The New Gold Rush towards Obtaining Alternative Data
In the business world, you need to get a competitive advantage over other companies to grow rapidly and make profits. Data used to provide this edge till recently. But most firms now have access to traditional information sources, which brings into prominence the importance of alternative data.
Alternative data can be obtained by using data crawling tools and IP proxies. This type of information has not replaced traditional data but complements it and helps you make informed decisions.
Alternative data has fascinating benefits and applications in various areas, including product development and innovation, and marketing, to name only a few. For this reason, this phrase has become a buzzword in industry and business circles.
Used smartly, alternative data can change the game for business growth and strategy. This article explains what alternative data is, how to obtain it, and its numerous use cases. For anonymous and productive data crawling to extract alternative data, you can use the GeoSurf proxy network.
What is Alternative Data?
For the uninitiated, alternative data is information obtained from non-conventional sources. It differs depending on your industry and the type of data used by your competitors. In short, alternative data is non-traditional data that has not been explored much by others.
Besides traditional data, plenty of other types of data can still be accessed and analyzed. You may wonder what this category of data is. The increasing use of satellites, mobile devices, sensors, websites, and others creates a vast stockpile of structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data. This alternative data can be used to complement traditional data and make educated business decisions.
The common types of alternative data include information obtained from mobile app usage, credit and debit card purchases, geo-location, public data, satellites, sentiment for social analysis, web data, and web traffic. These kinds of alternative data can be analyzed to gain business insights.
As per Grand View Research, the worldwide alternative data market topped $1.06 billion in value in 2019. It is expected to grow at a compounded rate of 40.1% between 2020 and 2027.
How to Obtain It?
Vast volumes of unstructured alternative data can be extracted from sources like mobile devices, satellite images, websites, etc. This data can then be mined to obtain actionable insights.
A great way to obtain alternative data is by using a web scraping tool to derive the data you require. This is a cost-effective method as you only need to shell out for the software. It can offer you tailored and customized alternative data. The software can do all the work and save you energy and time.
You can also hire a data scientist to assess the large quantities of data and derive insights from it. But this method is expensive, as you may have to pay $100,000 or higher annually as a salary to the data scientist.
Or, you could hire a third-party service that mines alternative data. Simply specify the type of data you need, such as online surfing activity or product reviews, and the company will procure it for you. But this method is also expensive as you would need to pay hefty fees to the third-party provider.
Use Cases of Alternative Data
Now, let’s look at common ways in which businesses use alternative data:
1. Social Listening
You can use alternative data extracted from social networks to analyze customer engagement, trace social and political movements, track product promotions and sales, measure customer satisfaction. In addition to monitoring the impact of your product launches, whether consumer satisfaction is rising or declining, and more.
2. Sentiment Analysis
You can mine social site posts, and news feeds to analyze and measure sentiment. Apply sentiment scoring to determine consumer interest in brands and products, their attitude to popular news feeds investor commentary, and other uses.
3. Price Comparison
You can find out your competitors’ prices and tweak yours in real-time to make your items more appealing and competitive. Thanks to web crawling, you can easily gain pricing data from leading e-commerce platforms. This data can provide you useful insights into your competitors’ revenues that you can use to improve your business and pricing strategies.
4. Improved Customer Support
You can extract online reviews and social media posts of your product’s users and consumers to get their feedback on it. This will tell you how they perceive the quality of your product and their different needs and demands. You can then use the insights to improve your development and customer support quality by delivering what consumers want.
5. Brand Awareness
Alternative data can also give you useful information about how consumers perceive your brand. You can use the feedback to devise and implement strategies to boost your online brand awareness. Listen to customer needs and opinions and tweak your brand accordingly to meet them. By creating brand awareness, you can enhance your products’ appeal and create interest in them among consumers.
Alternative data is an emerging tool for business insights, and companies are finding newer applications for it. But a lot of organizations are still to access and assess alternative data. There is no denying its growing influence, and without doubt, smart use of this type of data can surely deliver a competitive edge to businesses and help them race ahead in the market.