It is ironic that many companies pay for data when they already have a far richer source that they already own.
Of course, it is a moot point as to whether you actually pay to use a search engine. You need look no further than Google’s balance sheet to discover that someone is paying for the cost of developing and hosting that facility. Although that someone is the advertisers, without companies using Google’s search engine, and more important, buying the advertisers products, then a large proportion of their revenue stream would dry up.
You may not buy the products you see advertised, but sufficient users clearly must. But while you may not actually be paying hard cash, what you are giving is your data – who you are, where you are located, what you look at. The search engines sell that data to their advertisers. This is not so the advertisers know about individual users, but so that their advertisements can be displayed to individual users.
And when the individual users look to a search engine to provide market intelligence, they themselves are a contributor to that information. When they utilise an email server provided by a search company, they are sharing all those emails.
But it may be the case that the information for which a company searches is already held within their own communications. The problem is that very few companies do anything with it. Emails are stored privately for individual staff members, and phone calls mostly evaporate.
It has always been a Threads’ feature to allow all forms of digital communications to be shareable and searchable. So if you are searching for communication with say, a particular customer, if some other employee in your company is already talking to that customer, you need to know that without the customer telling you.
That is all well and good if you know what you are searching for. But what you search for is just the tip of your information iceberg. There is a plethora of other information in your company’s communication that you may never thought of searching for, and even if you did, its relevance might not be obvious.
Something as simple as the words that staff use can contain some vital intelligence, when looked at over time. Take the word “Covid”. It is unlikely to have figured in any discussions before 2019, but you don’t need to know specifically who used it to see its occurrence rocket. And we all know that most businesses were significantly affected.
That is just one example. Unlike a search, analytics show you how things are changing, not how they are at one instant in time. More important, they show things that are changing in your company. Once you see the changes happening, you can at least decide if they are significant for your business.
So instead of giving your data away, look at what you can get from it for your company. It’s your data, you have already paid for it so use it.