Web Data for Actionable Insights

November 2, 2020

In any major enterprise, it is a risk to take someone else’s data at face value.  Which is why companies are investing in building their own datasets.  The web represents the largest dataset ever created and it is largely under-used by companies, meaning that there is a lot of opportunity for companies to do new and interesting things with it.

If you are looking to implement web-data for your own enterprise, keep the following principles in mind:

  1. Know your audience.  Who will be using the insights derived from web data? What kind of information / format are they most familiar with and what will they be most able to use? Answering these questions can save you the pain of hard-earned web data collection that doesn’t get used operationally.
  2. Know your pain.  What is the problem you are trying to solve with web data? If you don’t know the problem that you are trying to solve, you can’t know if you have succeeded.  As a rule, the pain that you are solving with web data should be a really vivid pain for your key stakeholders.
  3. Define key success factors.  Success factors must be agreed on by all stakeholders and preferably written in stone.  Keeping key success factors simple and clear prevents scope creep before and after your web data project launch.
  4. Identify available data.  The public web is a massive resource but you will still need to define what data is most relevant to you.
  5. Clarify your methodology.  Stakeholders need to agree not only on the intent and nature of the web data collection, but the method you will use for analyzing web data.  Analysis will drive actions and conclusions and without agreement on your analytical methodology there could be confusion over what your web data means.
  6. Consult the experts.  You are an expert on your business – in fact, the foremost expert on your business – but even if you have internal data analysts, the specialized nature of web data calls for web data experts, which is where Import.io can help you. Know your organizational strengths and let your team focus on what it does best: building and selling your products and drawing marketplace conclusions; and let Import.io focus on what we do best: helping you collect and analyze web data.

Enterprises are only just beginning to understand the power of web data analytics.  Web data is ready to provide you with insights if only you know what questions to ask.  There is already so much content available on the web, it is just a matter of time before business practices catch up with the potential of turning all that web content into powerful web data.

Our web data study of news stories covering the US 2020 election demonstrates how you can use web data to create a continuous loop of action-to-insight-to-action.  The capability is there for web data to transform the way that you run your organization, the challenge for us as business leaders is to use web data to ask smarter questions and secure a real competitive advantage in our industries – before our competitors do it first or better.

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