There are many ways you can collect data on customers. Sometimes, it is just a matter of them telling you their names and their preferences such as when they select an item on the menu or when they select a hairstyle. The date of their visit may also mean something such as a significant occasion which can repeat itself. Some other times, you may collect their data by requesting it through registration or through after-servicing. But most of the information your customers provide is often placed where you cannot easily access it such as through social media posts, website visit paths or other unstructured data that you may collect such as their invoices and receipts.
This wealth of information is called black data
The term black is used as an analogy to the black box which works but whose internal workings are kept hidden. It just works until it does not. Some businesses stay in business until they do not. And that is repeated regularly. However, this black box is neither locked nor opaque. In fact, it is only covered by the perceived complexity of analyzing the data.
Why should you uncover this box
Small businesses are often launched by entrepreneurs following their guts. The first impression is often right and businesses work. The intuition of managers and owners guarantee that businesses do not miss the mark and manage to provide services and products that are sought by customers.
Though the guts of owners and managers launch the business, the data the business collect serves as the evidence needed to confirm the intuition of entrepreneurs. Your guts started the business, but the data will help you keep it going. The data is only used to either validate, improve or enlarge your views on the business.