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3. Conceptualising and Specifying Data


continued from part 2



This step involves considering the different types of data that are desired by different departments. This is usually developed against desired outcomes. Think of the following examples:

  • MD/CEO  – I want to know how many sales were made in a month and the revenue generated.
  • Marketing – We need to know the performance of various marketing channels, content and campaigns to determine trends.
  • Sales – We need to know what channels and activities are creating sales pipelines.

Armed with this information you can begin to consider the information you want to collect.

As an example, at the business level decision making, you may need data pertaining to:

  • Monthly revenue and sales volumes
  • Cost vs. return
  • List of activities taken by sales and marketing
  • Noteworthy changes that created a good impact
  • Crossover activities between departments that may have correlations
  • Indications of Performance based on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

From a Marketing level, you may need data pertaining to

  • Channel Performance (Google, AdWords, Social etc)
  • Volume – how many people were reached?
  • Engagement – how many people engaged and what were the best types of engagement?
  • Quality of users – How often did the users who engaged the site actually convert?
  • Insights – Who were the people we reached, how did we reach them, what were they interested in etc.
  • Performance against set KPIs.

From a sales level, you may need data pertaining to

  • How many sales were generated
  • What were the top sources of sales
  • Which products/services performed the best
  • What was our yield like for sales related activities
  • Insights
  • Performance against set KPIs
  • By now you should have determined the types of data you would need to be collecting.

Following this, you will want to specify the data.

In short, “Cool, we know we need data relating to channel performance….but what is that data?”


Specifying your data

As noted already, you should have a plan and now know what actions you will be taking moving forward. Using this information it is time to specify which data you want for different activities. Please note that there is a literal plethora of data available depending on your activities and this article is not intended to list these potential data points but rather to guide you in creating a good data strategy and collection process.

Having said this your scenario could look something like this:

Company ABC sells widgets nationally. These widgets are sold online and in specific retail outlets. Post a strategic planning session the MD of Company ABC has decided, in collaboration with his team, that there is good potential in using an online campaign to not only increase sales online but also at locations offline.

To do this the sales and marketing teams have worked together to develop a plan needed to meet these objectives. The MD is most interested in the difference between the spend of the new campaigns and the return. Being quite a savvy MD, he is not just interested in revenue but also in the increased exposure and long-term returns of the campaign.

The marketing and sales teams are interested in similar items but need more granular information. The sales team would specifically like to receive more direct sales request from online channels, as well as to capture information about the people making these requests in order to see if there are any insights they could generate.

Post an additional tactics planning session the sales and marketing team agree to use the following:

Social campaigns:


  • Location-specific
  • Direct online sales
  • Push to offline sales
  • Brand Awareness
    • Grow fan base
    • Increase engagement of content


  • Location-specific
  • Direct online sales
  • Brand awareness
    • Grow fan base
    • Increase engagement of content

AdWords Campaign

Search Campaign

  • Location-specific (Very specific: the team wants to target users who fall into a radius of 5 km of a store stocking the product. Less specific: users who meet search criteria nationally)
  • Direct online sales
  • Push to offline sales
  • Get more information requests
  • Get click to calls from ads

Email campaign

  • Mail hit
    • Sending database an email requesting them to opt-in for further emails in the future
  • Creating ongoing email campaigns
  • Creating automated email campaigns sending the latest content to the recipient

Now that you have an idea of what you are doing, it’s time to see what data you will get.

Read more in our next article

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