Data management is a major factor in companies’ digital transformation. With the increase in the volume of data and in the storage and processing capacity of software, new development opportunities are emerging.
These make it possible to target new clients, secure the loyalty of your current client base and improve the quality of your services!
The Digital Transformation Guide devotes a whole chapter to data management. Although training companies may have fewer means at their disposal, this article will provide you with the keys to protecting your data and implementing an effective data management strategy.
Data are a source of development for training companies
What data should a training company be using?
First, what exactly are ‘data’? In concrete terms, data are all the information collected by a company about its customers or its business.
This may consist in a ‘customer file’ containing your trainees’ contact details or a list of companies with which you work.
It can also include your website connection statistics and the engagement statistics of your Facebook page.
Data consist of basic information that must then be processed. With the arrival of the Internet, more and more data are now available. Not only is it now possible to collect a great deal of information but this can now be stored and used more easily thanks to the Cloud.
Using data gives your business a major competitive advantage. It enables you to recruit new clients as well as secure the loyalty of existing clients , thanks to better follow-up.
Software programs are therefore available to help you compile, store and process your data. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software enables you to keep track of interactions with your clients, suppliers, service providers and prospects and improve your commercial relationships.
For a training company, it is now important to have at least a comprehensive and up-to-date client database.
This may take the form of an Excel file containing all your clients’ contact details or a summary of your business relationship with each of them. You can then use this document to design your business strategy and roll out effective communications.
Using data to grow your training company
So what, in concrete terms, should you do with your data? The first option consists in using them to acquire new clients. In effect, the data you collect are a valuable source of information enabling you to define and reach your target through effective marketing campaigns.
You can use the statistics pertaining to your various online profiles to learn the typical profile of your clients (or trainees): if you have a website, use Google Analytics.
On social media, use the ‘statistics’ tab on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages. You can also analyse your Excel file containing your client database to identify major trends!
Once you have defined your target audience, you can reach out to new clients thanks to various communications channels: sponsored publications on social media, newspaper ads or even brochures sent by post. Use your imagination!
Obviously, having qualified data about your existing clients can prove very useful for securing their loyalty. As such, using a CRM enables you to compile and update your client database.
You can thus identify satisfied clients, send reminders regarding orders pending confirmation and automate time-consuming tasks such as drawing up invoices and sending quotations.
Email marketing software, for example, can help you configure your business emails using your database to market new courses, inform people about special offers or send satisfaction surveys.
Protecting your data: best practices to apply.
Why and how should you protect your online data?
Of course the reason we hear so much about data nowadays is because of the omnipresent issue of data security.
Between the misuse of personal data and the risk of fraud, you need to know how to protect your data and those of your clients! Data theft constitutes a significant threat to your business. In effect, confidential information concerning your clients may be disclosed or misused. This can have a number of legal and financial consequences and seriously harm your brand image.
So should you avoid storing your data online? While large companies have the means to store their data on internal servers for maximum safety, this is not necessarily compatible with the digital transformation strategy of SMEs and training companies.
What is more, storing data yourself does not guarantee their safety! What happens if the hard disk crashes or the premises are broken into? Cloud storage guarantees the accessibility of your data at all times. Further, most business software programs (administrative management, accounting and e-learning) exist in SaaS form, meaning they are accessible via a web browser. In order to function effectively and remain affordable, they need to store your data in the cloud.
There are two important factors to take into account to ensure your data are hosted securely:
- The technical aspect: whatever service provider you use, make sure your data and exchanges between the service and your interface are encrypted. Servers situated in Europe offer the advantage of guaranteeing additional protection thanks to the GDPR.
- A human dimension: most data theft is the result of human error. Take particular care, therefore, to vary your passwords, add special characters and use data security solutions. Don’t write them down on Post-its!
The GDPR protects web users’ personal data.
Implemented in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) makes companies responsible for managing personal data. This means that your data are protected when stored within the European Union. It also means that you, in turn, have certain obligations vis-à-vis your clients. As a training company, there are not many things you need to do in order to comply with the GDPR.
If you decide to store your data online, ensure the software you choose complies with the law.
Data collection must only serve to collect information useful for your company. Also, ensure you do not retain data beyond a certain amount of time. Lastly, be aware that your clients and trainees have the right to access and demand the erasure of their data.
Data are considered to be the new El Dorado of the 21st century: knowing how to manage and use them constitutes a real business development opportunity.
👉 Find the other articles of the digital transformation guide for training organizations:
After working for a startup accelerator helping digital technology projects get off the ground, I then turned my hand to content creation and entered the world of professional training! Nowadays, I am interested in the transformation of the training profession via the digital revolution.