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The Accountants for Growth

Understanding your data

Understanding your data

I love data (or dada in my Canadian dialect) but I’ll be the first to admit the stuff is pretty useless until you actually start to organise it. One of the most important types of data a business has is information about their clients. Most of the time, this information is broken up into different spreadsheets, offering different perspectives of the client and the service, but rarely providing a complete overview of the service delivered.

And no one likes broken information.

When you’re reading a book, let’s say it’s on coffee beans in South America, you would expect to find the topic divided into a certain number of chapters that would eventually lead to a greater understanding—albeit useless—of coffee beans in South America. You wouldn’t expect the book to have only one chapter on ‘geography of the South American coffee bean’ because that would only provide one part to the overall picture of coffee beans in South America.

Similarly, it would be very difficult to create a comprehensive overview of a client if you were only looking at their address in your contacts spreadsheet. It would also be very difficult to make any sense of the service you provided if you were only looking at the end product. Adding a few pieces of information, a few more chapters, such as: date of when the work started, queries and correspondence while the work was taking place and the date of completion, will enrich your overall analysis of the service provided.

Excel is a great programme but it’s often abused with too many meaningless spreadsheets floating around in your computer. Information loses its meaning when it’s taken out of context and from a services marketing perspective, customer relationship management (CRM) should be at the centre of customer data.  

It’s essential to bind your customer data in one cohesive ‘book’ if you want to provide a holistic service to your clients. Retire your overworked spreadsheets and find a CRM system suitable for your
business so you can begin to centralise your data around the client once more and finally make sense of all the information!


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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal or accounting advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website's terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact us and one of our accountants will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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