Data Analytics 101 | How to get the most out of your customer data

With every transaction, online review, customer interaction, or social media post, mountains of data are created about your customers. Collecting all of that data is the easy part. The hard part comes when you want to utilize that data to find answers to valuable questions about your business.

But what if I told you it didn’t have to be hard? Integrations and APIs make it easy to consolidate your data to create a single source of truth for your business.

By implementing business intelligence software or a customer interaction platform, you can create consumable reports that will help you make better decisions, gain a better understanding of your customers’ likes and dislikes, and become more efficient. In short, data analytics can help you vastly improve your customer experience.

Getting started

Before getting started on any data analytics project it’s important for you to know what questions you want to be answered. Then have a plan in place to find those answers. Businesses that don’t do that will have a hard time getting much value out of their data. Maybe you want to track how your marketing efforts impact revenue or the lifetime value of your customers or acquisition costs. Whatever it is, you need to begin with clearly defined goals and then collect baseline data to measure against.

In this post, we’re going to lay out four basic data analytics projects your business can quickly get started. We’ll also give you a brief overview of each and highlight the benefits of using them.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is “the process of identifying and categorizing opinions expressed in a piece of text in order to determine whether the writer’s attitudes were positive, negative, or neutral.” You can use sentiment analysis to find out how customers feel about your business on social media or in online reviews.


Podium recently updated our platform to help you identify in-depth topical trends inside your online reviews. This report will help you identify what customers love most about your business and where you can improve. This will save you and your staff countless hours scouring all of your reviews. Instead, it provides you an easy-to-read view into how your customers feel about you.

Competitive Benchmarking

One of the most valuable pieces of information you can glean from data analytics is where you stack up against competitors in your area. When setting up competitive benchmarking for your business you’ll want to:

  1. Identify competitors to benchmark against
  2. Decide which criteria to measure
  3. Determine baseline data for key criteria
  4. Implement a solution to track data

At Podium, we make it very easy to measure your business’ online reputation against up to five competitors based on average star rating, total review count, and the number of recent reviews. These criteria were chosen because they have the most impact on where your business ranks in Google’s local search algorithm. Having access to this information will show you where your online reputation is lacking while helping you adjust on the fly to improve your standing in local SEO.

Online reputation is just one area where you can compare your business to the competition. It’s also very easy to measure your social media growth, the types of content you are producing, and the number of conversations happening about you online. The key with competitive benchmarking is you need to be continuously measuring yourself against the competition and tweaking your strategy as appropriate.

NPS and Customer Satisfaction Surveys

One of the most effective ways to gain insights into your customer experience is to go straight to the source and ask your customers. There are a number of methods to collect feedback from traditional email-based customer satisfaction surveys to more conversational, text-based surveys.

In our experience, we have found that text message-based surveys can be more effective. That’s because you’re interacting in a way that’s more convenient and comfortable to your customers. Because they’re more accustomed to communicating via text, you will see your response rates increase.

The downside of doing surveys this way is you will only be able to ask each customer two to three questions tops so you don’t wear out your welcome. But because response rates are so high, you should be able to gather all of the relevant information you need across a broader base of your customers.

Google Trends

Google Trends is a tool that shows how often a particular search term is entered relative to the total search volume. This can help your business keep track of what keywords are relevant in your industry at this moment while helping you keep an eye toward possible changes in the future.


One of the cool things about Google Trends is it lets you drill down into what search terms are popular on a global, national, and regional level. This is important because people’s language and search habits vary from place to place, so it’s important to be able to get as granular as possible when analyzing trends in search data.

Leave a Reply