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Is your company wasting its data capital?

Own data is valuable capital for companies. However, only rather few actually know how to efficiently exploit it. One of the launchers of Aller Media’s new data strategy service shares his tips on how to get started — and create results with data. This is how a data strategy service was born.

A hand stopping a chain of wooden domino blocks from falling.

Everyone is starting to see the significance of data, and not just in more efficient marketing but throughout the business chain. Regardless of this, many data holders are practically clueless: what to do with all this data? How should I know what data is useful? Is my data of high quality and how can I use it to achieve results?

We asked Sami Lahtinen, Director of Data & Digital Solutions, who is among the launchers of Aller Media’s data strategy service, three questions.

What do you mean by data strategy?

A data strategy helps a company understand what it should do to make the most of their data. We want to inspire companies to think how they could reach operational results with the data that they hold instead of just sitting on it. And we provide the tools for this.

The expert’s role is to open up the opportunities that data presents — but also to describe its restrictions.

When drafting a data strategy, a phased plan and implementation are defined for the company for making use of the company’s own data. The expert’s role is to clarify the plan and open up the opportunities that data presents — but also to describe its restrictions.

A data strategy contains concrete actions that promote the company’s strategic goals.

Business people building a tower of wooden blocks.

When we start working on the strategy, first we discuss the current state of the client company’s data, how and how often it should be updated, whether the necessary marketing permits required from consumers are available, and how the permit process should be carried out.

In addition, a data strategist checks the company’s preparedness regarding the EU data protection directive coming into effect in 2018.

How do you build a data strategy?

Data experts together with the company’s key personnel compile the data strategy. The result is a concrete, phased, and scheduled plan.

Initially, we map out what kind of data the company has collected from different channels. After that, we analyze the quality of the data and how ready it is for further processing. After a qualitative analysis, we analyze the visitors of the company’s website and the company’s customer register.

We will create a data progress plan for the company: how to collect more data and from which channels, how the data handling process is organized.

The important thing is to chart what kinds of consumers are the company’s customers and, on the other hand, where to find potential customers. After these steps, we will create a data progress plan for the company: how to collect more data and from which channels, how the data handling process is organized and so forth.

Let’s imagine that online store X has accumulated a register of 20,000 consumers who have bought the company’s products over the years. The company’s website has plenty of visitors but the data has not been used in any way.

Through data strategy work, online store X can gain insight of what kinds of consumers their customers are and what types of consumer groups visit their website. A clear plan for acquiring new customers and handling existing customer relationships can be created based on the analysis.

Sheets of paper with data figures and a pen on the foreground, business people talking in front of a laptop on the background.

How did you come up with a data strategy service?

Many studies show the same thing that we have heard from our partners: companies and the efficient use of data do not yet meet.

As we received all kinds of queries from companies about the best ways of using data, we decided to help them tackle the challenge, all the way from the planning phase to practical implementation.

Time is more than ripe for data strategy.

In fact, we had already built a service from our own data so we had strong and up-to-date experience from which we started building and helping others. Time is more than ripe for data strategy.

When the data strategy is created together by our experts and companies, the key personnel of the companies commit during the project to driving the strategy forward and implementing it, which could have an effect on the working cultures as a whole.

Note from the Editors: Aller Finland's Data Business was later developed into an independent data company, and was launched as a start-up called Data Refinery Ltd., owned by Aller Finland, in September 2017. Data Refinery provides a combination of enriched target groups and understanding of consumers for business needs, such as better targeted marketing communication, and operates also in the Nordic Countries as a part of Aller Finland Marketing Services.