Congratulations on NOT looking at your data last week! It can be harder than it sounds, but hopefully it gave you the space to think about what your key questions are. Those are going to be increasingly important as we do more and more with your data in the next few weeks.

This week, you can look at your data (cue the choirs of angels!). What you’re going to do is take stock of the data that you have. It might sound easier than it’s going to be, because you’re going to have to do some hunting.

I bet you can rattle off the obvious places where your data lives right now. Your HRIS. Your CRM. Your POS solution. Maybe you’re a higher ed institution, so your SIS. Those are all great places to start and will likely be a solid foundation to build on.

Now the hunting begins, because I’m certain that there’s data hidden away in folders or shared drives or smaller software applications that you forgot about. These are going to be helpful as we build your analytics capacity.

Some non-obvious data sources include:

  • Survey data: Have you surveyed your customers about their satisfaction recently? How about your employees? Where does that data live?
  • E-commerce systems like Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce
  • Are you using a stand-alone talent acquisition system?
  • Traffic on your website and your blog
  • Inventory management system
  • Manufacturing software if you’re a business that literally builds physical products
  • Your social media accounts. Think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram…
  • Third-party datasets that you may have used for market research or benchmarking.

(If you come across others, mention them in a comment — I’d love to hear more about what you’re using!)

While you’re gathering your data sources, refresh your memory about what fields are contained within each source. If you’re looking at customer data, what basic demographic elements are being captured? For sales, do you have time of day, day of week, and season captured?

Make your list, check it twice, and have it handy next week for Step 3 when we’re going to have fun starting to build on our foundation!


If you have questions or would like to talk through this exercise (or other questions you have in your business), I’m offering a free 30-minute consultation during these unprecedented times. Click here for a calendar where you can book an appointment yourself. I look forward to connecting!

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