Databases – our knowledge source?
Do you want to know your target groups, your market situation, or product information, data reported back by customers? Collecting data, structuring, calculating and filtering – knowledge today is key and often requirements for knowledge are solved technically. Databases today, the “big data” approach, is able to offer you any data you are looking for. Technology makes it happen. There are nearly all thinkable functionalities, such as filters, measuring and analyzing tools available. Geographical, social or financial data on your market? It shouldn’t be a problem to find out more, if you have access to those data, whether you buy them or even have an own database set up. Data knowledge will help you a lot. Do you need addresses at a glance? Want to know how many males/females of a certain age prefer this or that? Just get access to a database and get it. Market access data – there is so much of it. Of data.
Which does not mean automatically, that data is equivalent to knowledge.
Data is just a part of market knowledge
Have you ever worked as sales person for a certain period? Have you ever taught to children or adults?
Then you know your ‘data’ is just a part of what makes you a knowledgable person, someone who can achieve results.
What equally counts besides pure data knowledge, is your experience on how to interact with your target groups: You might have experienced that most of the questions raised and ideas shared around the topic you are talking about are somehow predictable. You know that these questions will be asked. It’s predictable, what they, your students, your customers …are interested in and how they presumably react, when you talk to them. With this experience you know what to put into the focus.
The third huge column is understanding where your customer at the moment is in terms of thinking and starting from there:
Experienced persons know that – depending on gender, age, location, social status or time – the approach on how to ‘sell’ changes. Even for identical target groups this might be different. Take as an example a typical English lesson. In the teaching plan the goals are described very well. As a teacher you know very well what you want to tell. You know the number and age of students and probably you can predict how they will react, what they will ask. But nevertheless, some of these expected reactions or questions might be different this time. Due to a few circumstances. You have to take them into account, be able to answer and to insert this ‘deviation’ into your ‘customer travel’ for reaching the goal.
Like a flower that during the seasons develops and changes. But not every first of June you see the same scenario. What you cannot calculate 100%, neither by using the best data, nor because all data predict a certain market characteristic, is the real- time situation. If something is missing, against all predictions, you need to add it – right now. If not, you will fail. If someone had stepped around and some flowers are damaged, you need to adjust them, help them to grow. If today an external or internal event or discussion takes place, you need to (re-) act.
Seed, growth and fruits
Sales persons and teachers know very well these phenomena: The seed and what is necessary (besides the normal requirements) for making it grow. They are successful when they apply their data and experience in the right way at the right moment. The ‘fruits’ of selling or teaching come when data and context, or in other words, when pure measurable, storable knowledge such as data and human understanding interact when it is needed.
So, knowledge includes data, but also ‘human touch’ and continuous interaction with your target group. The interaction and real time context is what makes the “data knowing” very valuable. It shows clearly trends, helps to explore and apply solutions.
It simply adds what data alone would never achieve: 1 + 1 = 3.