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How to Implement and Utilize Data-Driven Decisions

October 30, 2019 10:00 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Industry News & Trends

Data is everywhere. Like the great city of New York, it’s in constant motion, and never sleeps. Whether it’s the collection of environmental data to analyze shifts in the climate to internet data analyzing user interactions with websites, data is an deeply integrated in our daily lives – and it’s only expected to grow.

Most successful companies today rely on data-driven decisions, rather than the “gut decisions” that may have been used in years past. According to research done by IBM, 90% of generated data occurred in the last two years alone. Additionally, the big data analytics market is set to reach $103 billon by 2023 – an estimated 20% increase.     

But does data impact every market and business sector? What about the cleaning industry? How are cleaning companies utilizing “big data?” Does it really add value?

Qualitative and Quantitative

Lakshmi Sitaram, Senior Global Market Research Analyst at Tennant, certainly think so. “We conduct research to understand customer needs and pain points, test early ideas and concepts and prototypes to determine what resonates and why," said Lakshmi. “Customer data helps to answer questions like, does it provide value? What’s the competitive advantage?”

Beyond customer feedback and machine sales, Tennant is also heavily immersed in technical data collection. Our research and development (R&D) department uses results from testing machine run time, battery performance and response to impacts to help make sound decisions for product enhancements and new product rollouts.  Having both hard hitting numbers and direct customer input can really help tell a story that is invaluable.

“We conduct targeted research at the prototype stage to determine if it resonates with customers. Customer data helps to answer questions like, does it provide value? What’s the competitive advantage?”

Benefits of Data Collection

Beyond these specifics, benefits of conducting research and data collection are numerous. Some immediate ones include:

  • Determining customer needs and expectations
  • Gaining insights for new product development
  • Gauging satisfaction and brand loyalty to help companies discover what their customers think about them
  • Addressing and understanding customers pain points
  • Highlighting areas for improvement so you can provide the best possible overall customer experience.
  • Learning about new technologies and trends

As mentioned, utilizing technology helps you stay informed but also be more efficient and maintain investments like cleaning equipment. Software like IRIS Asset Manager helps those who manage fleets of machines understand the usage of their machines, battery charging metrics, technology usage and location of the machines at any given time. 

Using intelligent insights to drive cleaning performance is just one way data can help improve your business. As stated by Lakshmi, “Cleaning is not going away. Without data, without knowing what customers value, we’d be at a loss.”

Among the types of industry data that provide valuable information are sales figures, market data and market share by product categories, as well as voice of customer research. Employees that interact with customers regularly also share market trends or feedback from customers to help identify what’s potentially on the horizon.

“Cleaning is not going away. Without data, without knowing what customers value, we’d be at a loss.”

How to Take Action in Your Business

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Now that you have all this…data….on the importance of data, what’s next? How can your cleaning business start collecting and utilize it today?

  1. Consider investing in technologically advance cleaning products. Products like a floor cleaning robot can help you be more productive and increase efficiencies.
  2. Utilize software that will provide you valuable information to better manage items like training opportunities for your staff and appropriate timing for machine maintenance.
  3. Ask your customers. Understanding customer hurdles and pain points will better equip you with making the right investments for your business. You can also use third party research, interviews and surveys for qualitative insights.
  4. Industry trade associations provide an excellent source of market data. It will help inform you how your company is performing  and identify trends.

The value of data (and technology) in a competitive landscape can’t be overstated. Using data equips companies to be proactive in providing relevant product and service solutions while staying on top of market trends. Additionally, it helps with making the right investments and potential strategic partners.


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