in the best way helps you to develop your business.
Data helps you understand who your customers are. With the data, you can measure whether consumers like your products or whether your marketing efforts are effective. Data is the key to best understanding your customers and the market you are addressing.

However, as we said before, if you don’t have the right tools to help you understand the data, the data you have doesn’t make any sense. That’s why a business intelligence solution designed for your company is the best way to access consumer data and interpret them correctly.

Especially in our age, trying to run a business without the support of data and without using data is like trying to reach somewhere with your eyes closed. Using data correctly and benefiting from it will be the biggest step towards success for your company.