Big Data Is Not So Big: Dun & Bradstreet Empowers Data-Driven Small Business

Campaign/FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored product review. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. Dun & Bradstreet has hired me as an influencer to help them raise awareness about their new Business Solutions Insights Microsoft Office 365 partnership with Ingram Micro Cloud. I am not formally employed by Dun & Bradstreet. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Image courtesy of www.dnb.com.

Big data has long been a debilitating term in the business world.

When it comes to business, we all would prefer to make better, more informed decisions. In order to achieve this, we have to collectively become comfortable with the notion of being data-driven. Making data-driven decisions has little to do with how “big” your data is, but rather how you make the data that you collect every day through transactions, interactions and prospecting work for you.

For many companies – be they Fortune 500 or small businesses – this data and information is often unstructured. This information both lives and dies in different systems, processes, and in some cases, people within organizations.

The key to being able to use this information to the advantage of the business is to aggregate all of your business insights simply in one place for anyone in the organization to use.

I had a unique opportunity to chat with my friends at Dun & Bradstreet® to discuss their recent participation at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit held last week in Phoenix, Arizona. I also had the opportunity to get an exclusive demo of their new Business Solutions Tool for Office 365 available via the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace®.

Image courtesy of IngramMicro.com.

 Big data is not so big – when you break it down.

One of the recurring questions about big data is: What makes it so complex? In speaking  with Karlos Palmer, VP of Global Alliances and Partnership Strategies and Nakul Kapoor,  Senior Director of Partner Enablement at Dun & Bradstreet, they break down the  complexity of data into what they call the four Vs of big data:

  • Volume – The scale of data. This is how much data you have stored and living across your business.
  • Variety – The many different forms of data. From demographic information to customer profiles, the range of data you collect is both useful and innumerable.
  • Velocity– The analysis of streaming data. With the connectivity of things growing every day, there is a constant flow of data streaming at all times. Dun & Bradstreet® reported at last week’s Ingram Micro Cloud Summit that there are as many as 18.9 billion network connections (2.5 connections per every person on earth).
  • Veracity– The uncertainty of data. Unreliable data is costly to your business. It has been reported that poor data costs the U.S. Economy around $3.1 trillion per year. Somewhere along the data continuum, there has to be a cleansing of your data to be able to use it effectively.

The businesses that have yet to implement an operational call-to-action for data struggle in one of more of these areas.

As a small business owner, I understand the value of making decisions rooted in good data. What prevents me from exploring my options is my concern for how much it will cost me to implement a solution and the ease of use.

After seeing the demo of Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Solutions Add-in for Office 365, I am excited about the possibilities this product holds for small to mid-size businesses to make more insightful, data-inspired decisions.

Less is truly more.

Think about how you have traditionally created reports in Microsoft Excel® and imagine even the smallest sets of data reconciled with Dun & Bradstreet’s insights – only to give you more valuable information than what you started with.

Here’s how the Dun &Bradstreet Business Solutions Tool works:

  • Dun & Bradstreet has accumulated a collection of data around sales, marketing, supply chain and credit risk that spans its 175-year old history.
  • They have created an add-in in the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace that can be used with your Microsoft Office 365.
  • Through your normal reporting in Excel, you can take something as simple as a spreadsheet with name, email, and address – and have Dun & Bradstreet run your information against its over 30,000 sources.
  • What you get depends on which of the nine modules you use across sales, marketing, supply chain and their advanced data tools are insights like:

– Understand Your Customers™ module – this module allows you to bring in a minimal amount of data points and in return gives you insights on your customer’s history, market behavior, etc.

– Get Prospects List™ module- this module allows you to search your customer list and get a targeted view of customers you should be meeting with when you go on the road for meetings and conferences, etc.

  • Your data is now reliable because it is driven by Dun & Bradstreet’s D-U-N-S Number® that connects demographic information with just about everything a single business does over the lifetime of their business (credit standing, sales and marketing, industry, years in business, business hierarchies, etc.).
  • All of the segmentation and data cleansing is done for you. Every record comes back with a rating for Dun & Bradstreet’s success in matching your record with their sources.

How much will it cost you?

This is my favorite part. The Dun & Bradstreet Business Solutions add-in is available to us with a minimum investment of $25.00 per month (note: The price may increase if you have to purchase the Microsoft Office 365 suite as well).  However, if you are already a Microsoft Office 365 customer, you can simply download this free add-in and enable it by depositing increments of $25.00 into your Dun & Bradstreet Business Solutions account.

Every time you run a module, the product will draw from your existing balance. Most queries charge $0.75 per record or per list of 25 records.

How can you get it?

Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Solutions Insights for Office 365 can be purchased in the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace by clicking here. You can also purchase it through any Ingram Micro Cloud reseller.

Enterprise quality solutions are now available for SMBs. This is an exciting step in all of us becoming data-driven inspired business owners.

To read the press release regarding Dun & Bradstreet’s partnership with Microsoft Office 365 and Ingram Micro Cloud click here.

