Decision-makers at consumer brands are finally realizing the full transformative potential of external data - but they’re also realizing how difficult it is to source. Forrester reports that 87% of decision-makers in data and analytics have implemented or are planning initiatives to source more external data. And those initiatives are growing outside of the IT team; 29% of those surveyed say that IT has primary ownership of data sourcing, down from 37% in 2016. To support these projects, organizations are increasingly turning to a new specialist: the data hunter, who identifies and vets external data sources. It’s a lot of work to build external data-focused teams, and many leaders are realizing that external data is difficult to scale as the source list grows. Perhaps that’s why 66% of those decision-makers surveyed by Forrester report that they’re using or planning to use external service providers for data, analytics, and insights.
External providers like Signal Analytics do the hard work for you, taking time to develop data identification methodologies that ensure the insights you glean are representative of the market. Identifying strong external data sources is a time-consuming task that stymies many organizations’ internal data teams. At Signals Analytics, we begin this process by asking two important questions: what business questions are we trying to answer with this data, and what will the business ultimately do with this data? The answers dictate the data types and sources we select, which must meet four main criteria:
Once we’ve identified the best assortment of data sources, we confirm our selections with industry subject matter experts who validate our research and identify any data types or parameters we may have missed. Identifying data sources is a complex, time-consuming and specialized task, but it’s actually pretty simple compared to the steps that follow: connecting and contextualizing that data. Take it from a real Signals Analytics client: “Trying to connect this many new and different external data sources into our existing system would have taken us years! Signals Analytics has done all of the hard work by collecting and contextualizing all of the data relevant to [our] ecosystem, giving us a more holistic view of what’s happening in our category”. To learn more about how Signals Analytics can help your organization collect external data, schedule a demo.