Data has always been at the heart of any successful business but, as we become ever more data-centric, it’s imperative for small businesses to use that data through powerful analytics to better understand, manage and grow their business. But how does the average business owner or user make the most of the wealth of data they have on hand?
- Find the right solution: Analytics solutions aimed at big businesses can be expensive and time consuming, but as technology rapidly develops, software has become more lightweight, powerful and accessible. Smaller and more agile businesses have a range of options available to them – from desktop software for business tasks, software as a service solutions, to free or even freemium tools, such as Open Web Analytics and Qlik Sense Cloud.
- Ask and answer the right questions: It’s easy to drown in data. To be successful, businesses need to identify what they want to ask, and work out where that data sits. Trusted, affordable, ready-to-use data from external sources can add to this and provide more granular insights about customer behavior, purchasing decisions and reaction to marketing campaigns. For a step deeper into the data waters, NoSQL and open source databases offer almost limitless answers to well-formed inquiries.
- Use new insights to build vision: If the aftermath of the gold/blue/white/black dress taught us anything, it’s that the human mind is wired to process information visually. As a result, visual analytics solutions tend to be more user friendly and intuitive. There are several free options that can jumpstart business processes. Google Analytics can jumpstart online engagement by showing which interactions and when touchpoints resonate best with target audiences. Twitter Analytics can help drive engagement into action over social.
By analyzing data in a user-friendly, self-service interface that requires minimal IT involvement, small business owners can work smarter, not harder to build better data-driven customer relationships and deliver more profits for their business.
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