 

 

About That Thing Big Data…Let’s Reframe Our Advice

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

For at least the past three years, there has been no shortage of articles written about the urgency of businesses and HR adopting a data mindset. Business analysts and experts on this subject have tried everything from threatening the existence of data-ignorant companies to making innumerable cases for why it should be a part of your company fabric. Admittedly, data is important. We cannot just go about our days wishfully doing business without the context behind what is really driving and affecting our operations. When you ask for that new system  that costs $500,000 you can’t just tell your boss you need the money- you need to provide a business case for how this new system will exponentially improve an operational segment and/or solve a business problem. The only way I have seen these requests approved is with data.

Now notice I simply refer to “data” and I don’t try to make it out to be this monstrosity that lies far and beyond the average person’s comprehension. My friends this is where analysts and big thinkers are losing the masses.

When we talk about data, data is data to the average practitioner. Moreover, most companies have barely scratched the surface of utilizing simple data to make business decisions- that it is hard for them to comprehend anything bigger. According to Bersin by Deloitte’s Talent Analytics Maturity Model– over 50% of companies are still working at the Reactive- Operational Reporting Level.

Why is the message “buy into the idea of big data” rather than a focus on helping the everyday practitioner or CEO utilize the data they have to make the decisions they need to make? I suppose I’m taking money out of someone’s pocket by saying this, but I don’t get why this concept can’t be explained simply.

Bigger isn’t always better… but the perception of it is scarier.

One of my connections on Twitter mentioned last week that she was both “ fascinated/concerned with big data”for 2015. To which I replied: “big data is a focus on data points that helps us operate in business more efficiently.” My response got me thinking further: shouldn’t all data achieve that result? All data isn’t good, relevant, or useful. Big data will not solve all of our problems, if we don’t first reframe our thinking about the purpose and use of data in business.

To that end, here are some simple thoughts that can assist you with using data in your organization:

  • Start simple. What do you want to know about your business that data can shed light on? Start here and start to build out the narrative with data.
  • Find purpose. What is the reason this data is important to your business? How will it help you modify or change what you do currently? If you don’t have a specific, actionable purpose for this data- why bother? The data should at a minimum serve as an operational baseline, but it can also be used to identify issues and opportunities.
  • Train your people to extract, synthesize, analyze and sensibly utilize data for the optimization of your business. I remember being asked ad nauseum for “Time-To-Fill” reports for my positions at a former employer. Leadership was convinced that aged requisitions over 60 days meant a recruiter was not efficient. They would use these reports to chastise recruiters that weren’t filling jobs within 30 days. While efficiency could have been a contributing factor to this metric, the truth was there were many other variables causing requisitions to age over 60 days (i.e. high requisition volume, hiring manager delays etc.). I provide this short anecdote to show you how a single piece of data was misused based on lack of clarity around its purpose and the inability of leadership to sensibly use the data.

One of the most important things HR can do this year is to become more data savvy.However, take the pressure off yourself of having to be a certified expert in big data. Instead, focus on piecing together the narratives that are most important to your business that way you can tackle the “bigger” and more complex scenarios later.

 

 

“I am Revolutionizing HR”- Social Data and The Entelo Advantage

 

 

 

 

 

Only in the last few years has the amount of social data begun to scale, allowing data-driven individuals to begin to search for hiring trends. Within this social data, there are strong indicators of when a top performer is about to “come to market,” or pursue their next career opportunity. As a result, it’ll be the job of tomorrow’s recruiter to figure out how to leverage big data and predictive analytics to find the right candidates when they aren’t yet actively looking.

 

The majority of recruiters lack the time to gather all public data on each of these professionals. They lack the ability to run multivariate regressions needed to identify the one in 200,000 professionals who are both qualified for and open to a new opportunity. These recruiters will need a tool to do these things for them. Until now, no one’s done a good job of building one.

 

That’s why we’ve built Entelo. It takes the average recruiter a half-hour to manually collect all available information on just one candidate. Entelo does all this work for you, providing the most comprehensive view of talent available and saving you from hours of research. Entelo Search includes rich profiles of over 30 million candidates, each filled with data from social sites such as Github, Dribbble, Quora, Twitter, and more.

 

Entelo also uses this wealth of data to help recruiters identify those candidates who are about to change jobs, using our first-of-its-kind More Likely To Move™ filter. Our proprietary algorithm analyzes over 70 variables indicative of upcoming career changes to tell you the right candidate to speak with at the right time. We track everything from layoff announcements and M&A activity to length of time at current company and social profile activity. When a candidate is flagged as More Likely To Move™, they have a 30% likelihood of changing jobs in the next 90 days.

 

We feel we’ve only scratched the surface of what this data can do to help HR professionals build great teams. We launched Entelo Diversity in April, which helps you find candidates whose social profiles indicate a high probability of meeting specific gender, race or military experience requirements. It’s our hope that this latest element of our algorithm will help companies of all sizes reap the benefits of building strong, diverse teams. Studies show that a more diverse workforce is more creative, more productive and less likely to turn over.

 

We’d love to show you and your organization how Entelo can help you hit your hiring goals and build a great team. For your free demo of the Entelo platform, visit www.entelo.com/demo.

 

Author Biography

Kyle Paice runs the Entelo Marketing Team. Previously, he was the Head of Marketing for RentJuice, a real estate software company that was acquired by Zillow. Before RentJuice, Kyle built inbound marketing software as a Product Manager at HubSpot, and consulted to investment banks and other financial services institutions with Deloitte. He has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Boston College.

 

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