There’s data in almost everything. It’s the core for AI, it’s designing the cities of our future, how we eat, shop, and commute. It’s revolutionising business and society so much that it’s coined the Second Industrial Revolution. The shift towards data-driven industry represents a whopping $10-20 trillion global GDP impact by 2025.

By 2020, the digital universe will reach 44 zetabytes, that’s 44 sextiliion bytes. See… data can be sexy!

The point is, data is important. In the wise words of W. Edwards Deming, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion”. So, how can businesses leverage existing organisational data and insights to prove success of communication campaigns?

Last week I attended a PRIA talk on the significance of data and how to effectively measure the success of PR. I found a lot of what I learnt can be applied to any business campaign, and no matter what you are measuring, it’s important to have a solid framework in place.

There’s a few tactics when it comes to measurement to frame your consideration. These tips are a good place to start.

1.Measure reach and awareness

This is about what target audience you have been able to effectively reach and the methods of communication. Think; website traffic, engagement, reach, impressions, leads generated and share of voice.

2.Measure comprehension

What new things have you told your audience or helped them understand through your communications? How has your audience engaged with the post and what has been their response? Think; social media sentiment, consumption (time on site, pages viewed), credibility of messages, recollection and recognition.

3.Measure attitudes and behaviours

What have you made your audience believe or feel? What has been their action after interacting with your communications? Think; user recommendations, customer satisfaction, purchase intent, image change and perception change.

4.Measure business metrics

What value has your campaign added to the business? What business goals has it helped achieve? Think; revenue, brand value, reputation value, market share and employee retention.

These are broad brushstrokes, yes. But measurement is not one size fits all, and between these four elements you’ll have the data to prove most campaign success, enabling key decision makers to see the value of communication strategies in any business.