Why your business data is worth more than oil

Gathering data can help you better understand your customers and the best part is that this isn’t a task that is difficult to complete. Even small businesses, who typically have less self-generated data, are able to make full use of data thanks to the huge amount available online.

Why is data important?

“While the average small business has less self-generated data than big players… this doesn’t mean big data is off limits. In fact, in many ways, big data is more suited to small businesses, because they’re generally more agile and able to act more quickly on data-driven insights.”

- Business consultant Bernard Marr.

49% of Forbes survey respondents believe that analytics help them make better decisions, 16% say it better enables key strategic initiatives, and 10% say it helps them improve relations with customers and partners.

Data can help you make better decisions

All businesses with a website, social media page, and able to collect payments can collect data about customers and learn about their habits and demographics etc. You can learn a lot from this data.

Having data available to back up your point will help support you in discussions and can help change minds when it comes to making key marketing decisions. You can use the data to help you compete with the larger businesses in your industry/sector.

Data gathering can help you make key decisions about the following:

- Identifying new customers

- Increasing your customer retention rate

- Improving your customer service interactions

- More targeted marketing routes

- Knowing what works best on social media

- Forecasting sales trends moving forward

Data can, in summary, help decision makers make choices that improve the business.

Data is a problem solver

Reviewing data can help you identify why you are experiencing a slow sales period or why your marketing campaign is not generating you the leads/sales that you expected. The data can help you uncover issues that you didn’t know existed so that you can have a better understanding of the business as a whole.

The best-run companies are data-driven, and this skill sets businesses apart from their competition.”

- Tomasz Tunguz, former product manager for Google's social media monetisation team.

You might actually already have the answers to many of the problems that you are facing as a business without even being aware of it. The data you already have access to is crazily powerful but so many people are unaware of how much of an impact properly harnessing it can have on your business.

The bigger issue is that many people just don't know here to start when it comes to interrogating the data. There are so many great bits of software out there while we also have resources available to help you navigate the world of data utilisation.

Data helps you understand your performance

A great example of how understanding data can help your business is by comparing it to how successful the implementation of data analysis has been in sport, and football in particular.

Premier League team Brentford FC have been owned for a decade by data geek Matthew Benham and follow the core principles of Billy Bearne’s Moneyball method. The method, in short, uses data to identify players who have been undervalued by their current teams despite having stats that would otherwise see them excel for another team

Brentford used this approach to shoot up the divisions and this has been enabled by their smart, data driven recruitment policy. Players such as Watkins, Benrahma, Maupay, Mepham, and Konsa were sold in the last 3 years for an approximate £95m despite only costing the club around £12.5m. This highlights the value in data and how you can use to benefit your business.

In a sales setting, data gathering can help you assess your team and identify who is preforming strongest. You might, for example, see that your star salesperson is actually closing a smaller proportion of leads than their colleague is receiving less leads but is doing better in comparison. This can then allow you to make decisions that will help address this disparity.

Data can help you streamline processes

Having access to data can save you time and money because it can streamline tasks that would otherwise take a team member much longer to complete. Nobody likes waste - this saved time can be used on something more productive and beneficial for the business moving forward.

Many businesses spend money on advertising campaigns but if you don’t have the right data at your disposal, tis can be a cash vacuum. With data you can focus your advertising and get the best ROI, as well as find out why some campaigns are underperforming.

Data can help you understand your customers better

Data is there to help you better know who your customers actually are and what they expect from you and your business. It can help you learn whether they like your products, if your marketing is effective, how much you are earning from each sale, and how much your customers are willing to spend on products.

Predict exactly what customers want before they ask for it

Being able to use pre-existing data to predict shopping trends for future customers is a great way to stay ahead of the curve and provide added convenience. By looking at location, commonly visited websites, and online interactions you can tailor their experience in order to maximise their satisfaction and help ensure that they return again in the future.

Amazon’s recommended product feature is a great example. They are able to use the data to look at what products are usually bought in the same transaction, as well as what people with similar customer profiles usually look to buy. This makes the whole shopping experience a lot more streamlined.

Get customers excited about their own data

People love to see the data – Nike Run is the perfect example. In a world where we can see and control everything, we like to see exactly how we are performing because it puts us in the driving seat.

By letting customers see the data, like how Instagram lets you see your own analytics, you are providing customers with an added service that you have anyway, meaning that it costs you little to nothing but can go a long way.

Improve customer relations

Interactions between the customer and the business are a lot easier when the customer has access to the data they are discussing. Gone are the days of having to listen to a customer service operator telling the customer information they don’t understand and without any context. Providing your service staff with the relevant data that can resolve a query much quicker will lead to greater customer service satisfaction because it makes the whole process a lot easier.

While some people are concerned about companies gathering their data, if they can see their data being put into action in a way which benefits them, they will be a lot more forgiving and willing to give it up moving forward. Make sure to explain how the data gathering will benefit them and explain what they will receive in return.

Identify potential customer issues and resolve them

Using data can help you identify issues that customers are having that you would have otherwise been unaware of. By using website analytics, for example, you might see that the checkout process is where you are losing a lot of business where people with items ready to buy are abandoning their cards because of costs that were not listed prior.

You can use this analytics data to make sure to advertise this earlier or find ways to absorb some of the costs into the listing price.

Are you looking to use your data and take your business to the next level? If you want to have a chat about it give us a call and set up a free no-cost consultation.

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