One of the most heard sentence nowadays is “Data is the new Oil”. Is this oil to be used by large businesses only? The answer will be “No”. Buckle up, friends. Use this oil and crank up your engines of small businesses.
Consider a case. You as a business have a competitor with similar products, customer reach, and resources. How would you be a step ahead? We used to say – “Higher the risk, Higher the rewards”. Change it, folks. It should be – “Smarter the decisions, Higher the rewards”. Here data analytics help you with the smart allocation of your limited resources.
If you want to enter a new market or want to launch a new product/service or just want to enhance customer reach with an existing portfolio for time being, you need information about customers. Many small business owners believe that they don’t have time for data collection and analysis despite knowing its importance. As a result, according to forrester.com, around 70% of business’ data goes unused. But, you are probably sitting on more than enough data required to answer your questions. Marketing reports, Website analytics, service apps on a mobile phone, social media handles are some of the sources of information. Now the question will be – “How to use this data?”
How to use it?
Now, as a small business, it is quite possible that you don’t have a dedicated budget or staff for data analytics. You can simply start with your website, mobile app, and social media handles. Understand what is going on, what everyone saying about your product/service, or about any other business.
Your generation of data is generally a numeric representation of customer behavior and business trends. These numbers are of no use as long as you form a visual form of this data and get an insight to make a decision using it. There is a number of platforms to do this like Splunk, Power BI, Hadoop, Tableau, Google analytics to name a few. Even if you want something simpler and free of cost, you can skip these tools and work on excel skills and google sheets to get some insights from the data. If you visually represent this data (e.g. - number of customers visiting your website, number of sales, customers leaving the website without buying, reason if they stated and feedback of aftersales and so on…) using any of the tool (let it be a paid one or free of cost like excel) and make a decision of using resources will be still better than just throwing darts in the dark.
There is no secret. Make smart and informed decisions and you will win every battle.