Here’s a simple truth of the 21st century: data changes businesses. Or more accurately, making sense of your data and acting on it changes businesses. If your tendency is to say, “I’m a small business. Data isn’t relevant to me”, you’re missing out on huge opportunities to revolutionise how you conduct your business.
From Fortune 500 enterprises to corner shops, data management and analysis will change how we do business, inside and out.
1. Data as an asset
Data collection isn’t just for the big boys these days. While we read reports about “big data” and it’s growing impact in our daily lives both as business owners and as consumers, it’s easy to get scared by the terminology and to do our best to avoid getting swept up by the hype. However, even small businesses generate meaningful quantities of data nowadays. Through your company’s website, social media presence, payment systems and more, even sole-traders have customer data that can be collected and analysed to offer insights into user experience, web traffic, and other behaviour helpful in business development on many levels. All you need is to develop a strategy to collect, use, and protect it.
If you always feared that data wouldn’t be for your business and fear the fight to catch up, don’t worry: It’s easier than ever for even the smallest of companies to collect data from a wealth of sources at your fingertips, and to make the most of them using platforms like Viur to analyse and make the most of that data.
Your data is an incredibly powerful asset that can help to grow and improve your business.
2. Data enabling organisations
Whether we want it or not, the companies we interact with know a lot about us already, and the depth and accuracy of that information increase month on month, year on year. From car manufacturers working with the insurance industry to monitor our driving habits, to sportswear manufacturers offering free apps that monitor how we exercise and where, along with social media outlets and every smartphone app we use generating better insights into our behaviour and needs, data impacts all our lives already, affecting what advertising we see and through which channels.
The flip side to this is that organisations and companies need to be proactive about their data systems, what they collect, how they collect it, as well as creating and updating privacy policies, and security systems to protect that user data. Most people will allow companies to gather and save their data, but transparency is a must, as is the ability to opt-out.
More than simply assisting to target marketing and advertising, collecting relevant data allows businesses to spot, and even preempt, trends, enabling businesses to make a greater impact on their market. It can help in product and service development, aid spotting gaps in the market, as well as opening new opportunities and allowing companies to understand if certain areas of their business are failing, and why. Based on this data, decisions can be taken to either cut back, shut down, or make plans to strategize and improve these weaker areas.
Your data analysis can assist not only in product development, but when to launch new products and services to market, and how to launch them. Valuable insights can direct you towards more effective marketing and advertising campaigns and placements, especially in a time where social media and internet-focused campaigns are becoming more important and effective.
Spending money and launching new products aren’t the be all and end all of data gathering. There’s much more to it than that!
3. Data improving operations & efficiency
From tracking personnel and employee performance and efficiency to assisting in human resources and hiring, data can play an enormous role in your company’s Human Resources processes. Some organisations now analyse who their employees talk to right down to the tone of voice, while others use sensors to track the movements of their staff, checking their stress levels and general health.
For operations, it can optimise delivery and sales routes, while improving internal operations many different departments allowing you to make the most of your budget while cutting back or redistributing funds in a more effective manner is another advantage.
4. Data improving customer experience
How your organisation sources and analyses data can allow you to improve and fine-tune your customers’ experience and interactions with your company. In the best of all possible worlds, companies will use the data they collect to improve their products and the customer experience.
Recent data from Forbes Insights reveals that 29% of executives currently using data analytics have seen a significant shift in their ability to deliver superior customer experiences, while 42% said they anticipate their use of data analytics to significantly shift their ability to deliver better customer experiences over the next two years.
As society brings more IoT connectables into our lives, from smart thermostats and household stocktaking devices to smartwatches and fitness trackers, the depth of Small Data and insights that allow companies to sell more product, more effectively and with better service grows literally on a daily basis.
Data is moving away from being the domain of your IT department while becoming an ever-evolving, increasingly important weapon in your company’s arsenal, integral to every department in your business.
Don’t get behind, as keeping up to date with your data can change and improve every aspect of how you do business.