Embrace Big Data
Big data isn’t just about excessive amounts of information. It’s an opportunity to reshape the way you manage your business and start making smarter decisions. No one is denying that it’s not easy to cope with tons of data sets, especially if you struggle to make sense of them.
Nevertheless, fully integrating data analytics into your business model is an effort worth the hassle. If you might have outperformed your competitors before by having better connections and a sense of intuition, now it’s time to let technology bring you even more fruitful results.
There are three kinds of data that create big data:
- Transactional data (when and what your customer bought)
- Machine-to-machine data (devices that people use in everyday life)
- Human interaction data (social media, web searches, email marketing campaigns)
Your product might be of a very high quality, your customer service can be outstanding, and your marketing operations might seem to be on point. But what if we told you that big data can help you improve these business segments and higher your success score even more?
The Truth Is in the Numbers
It is by all means very important to know your numbers. However, it’s even more essential to be able to collect data about your clients and business, analyze it and use it properly. If you want to stay ahead in your industry, learning and investing in data should be your number one priority.
Did you know that according to the market research firm The SMB Group only 18% of small businesses apply business intelligence and analytical solutions? The thing is that most of the small business owners simply don’t believe in the power of information. Apart from that they also tend to think that only prosperous enterprises can allow themselves to take advantage of data analytics. If you’re one of them, it’s time to change the perception of the business landscape and let big data into your life.
Want to know how to better approach your customers? Gather information about their habits and frequency of using your service/product. Want to advance the quality of your product? Analyze user feedback. Want to draw more attention to your brand? Learn what keeps your existing customers and what can help you enhance their experience and share it. We can keep on going, but the main point here is that big data is an antidote to most challenges your business might be facing right now.
For example, one of the Singaporean startups even uses data to help other companies know what their employees really want. They analyze real-time employee feedback which helps them keep the staff engaged and motivated. If they can do it, you can too! Data is king, so make it serve you well.
5 Benefits of Data for Your Business
- A chance to explore the DNA of your business and make smarter decisions.
- Ability to deliver quality and customized content to your customers.
- Understanding of what drags your business down and how to get rid of those obstacles.
- Possibility to get to know your customers better and achieve higher customer satisfaction rates.
- Ability to make accurate predictions to avoid wasting resources.
Best Tools to Collect Data
Define your problems and type of information that can solve them. Set standards and start collecting data. Firstly, create a strategy for how exactly you plan to collect it. Then map out goals for how you will use that information to skyrocket your company.
Here are a few data collection tools that can help you advance your business:
- Google Analytics lets you measure sales and conversions by providing detailed information about how visitors arrived on your website, how much time they spent on it and how you can drive new traffic.
- SAS is a leader in AI business analytics software that provides you with helpful insights about your business and helps you make better-informed decisions. SAS’s vision is laconic and clear: “To transform a world of data into a world of intelligence”.
- Kissmetrics enables you to increase your marketing ROI. Explore your customers’ behavior, create customized email campaigns and measure their impact with the help of this platform.
- Qualtrics is a perfect choice for businesses that don’t have enough data to work with. This survey software lets you conduct various researches and gain valuable data from your customers.
- Canopy Labs is a customer analytics platform that lets you not only collect data but also make future predictions. It combines information about sales trends and predictive customer behavioral models to help you craft better marketing campaigns.
5 Steps to Data-Driven Decisions
As they say, you never know unless you try. Knowing how to grow your business is one of the most valuable skills in the market right now. Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, being able to execute data-driven decisions is one of the most important assets you can possess.
If you haven’t shifted towards making information-based decisions yet, we have prepared five simple steps to get you started:
- Know your weaknesses. Identify what aspects of your business are suffering and how you can use data analytics to help you improve them.
- Know your data. Having tons of information has no value until you start understanding it. Once you learn how to work with data and choose what’s the most useful, you can easily use it to strengthen your business.
- Research. Choose the most optimal data collection technology for your business. Thankfully, it won’t be too hard since there’s an abundance of tools available in various price ranges (even free ones).
- How about the cloud? If you have a very limited budget, putting analytics in the cloud might be a perfect solution for you. Plus, it doesn’t require a lot of infrastructures.
- Don’t stop. We’re not the ones to tell you that technology is evolving and so should your business. Don’t be afraid to search for answers to your questions in IT discussion forums, apply new strategies and experiment.
Big data is for everyone, so let’s bust the myth that it’s only for big businesses. As the owner of any small business, you have the same opportunities to collect information and analyze it. Don’t let the image of endless data stream scare you. All you have to do is set your goals, identify challenges and choose proper data mining tools. Then you can focus on using data analysis to enhance the foundational experiences of your business such as brand, product, customer and employee experience. We live in a world which will very soon become dependent on data-driven decisions, and you shouldn’t waste a moment learning how to make them.
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