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  • Nick Zeckets
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  • Advancement - alumni - alumni engagement - Alumni Relations - context - data - Facebook - LinkedIn - personalization - social media -

old_data_center_with_creditConstituent data is like a car.

The second you drive your new car off the lot, the value depreciates and with each passing mile it drops a bit more. Sure, you can avoid accidents, keep it in a garage, and get the oil changed regularly, but make no mistake; after 60 seconds of car ownership the value drops by 9%.

So, the question is: how much of your data budget is spent on data maintenance, what is spent on data acquisition, and, further, what do you spend towards understanding your data?

It’s not terribly mysterious to anyone that a firehose of fresh data beats historical data. Were my alma mater to ping me about my major, Near Eastern Studies, I’d be interested, but I’d find content about their data visualization program (visiting this Friday!) far more compelling. It’s not that they don’t want to know that about me. It’s that it’s been so very expensive to find and keep up with that data.

Till now.

Social media is abundantly valuable in offering these types of data. Do note, though, that there are two significant requirements when it comes to that social data firehose.

First, knowing that I’m at QuadWrangle is interesting, but what else can that insight tell you? Here, we leverage natural language processing to extrapolate from basic summary data the most useful insights about constituents.

Second, now that you’re data rich, are you also equipped to action that data? With rich personal insights, it’s absolutely critical that the data can do something. Here’s where we really urge our partners to break out of the current dialogue on social data. Because social and other web sources can tell us so much about our community, we often resort to only using the most summary (and least valuable) data coming in.

We operate now in a world of rich data rivers. As your org pursues tools to regularly draw from that data river, we hope you’ll keep in mind the two steps that follow. If you’re not feeling equipped to establish both rich insights and activation models, it may make more sense to do more with what you have.

Because, well, there’s nothing worse than a Porsche with no engine in it.

Nick is the CEO and co-founder of QuadWrangle with a deep background in media modeling and digital engagement with a passion for philanthropy. He hails from Georgia and is a proud Arizona Wildcat.

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