Why Understanding Data Should Matter To You
You know the saying “scientia potentia est,” right? I bet you do. It’s Latin for “knowledge is power.”
A few years ago, I challenged our team to pick apart our customer data and come up with a better business intelligence and reporting solution to better serve our customers. I wanted greater insight into our customer behavior. Knowledge is power.
My company, Municibid, is an online auctions service for government agencies and schools to sell used items they no longer have a use for. We are a business that is a double-sided marketplace. On one hand, we have our sellers (governments & schools). We are a free service for sellers and the relationship is symbiotic. Sellers provide us with inventory, we find them buyers, and only when a sale occurs do both parties benefit. On the other hand, are our buyers, the bidding public. We are tasked with finding the right buyers to purchase items listed by our sellers.
When initially thinking about what types of metrics are important to us, my focus was solely on the buyer side of our business. After all, the more we understand about our buyers, their purchasing behavior, and where to attract them, the more proficient we become at bringing buyers and sellers together. In the end, we implemented a set of tools that not only painted a clearer picture of our buyers, but enabled us to produce, manipulate, and analyze buyer data on the fly, and in real time.
Sometimes when businesses are looking to reinvent internal processes, tools, and solutions that make them run more efficiently, they stumble upon a product or service offering that can be sold as an additional product line. In creating our metrics platform, we found that the same data we were using to analyze buyer performance might just be something our sellers may be interested in to analyze their very own sales performance. Just like that, Municibid Metrics, an online reporting service was born.
At first, I looked at our reporting tools as a great opportunity to monetize the seller side of our business. Sellers could pay us a fee, perhaps monthly or ad hoc, to help them better understand their buyers and their sales performance. Then it hit me. If “knowledge is power” then why not empower our sellers for free? If the relationships with our sellers are truly symbiotic, then why not share what benefits us with them?
Today, Municibid Metrics, is a powerful, free reporting service that any of our sellers can choose to benefit from. We provide free turnkey and customizable reports to sellers that help them better understand their sales performance. It also helps streamline internal reporting processes that they would have had to tabulate otherwise using their own resources.
For anyone reading this, you may be wondering if providing free reports comes at a cost to us. The answer is yes, but only if you look at it as a cost. At Municibid, we see this free service as an investment in our sellers toward our ongoing promise to being the most effective online auction provider. While we could probably charge for this powerful reporting tool, for us the reward in creating value for our customers is greater than the return on selling them something. It shows that we’re invested in the relationship, not just the revenue.
To learn more about Municibid Metrics and how over 2,500 governments and schools are benefiting from our other features, please visit our information page.
Founder & CEO | Municibid