Data can be found anywhere, in anything! And what is even better is that it is now easier than ever to collect data. When collecting data, there are a few things to consider. There is plenty that can be collected on any given product or topic, and when it comes to business, it is important to know what kind is needed, as there is a risk of collecting unnecessary data, which can be a waste of time and resources.
Data is available to businesses of all sizes, but what is interesting is that while bigger businesses generally have more resources for access to self-generated data, it is smaller companies that can benefit from data the most, as they are much more likely to be able to act on insights that have been gleaned from collected data, and have more flexibility and agility when it comes to changing strategies or tactics based on findings.
With this in mind, this piece will take a look at all of the reasons why data can be extremely useful for a business, and how to utilize it effectively to get great data-driven results.
Data Can Help Businesses Make Better Decisions
One of the best things about gathering data is that it can help demonstrate current trends and predict future ones. This is extremely helpful when it comes to making decisions within the business.
What kinds of data can businesses collect to help them understand how to make better decisions?
- Data about customers, including gender, location, and age
- User habits on the website (i.e how long someone stays on a page, or goes through the sales funnel)
This data can steer businesses in the right direction of potential profit-building decisions when used and analyzed correctly.
Demographic data about customers can help businesses determine which age range and gender are the most interested in a product or service, and if there is any particular city or country that is generating more hits. The business could then look at more targeted marketing toward those areas, helping find potential new customers in a pool of people likely to be interested.
Other ways data can help decision making include improving customer retention and customer satisfaction, as data can inform a business about what customers really enjoy, and do not enjoy so much. There is also the opportunity to re-evaluate marketing campaigns and materials and steer them towards more appropriate goals or materials based on what the data has found.
Tracking social media insights is also a fantastic way to do this, as customers often directly communicate with businesses through social media — and publicly. It is easy to see what might be working and what is not, what complaints or feedback have been given, and if any posts are gaining more traction over others, and why. Using these insights into social media data that is collected can boost profit and marketing efforts tenfold, just by listening to the customers and paying attention to what they engage with, and what they don’t!
Data Can Help Businesses Improve Processes
It is not uncommon for businesses to end up spending their time, resources, and money on varying processes, only to find out they either did not work or did not have the desired effect. It could be that the process was never going to work because it was designed for something that completely missed the mark. Whatever it is, it is safe to say that it is rare if a business comes out completely unscathed when it comes to waste.
So, How Can Data Improve This?
An example of data helping improve a business process would be seeing which marketing campaigns or strategies had the best ‘return on investment’ outcome. Data can show businesses exactly what is working, and what might be a waste of time, which can only enable the bettering of all processes working towards the same goal.
But what does this mean? This means the business is not spending any extra money increasing the advertising spend but is channeling the marketing budget exactly where the best results are to earn more profit! It is a win-win.
The popularity of the use of data in every industry will only grow, so an online MS in data science can be a very popular choice for those wanting to advance their education in the data science sector, and in turn, help compatibility for a much larger scope of roles within many sectors of business!
Data Can Help Businesses Solve Problems
Data can be an incredibly useful tool for solving problems within a business. It is not a stretch to say that the average consumer is now online for a considerable amount of the day, which means with every click they make, they are offering data to a business. That being said, how can businesses use this data to solve problems?
Chatbots are an interesting medium for data collection, which are often now programmed to function 24/7 for simple customer inquiries. This helps a business in two ways. The data gathered from the chatbots over time will show a business the most common queries so they are able to offer a solution effective immediately through a chatbot — or at least an acknowledgment of a problem that can be rectified from a customer service representative.
Using a chatbot to cut out the basic questions (which also completely cuts out the wait time for a customer) frees up customer service representatives to answer questions or solve issues that are outside the capabilities of the chatbot. This is both very time effective for the customer and the business.
Data Helps Businesses Understand Consumers
What business wouldn’t want to understand their consumers? Taking all these previous points into account, the insight that can be received through all this data will really give businesses a look into consumer’s minds to see what they are up to, what they like, what they don’t like, and how this information can ultimately benefit the business.
This combined with business data, such as what is being spent and what is being earnt, means a clear picture can be built as to the success of a business at any given point, regardless of what the success markers are.