How (and why) to categorize and organize your data

If you’ve ever targeted an email marketing campaign to a specific demographic, assigned a category to your blog post, or chosen a hashtag for your social post, you’ve used data classification. Classification is basically the process of chunking up or organizing your data, into different groups or under different labels, so that you can quickly isolate and bring together all of the things that belong to that group, so that you can do something with that group:

  • monitor it as part of a metric,
  • investigate it and compare it to other groups,
  • work with it, like with targeted marketing campaigns, or
  • plan with it.

In this post, I’ll discuss the problems that arise from unclassified or improperly classified data, and give some pointers on how to create and apply your own classifications.

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Data classification: Why it matters to business strategy

You might have heard about the concept of classification under different names like ‘segmentation,’ ‘categorization,’ or ‘hashtags.’ Classification is basically the process of chunking up or organizing your data into different groups or under different labels so that you can use it to better support your business strategy.

In practice, this enhances your ability to do things like target email marketing to a specific demographic, court different types of non-profit donors, and check on your business pipeline by a particular product or salesperson. How?

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