How companies can use data to boost their business
Big data is the buzzword in business circles – and with good reason. Since the introduction of IT-driven business systems, the opportunities for businesses to collect data have expanded dramatically.
This has had a major impact on business and highlights how powerful data tools are when used correctly. Data allows companies of all shapes and sizes to boost their operations in several ways, which ultimately translates to larger profits and a more streamlined operation. Let us take a closer look at exactly how data can help business to boost productivity.
Data helps businesses to understand their customers better
Big data makes it possible for businesses to get a clearer picture of their customers’ habits and preferences. By using this information responsibly, a business can offer customers exactly what they need, when they need it. This makes it easier for companies to convert leads into sales and keep customers happy at the same time.
Data can also be used by businesses to improve their research and development processes. This enables them to develop products and services which better meet the needs of customers. By using data to analyse the needs of customers and by developing products that consumers are actively looking for, businesses can see a significant increase to their bottom line.
How much? One study revealed that even a marginal increase of 5% to customer retention can yield as much as 25% increases in profit. The secret sauce to this recipe is the smart use of big data analytics, using metrics such as purchase trends and histories amongst target audiences, for instance.
Data analysis allows businesses to identify potential problems quicker, which minimises the possibility of customer dissatisfaction going undetected. As can be seen from these examples, data plays a vital role in every interaction that a business has with its customers.
Data can be helped to streamline and optimise business processes
Data analysis not only helps businesses to sell more products to customers, it also helps when it comes to the optimisation of processes. This is especially useful for businesses that manufacture products because it allows them to identify areas in the manufacturing process that can be fine-tuned. The result of this is savings in time and money.
Data allows businesses to analyse every aspect of their operations with a fine-tooth comb so that any potential problems can be identified. Modern data analysis techniques allow businesses to extract loads of useful data simply by monitoring day to day activities. The optimisation that comes because of data analysis and problem identification can lead to significant savings for businesses.
Data makes it easier to make decisions faster
By analysing data, companies can make complicated decisions quicker and with better results. Data gives every business a unique insight into every activity that they undertake, making it possible to identify areas that need changes and react to them quickly.
For example, data-driven analytics has been shown by a Forbes study to demonstrably make decision-making faster, as well as a host of other marginal benefits to businesses such as improved optimisation of customer experiences, improved intra-channel consistency, greater context to customer interactions, and much more. Nevertheless, many businesses continue to face challenges related to data analytics worthy of exploration.
The results of changes can also be analysed quickly so companies can verify if the changes have had the required effect. Software, like CRM suites, allows businesses to view the results of every activity in real-time so that decisions that require immediate attention can be made without needing to wait for data to be gathered. This gives every business a competitive edge.
Working with data
Because data is such a powerful tool, several countries and territories have implemented rules and laws to protect consumer data from unauthorised use. Laws like the European GDPR make it clear to businesses that collect data that they should use data only for the purpose stated.
These laws also regulate the procedures related to the destruction of consumer data and emphasise the importance of proper destruction of a customer’s data when it is no longer needed. Businesses that do not follow these strict procedures can be fined heavily which can lead to financial ruin and permanent reputational damage.
It is therefore important for every business to make sure that they have responsible data management policies in place and that customer data is never misused in any way.
No business can afford to ignore big data
Big data is present in one way or another in almost every activity that a business undertakes and it is important for businesses to do everything that they can to benefit maximally from the advantages that big data offers. Data volumes are set to increase in the future and every business that wishes to remain competitive will have to look at the ways in which it uses big data to interact with customers, suppliers and employees.
Simply put, no business is competitive if it ignores the benefits that big data offers and there are too many advantages to ignore when it comes to using big data to boost a business’s performance.
This article was written by Eloise Tobler of Wisetek. Eloise is a Data Destruction specialist and regularly advises businesses on data strategy.
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng