If you had a nickel for every time you heard a business person say “if I had known…” well you know the rest. Before the advent of computers and the internet a lot of decisions were made on experience, gut feeling or hunch. If you were lucky it worked out ok and if it didn’t you didn’t make the same decision again even though it could be right for the next set of scenarios.
Today information is available for every imaginable segment of your startup or small business. All you have to do is analyze the information and make your decision based on the results.
How can Data Analytics help you?
If you have a small business or startup you might think data analytics is only reserved for large corporations with national and international reach but it can help businesses of any size. Analytics is just using the information you have gathered and using it the best possible way to develop your business. Understanding analytics can be overwhelming depending on the type of business you are running but the right analysis will help you improve customer service, vendor relationships and numerous aspects of your business.
Asking The Right Questions
You can have all the data in the world about your business but the analysis you get is only as good as the questions you ask. This is as important if not more important than gathering the data. If you don’t have the skills to assess the information from the data hire experts who can do the job.
Some of the questions you should ask include:
- Is the money you are spending in different segments of your company effective?
- Is the use of technology being maximized
- Seasonal impact on your company
- Why did an incident happen the way it did?
You have to ask questions that will answer specific problems to your business and find the best solution for you. It bears repeating, if you can not do the analysis hire someone that can.
Understanding Your Data
Most data analysis is performed to understand customers. This will eventually and hopefully generate higher revenues responsible for steady growth of your business.
Understanding the data about your customers can help you:
- Discover behavioral characteristics
- Identify targets with the highest profits
- Find potential new customer base
- Find out where to place more focus
Customer trends, behaviors and spending habits are always changing and keeping up with this information through new data collection will help you keep your customers and get new ones.
Data analysis will give you insight you never had before and you can use this new ability to find new trends and business opportunities for market penetration you did not consider in the past. These attempts are not based on gut feeling or hunches, the information will give you a clear picture of prospects and new business opportunities.
If you are using old information to get new customers you are just spinning your wheels. The marketing methods used to generate leads five years ago was fantastic at the time but today the world has moved on and you must do the same. Keep all of your information updated because you are only as good as your data. Giving outdated information to your customers, vendors or any other business associate is a sure fire way to lose them.
The analysis of your business is not only to help you achieve higher profit margins but to also understand what you are doing wrong. Eliminating unnecessary and time consuming processes in how your business operates will make your startup a more efficient and stress free environment.
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