Data Analytics — from Search to Project and Sales

David Gordon

Dec 10, 2020

By David Gordon

Data analytics. It’s a frequently used term that requires much more than sales information.

You’ve heard that the world is awash in data and that every business needs to collect data, manage data, analyze data, be involved in data analytics, and that predictive analytics and artificial intelligence is integral to the “new sales model” and will enable you to be “more effective.”

It’s “all about data” and, as mentioned in Mark McGready’s “Data is the New Black” article, it’s all in the sales data.

While sales are a determinant, another key element, which potentially is predictive of sales, is understanding marketing and planning data. We’ve all heard the statistics (the data) that people are searching / researching what they want to buy, online, before they engage in a sales discussion or request a quote. This “marketing” data —search analytics.

While search data from a website can be captured (à la Google Analytics and other tools), what if you could obtain analytics on the electrical material being searched, designed into projects and used for construction projects?

This was the topic of a recent conversation with contacts at Trimble who shared some thoughts and shared a preview a month or so ago regarding their vision… and resulting capability.

“Construction professionals are increasingly migrating pre-construction workflows from the physical to the digital world. In particular, contractors are seeing the advantages of estimating digitally, modelling in a 3D environment, and prefabricating off site. With this shift to technology-enabled digital workflows, a trove of actionable data is being created by contractors as they’re performing their work. Trimble is now making this data available through their Construction Analytics platform –– providing contractors, manufacturers, and distributors with visibility into customer decision making. 

The industry is increasingly searching for analytics to help quantify new ways for improving productivity, efficiency, and profitability. According to Global NewsWire’s [IT]Big Data Analytics Industry Report 2020[IT], “By 2020, 90% of business professionals and enterprise analytics say data and analytics are key to their organization’s digital transformation initiatives.” 

Trimble’s position in the electrical industry is to facilitate digital estimation, quoting, modelling and prefabrication workflows with accurate and enriched manufacturer content. This use of real-world manufacturer digital content is enabling contractors to improve the accuracy of their work, particularly when performing activities such as rendering buildings digitally before they break ground. And for manufacturers in particular, Construction Analytics offers a significant opportunity to understand what the majority of customers are doing in their pre-construction workflows –– and which products are resonating the most.

With Construction Analytics, manufacturers will have full visibility into their customers’ plans to purchase their items at earlier stages in the project lifecycle and better understand how to influence their purchasing decisions. 

The opportunity for downstream insights, at whatever level of granularity, is more than most manufacturers have today and can quickly complement input from a manufacturer’s sales organizations and potentially provide a version of “voice of customer” input.

Analytics is integral to more effective marketing and selling. The more insights and data sources, the better the quality of the analytics intelligence… and the more actionable it can become. As the industry changes, greater insights can help drive sales.

Sales data are historical. Marketing data may be aspirational. Construction data may be your pipeline.

David Gordon is President of Channel Marketing Group. Channel Marketing Group develops market share and growth strategies for manufacturers and distributors and develops market research. CMG’s specialty is the electrical industry. He also authors an electrical industry blog, www.electricaltrends.com. Channel Marketing Group does not engage with clients on detailed pricing strategies, however, given that pricing is a critical element of sales, marketing and growth planning, we do get asked about the topic and can share opinions and refer to those who focus on the area as well as share anecdotes. David Gordon can be reached at 919-488-8635 or dgordon@channelmkt.com.

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