We live in a world that relies on data, and this includes the cannabis industry. However, not all data is equal.
Here’s a sentence I want you to commit to memory:
Quality data supports quality decisions and delivers quality outcomes.
Got it in your head? Write it down, paste it on your wall, but don’t forget it, because if you’re using bad data to make business decisions, the resulting outcomes of those decisions will be disappointing (or disastrous).
What is Quality Data?
Quality data ticks five critical boxes:
- Accurate: It is correct.
- Indispensable: It is mission critical to the needs and goals of the business.
- Comprehensive: It provides a full picture rather than just bits and pieces.
- Timely: It is not outdated.
- Understandable: It can be extracted in a usable format for interpretation and use.
Think of data as a valuable business asset and devote sufficient budget and resources to collecting it and using it effectively.
The Cost of Bad Data
If the data your business uses is inaccurate, irrelevant, incomplete, outdated, or impossible to understand, then the decisions you make based on that information won’t deliver optimal results – or worse, your decisions could be completely wrong and lead to significant losses.
Research by IBM found that poor decisions made based on bad data cost the U.S. economy approximately $3.1 trillion dollars per year. In addition, Experian found in its research that the bottom line of nearly 90% of all U.S. companies is directly and negatively impacted by bad data.
In simplest terms, low quality information can lead to missed opportunities and big mistakes that affect sales, revenue, brand reputation, and more.
The Causes of Bad Data
Most often, bad data is caused by one or more of the following factors:
- Missing: Information is not included in the database at all.
- Inaccurate: The information is wrong.
- Erroneous: The information was entered into the wrong field.
- Non-conforming: The information hasn’t been normalized based on the processes put in place to standardize it.
- Duplicate: The information appears in multiple records.
- Mistyped: The information was entered into the database incorrectly and includes misspellings and typographical mistakes.
When you’re developing your own repository of data or you’re licensing data from another source in the cannabis industry, it’s essential that the provider has comprehensive procedures in place to improve the quality of the information to the extent possible.
Risks to Your Business if You Use Bad Information
The risks to your business if you use bad data are simply too big to ignore. From losing a sale to a public relations disaster, here are some common problems you could incur if you rely on low quality information to make business decisions:
- Errors in product deliverables
- Misaligned marketing and sales strategies and budgets
- Failure of marketing and sales efforts
- Increased churn rate
- Lost sales and revenue
- Lower customer satisfaction
- Reduced customer loyalty
- Negative publicity
- Distorted reporting metrics
- Decreased productivity
- Reduced consumer confidence
This list is not exhaustive, but it does give you an idea of how far-reaching the effects of relying on bad information can be to your business. Tread carefully and do your due diligence to make sure the source of the data you’re using is providing accurate, indispensable, comprehensive, timely, and understandable information.
The Value of Quality Data
When you have access to quality data, you and your team have confidence that the decisions you make are well-informed and backed by quantifiable evidence. As a result, everyone is more likely to commit to your business strategies, and they’re better positioned to seize opportunities and thwart threats when they present themselves.
The cannabis industry is growing quickly, which makes it one of the most difficult industries to collect reliable information for, but don’t let that discourage you. The trick is to find reliable sources by asking the right questions.
Use the information in this article to help you do your research and find the best cannabis industry data source. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
- Where does your data come from?
- How do you collect your data?
- How often is the data updated?
- What steps do you take to make sure the data is accurate?
- What processes do you have in place to standardize the data, remove duplicates, and fix mistakes?
- Can you describe some of the options for extracting the data so it’s useful and understandable for me and my team?
Finding Quality Cannabis Industry Data to Grow Your Business
There are many data providers in the cannabis industry, but as in all industries, all of those providers don’t offer the same level of quality in the information they collect and deliver to users.
The Cannabiz Media License Database is different because the research team takes multiple steps to collect, verify, and cleanse the data users depend on to make critical business decisions and to grow their cannabis-related companies.
Cannabis Media has a staff of professional researchers, many of whom have advanced degrees, who work with regulators to obtain this information. The researchers then scour multiple sources to add to this information in order to make it more valuable and actionable. Finally, the researchers call license holders to confirm what they found and add valuable market research data that can only be obtained via the telephone.
You can schedule a demo to see the Cannabiz Media License Database in action and learn more about how the team ensures the data is accurate, relevant, complete, current, and understandable for you.
Susan Gunelius, Lead Analyst for Cannabiz Media and author of Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide: 2017 Edition, is also President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, and she is a popular marketing and branding keynote speaker. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.