We can get access to information in a matter of seconds — thanks to technology and fast speed Internet. A decade ago, only a specific group of people could put out information on the Internet, sometimes in the form of articles and sometimes as databanks.
Anyone who had any query would be directed to those sources of information. With the introduction of social media and its widespread accessibility and usage, every kind of data is out there on the Internet.
Why Data Matters
Data sources increased multifold and so has the data. The huge repositories of data on the Internet made its effective use a little complex. Due to this, if you have to collect data on a certain topic, you have to consult multiple sources to be able to give a true representation.
Data collection in itself is not a difficult task. Every website/company aspires to be the best and wants to gain popularity; therefore, access to data is made easier online. The difficult task is how to make the best use of the data you collected.
Applications downloaded in cellphones and computers ask for user data and that data, in turn, is outsourced to other companies. Social media applications continuously back up the users’ data, which includes what they like, what they post, how frequently they post, where the users interact the most etc. This data is collected and utilized for various purposes.
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Data collected by an individual or a company can be utilized in multiple ways, some of which are explained here.
1. Keep Your Target Audience In Mind
The best way to make use of your collected data is to have a good understanding of your target audience. Applications, including social media, health and fitness, entertainment and information, can enhance the user experience by collecting data of users’ activities. For instance, if a person searches videos about DIY projects, YouTube may suggest videos related to all DIY activities.
All data that is entered by the user in an application is collected and made use of in an effective way. Social media applications use data collection to design algorithms that show the user things of their interest when they open the app, which enhances the user experience.
2. Creative Utilization Of Data
If you collected a huge amount of data as an individual or company, that data can be creatively utilized. The data may be used to develop quizzes, games, websites, podcasts, etc.
Facebook is one social media platform through which many quiz maker websites engage users. The quizzes provide answers to questions such as, “What is your strength?” “Which career suits you best?” This is a form of entertainment for the quiz taker and the quiz maker and application developers capitalize on that. This ends up giving more user data to both applications.
If there is data available on any topic that people may spend hours discussing, then that data can be used for a podcast.
3. Educational Videos & Use Of Social-Media Platforms
People on social media share all kind of information all the time. An organization or individual may collect that information for educational videos. The majority prefers visuals, as they have the ability to engage human attention. Visuals help people understand a topic better than audio alone.
For instance, if the purpose is to educate the public about littering and protecting the environment, imagery helps get the point across more effectively than text or audio. Clips from originators of cleanup programs (also categorized as data collection) may be included to encourage similar activities in the general public.
Educational videos help many children learn. Children stay focused and interested when they watch a video. It helps them remember information that is important. For example, when they watch a video of animals, they remember how it looks and tries to recall the name.
4. Create Infographics For Better Understanding
Sometimes, data is so complicated that people have trouble understanding it. Creating an infographic is the best way to get the message across. It is broken down to small sentences with illustrations.
Statistics are mostly used in an infographic, which is why the use of pie charts, graphs, screenshots, etc. becomes necessary — the more visuals, the better your target audience may understand. Keep it to the point and simple.
The most frequent and most important data collection practice is good marketing. The user data in the form of their preferences, recent visits to a website or a physical place, interest in a specific kind of product can be used accordingly for different purposes — 65% of customers share their personal information happily. This information is collected by various online crawlers dispersed throughout the web and applications.
This data is then used for marketing purposes. Certain types of products, brands, locations, and events, are advertised on the pages people frequently visit or the applications that are regularly used.
Marketing is the foremost aim of most companies. Everyone wants to have maximum outreach and for that purpose, they highly covet the user data and purposely collect it. This is done to reach and attract more people towards their products and services.
A third party anonymously collects data and sells it to the highest bidder. This is done as the business and company that bid the highest for data, reach a maximum number of people as they have the most relevant data.
The reliance on data is increasing day by day — there are 5 billion searches on different search engines every day!
It is high time effective methods develop for smart utilization of huge amount of data. It is imperative that useful data be filtered from unnecessary information because people get confused with loads of information. For the growth of every organization, all the data should be smartly put to use.
Data collection is not only restricted to social media, but educational institutes also have vast data and practices should be put in place so that redundant data is removed from all the spaces. This ensures that when the collected data is used by organizations, it is relevant.
Author: Jenny Harrison
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