Mining the Store

By Terri Roeslmeier

July 11, 2008

Data mining is a new and “HOT” field. So hot that data mining analysts have an average starting salary of $50,727! Simply put, data mining analysts sort through vast amounts of information in data warehouses. So, what’s so hot about that? A lot! Best of all with some of the tools available today, you can do this!

Technology has reached a point that it’s very fast and easy to get information “real-time”. Companies never really ever wanted to wait for information but up until recently getting information was a long and tedious process. Not having what you need when you need it is a real hindrance to normal business processes. Faster is better because generally the world does not wait. Customers want answers and we have to be able to provide them with the answers quickly and easily. The easier companies are to do business with the more business they will keep and get.

The nature of staffing and recruiting is that if you don’t have answers to orders quickly, there is a good chance that the order will be gone. An answer is a candidate that can fill the order to the customer’s satisfaction. If you can’t produce that type of candidate on time, someone else may. The same applies if you have a great candidate. Not being able to produce a work solution for a high quality candidate may mean that some other firm will. It’s not just about speed, it’s about filling requirements.

What about marketing? Are other firms gathering information and using it to get new clients before you can get to them? Are you hearing, well I just…. with X Firm. How much do you know about your prospects? Is there more information you should know?

Current customer profiles and analysis can lead to better decision making and long-term plans to secure client business. It is important to gather information about current clients so that trends can be analyzed and profitability can be assessed. Often times once true analysis is performed, it is discovered that what appeared to be a profitable customer is really not. And those we thought not to be are actually very good customers in every way. Often what we perceive is not truly what is. Data says it all. It’s indisputable.

Data mining is hot because companies are learning that the more information they have to work with the more profitable a company they will be. Everything you have been hearing about such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), business intelligence and data mining is all intertwined together into one great package of opportunity for outgoing businesses that challenge technology to get what they need to be a top producing company.

To be able to sit at your desk, press a few buttons and get information that will help you run the business intelligently based upon immediate information is the most invaluable tool ever available to businesses. You no longer have to guess. It’s all there for you. It could be a quick report you easily made yourself, a simple query you composed or a dashboard that you instantly displayed.

There is a challenge to all of this available opportunity. You can’t mine what you don’t have. In order to use available information for your own marketing and sales, serve customers by providing instant information and use information for monitoring current operations and planning – the information must be there. That’s where staffing software comes in. Every step of your process must be documented from initial marketing and sales, to operations, back office and post customer support and sales analysis/planning. If you use 3 different systems to keep track of information it is unlikely that you can truly data mine. If your people are not putting data in properly or at all, you can’t data mine. If your system does not offer the ability to enter different types of information you can’t data mine. You can only mine what you have. You can only mine what you see.

Data mining hot? You bet. It’s the only way to truly “Mine the Store”.

This article made an appearance in the July/August 2008 issue of staff digest Magazine.

Terri Roeslmeier is President of Automated Business Designs, Inc., software developer of Ultra-Staff staffing software for the staffing and direct hire industry. Ultra-Staff is a staffing software business solution with components for front office, back office and the web. Terri’s email address is or for more information on Ultra-Staff go to