How Open-Source Data Helps Companies Get the Bigger Picture

How Open-Source Data Helps Companies Get the Bigger Picture by CMD

Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Recently, a CMD client in the utilities sector mentioned that weather may influence the traffic to their website. Intrigued by this possibility, CMD explored using data from outside sources to see how weather might impact website traffic.

It turns out weather does impact this client’s site traffic, and taking it a step further, using open-source data to understand how this relationship works allowed us to optimize various media spends based on predicted weather. Using open-source data in similar ways across different business and web properties has allowed us to explore a new realm of data-driven insight and marketing optimization.

Three trends are driving companies to use more data from different sources:

  • Competitive advantage from analytics continues to grow. More managers are reporting their companies are using analytics to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Analytics is driving customer engagement. Companies that are more mature in their use of analytics are seeing a marked advantage in their customer relationships.
  • Analytically mature companies use more data sources to engage customers. Many companies are already making use of data from customers, vendors, regulators and competitors. They are more likely to use a variety of data sources, like open-source data, to engage their customers.

Companies can be influenced by external factors like stock prices, census data or weather. This data can often be freely acquired from external sources and third parties, and visualized and analyzed alongside first-party social, web and advertising data. This open-source data augments owned data to drive deeper, more useful analysis.

Open-source data is provided by governments, universities, nonprofits and other organizations — usually in a format that can be imported into an owned database or Excel workbook. Companies can use this data to get the bigger picture of what is happening in the world. Correlations can be inferred from comparing outside data with measures such as site visits, calls made or purchases.

For our utility client, CMD searched for available weather data. We found open-source data from OpenWeatherMap. This site provides free data on current weather and five-day forecasts for almost any location. This data is being used to explore correlation between temperature, site visits and on-site behavior. This insight can then be leveraged to automatically optimize media spend based on predicted weather.

For another client, census data was used for a regional bank to provide insights on branch locations and campaigns. This demographic information allowed us to better understand how age, income or geographic dispersion factored into campaign results.

By using the latest tools, your marketing data can increase key audience metrics and help generate the best value for your campaign dollar. CMD can help you augment and leverage your data to provide greater insights into your markets, customers and reach. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.