Data analytics seem like a tough nut to crack, particularly for smaller businesses. The questions on the mind of many small-shop decision-makers are this: Why should you care about data analytics at all? What can they help you do and are they practical for your business?
Data analytics can help businesses of nearly any size. Their purpose is to arm you with better information so you can make solid decisions. They give you an easy way to collect data, keep it current, and organize it in an easy-to-digest way. In some cases, data analytics tools (sometimes called business intelligence tools) are often designed to help with a particular branch of business, say accounting, sales, or marketing. However, some tools bring together data from many systems, so it’s easy to spot more significant trends and analyze mass amounts of data without spending hours building custom reports.
Data analytics tools should always help you answer questions and make decisions about the future. How your business uses data analytics, and of course, which tools you choose, will vary, but here are a few big questions you can answer using the power of data analytics.
How Do I Grow My Business?
Getting bigger isn’t easy, and there are always growing pains. As you consider how you’ll expand, data analytics help you understand business-wise trends and bridge the gap between various systems and work groups. To know how you should allocate resources, it’s wise to understand where pinch points are, which teams or areas of business need extra help, and how products and services are performing. With real-time business intelligence dashboards like those provided by Domo and Tableau, you get an instant snapshot of all the data that matters to you so it’s easier to decide where you should invest in your company’s growth and future.
How Do I Maximize Employee Productivity?
Are employees working to their full potential? Where are they spending their time and on which tasks? Do certain people cause bottlenecks or is it a problem with specific processes? Tools like Microsoft Workplace Analytics can help leaders monitor where employees are spending time and how they’re collaborating. This helps them determine how to distribute resources, how to build teams, and even how to set up more productive office spaces.
How Do I Know if My Marketing is Working?
There are lots of tools that can help you determine whether your marketing is working. Solutions like Hubspot not only give you easy ways to create and execute marketing campaigns, but also offer analytics dashboards that can help you track visitors to your site, see who opened emails, and see which of your campaigns are making the cash register ring. A few other options are Adobe Marketing Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, both of which offer ways to send campaigns and to track all of your efforts.
How Do I Understand My Customers Better?
The solutions we covered in the previous section can offer you insights about how your customers interact with marketing emails and your website, but for a broader view, you need something else. Tools like IBM Customer Engagement focus on understanding your customer’s journey from early interactions to customer service requests. They let you identify problems customers may encounter with your goods and services, help you find ways to solve them and allow you to develop new ways to maximize the value you bring to your clients.
Gleaning insights from data analytics used to require a data scientist, but these days there are dozens of easy-to-use tools for every budget and industry. There’s no reason not to start turning your data into faster, better decisions. By investing in devices like these, you get more agility, a competitive advantage, and an all-around better way to grow a friendly, healthy business.