Data is an important part of any modern business. This is because data has the power to inform more effective business strategies. Therefore, businesses need to collect, process, and interpret data properly in order to translate that raw data into monetary gain. There is a long and winding road from point A to point B, but there are proven strategies that can guide your way. Here’s what you need to know in order to make the most of your business’s data.
The collection of data takes a number of forms, none more valuable than the others. First and foremost, data gathered from within your own business is the easiest to obtain and the easiest to interpret. The same record keeping that one uses to measure their own finances offers additional insight into what products and services are performing well and which are under performing, for example. This kind of data can also highlight certain trends within your business, as well, such as when certain items are more widely purchased. For a document rich business like an insurance company, proper insurance document management can provide a treasure trove of valuable information that can lead the way in terms of advertising and expansion. The use of security camera footage can also provide insight into the behavior of customers, which can highlight certain benefits or detriments present within the layout of your store, for instance.
Data collection comes not just from within, but also without. Data collection agencies frequently provide businesses with data to use as they see fit, for starters, and this has very recently become a massive and very profitable business in and of itself. This kind of transaction typically provides a business with the browsing data of internet users en masse, which can provide a ton of insight into the market as a whole. However, one can cut out the middle man, so to speak, and use the method of targeted advertising. This method of advertising uses online user data and an algorithm to provide each unique user with the ad that is most likely to be effective.
Furthermore, the trends of the business world at large can be studied in order to determine the most effective strategies that are currently in effect, and a competent data analyst can potentially use that information in order to project future trends ahead of time. This is the process of data analysis, the stage at which otherwise meaningless data points are contextualized into actionable information. As previously mentioned, it’s fairly easy to glean certain valuable information from surface level observation regarding your business itself, but there is more to the story of data analysis.
Experts in the field of data analyst come at a premium, because the skills needed to make the most of data are many and vast. Hiring an expert data analyst is almost always the correct choice for any company that has the budget to do so. While it’s costly to hire such a qualified professional, it’s a cost that pays for itself very quickly. With a quality analyst in your corner, your marketing can be much more effective, which can in turn translate to more sales, for starters.
The implementation of data is perhaps the stage of the data process that is most open to interpretation, as the course a given data set dictates will vary based on a variety of factors that change from one business to the next. One example of how one can use processed data to great effect using sales trends to shift the priorities of sales. For example, one might find that frozen pizzas sell better before and during the weekend than at other times during the week. This can lead to the question of why, and that might lead to the conclusion that these items are popular additions to parties. Therefore, one way to increase sales throughout the rest of the week is to promote it more heavily earlier in the week, and another method is to give the product additional context that is antithetical to partying, in a sense. For instance, the product could be promoted as an easy dinner for a family with consistently busy parents. This association has a direct association with weeknights, and that association can translate to weekday sales, broadening your overall profit margin for that product.
Data is crucial to any business, but only in the right hands. The power of data is not in the numbers themselves but rather in the interpretation and application of the information at hand. With the best data collection and analysis methods available comes profit, and this guide seeks to offer a simple overview of the process in order to inspire best practices.