The world’s top trading commodity provides a roadmap to success.

There’s a record amount of mining happening around the globe. In the past year alone, geologists have discovered several large oil and natural gas basins in America. With recent discoveries in the Permian Basin of West Texas and in southeastern Ohio, drilling rigs now dot thousands of acres of landscape in Ohio, with thousands more active rigs in the oil rich land of Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, California, and Alaska.

Oil is the world’s top trading commodity. Or is it?

There’s another kind of mining happening that many analysts say has already surpassed the value of mining for oil. This exploration isn’t happening in the oil fields; it’s taking place in our homes, offices, stores, movie theaters—pretty much everywhere we are. It’s exploration that covers most every region of the world and is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

This worldwide exploration is the mining of information— specifically, your information.

It’s called data mining and it’s changing the way business is done.

Compiling numbers on how many customers bought a specific book and what store they bought it from isn’t data mining.

da·ta min·ing: the practice of examining large databases in order to generate new information.

Data that has the power to increase sales and turn an industry around requires layers of information and complicated algorithms that break down who the customers are; where they live; their income, age, and marital status; whether they attend church, spend time on Facebook or mainly Instagram; if they work out; what they drive; where they eat; and on and on. This data is collected from resources already in place and all of it is relevant because of the total picture it provides of the customer. “Tacos vs. hamburgers” isn’t relevant data for a faith-based retailer—or is it?

Ethical data mining equips businesses with a road map to success by providing information so specific companies know exactly who their customer is, what they want, and how to build engagement for customer loyalty. This data is so specific it helps the nation’s largest car manufacturer create a truck model for its largest customer base, the “King Ranch”—or a family-owned makeup company concentrate its advertising dollars of “Boom Color” on Facebook videos placed with specific groups because data shows that’s the most effective way to reach their audience. Both companies use data for marketing and even product development—and these are just two examples of companies that are claiming market shares because of their commitment to data.

Some analysts say the greatest predictor of which business will succeed and who will close their doors lies in who uses mined data most effectively—not if data is used, but how well it’s used.

It’s no longer a guessing game or a business plan of wait and see. Successful companies are paying big money to the nation’s leading data companies to help ensure their success. And it’s working.

One of the leading data companies in the nation who produces data for major airlines, manufacturers, state travel bureaus, political candidates, and others now has a strategic partnership with Edward Roush, chairman of The Roush Foundation. Together, they’re working on a data rollout unlike anything the faith-based industry has ever seen. Specific customized examples will be given at UNITE 2018, along with informative talks from data industry experts.

The partnership isn’t a take-home book of data for attendees; it’s a road map to success, with the marketing tools and products to help make the revival of revenue happen for faith-based retailers.

CBA will fill in all the details for UNITE attendees in the days ahead.

Data is the new frontier of exploration. It’s the “secret sauce” of business success, and it’s one of the many value-adds happening for retailer members.