Big data and predictive analysis are some of the most important and fast-growing innovations in technology today. In the current information and connection era with the Internet of Things, there are now more interconnected systems than the world has ever known. And as a result, companies around the world are generating, gathering, and transferring huge amounts of data, resulting in significant changes to the way that business around the world now operate. Data analysis is beneficial for not only large organizations that collect huge data sets, but also smaller businesses that can benefit from unlocking insights to help them make better decisions and boost growth. Many small businesses face a range of unique challenges and can benefit even more from being able to gather and interpret data regarding their customer base along with making more accurate predictions to take the company in the right direction for the future. Here are some of the main ways that data science and analytics can be extremely useful for modern small businesses when it comes to growth and success.
For many small business owners, time is often a pressing issue. It is not uncommon for small business owners to find themselves in a position where they are running almost everything on their own. Starting and running your own small business will often involve wearing several different hats that the same time and having to organize your time between a huge range of different tasks and responsibilities. And for small business owners that do not have the same access to resources as the larger organizations, it can be harder to outsource and delegate certain responsibilities and tasks. Data analysis tools make it easier and faster for business owners to interpret the data that they collect and use it to make decisions that will help them save time in the future.
Today, data analysis is not only available to big businesses with a lot of money to spend on dedicated professionals. In fact, there are lots of reputable and useful data analysis tools that are designed for and tailored to suit small businesses. This includes a range of inexpensive or even free of charge data analysis programs and open-source applications that you can use to start collecting more data and gathering insights from it. Some small business owners find that it is a useful idea to work with a freelance business analyst or data scientist, as this is often more cost-effective compared to hiring a full-time employee as you will only typically pay them for work that needs a more expert look and can use data analysis tools yourself the rest of the time.
Unlock Customer Insights
Data analysis results in actionable insights and intelligence on your company, customers, and competitors. The data that a small business gathers on customers will be filled with information that can be used to better serve them and improve customer satisfaction, ultimately boosting profitability and growth. An online MS data science degree from Baylor University allows you to learn more about how data analytics and data science is used in businesses to find patterns in data and identify customer trends that you can use to make future decisions. No business today can afford to simply guess when it comes to making decisions regarding marketing, sales, and customer service.
For small businesses, one of the biggest benefits of using data analytics is that it provides clearer answers and more context in a range of situations. This can be particularly useful when it comes to problem-solving for a small business or avoiding mistakes that could be very costly in the future. Using data analysis tools can also make it easier for you to find inconsistencies or mistakes that have been made in the past that were not obvious. Noticing and highlighting errors in the input and management of data is a particularly useful function of various data analysis tools. You can also analyze data to find out more about a problem that keeps coming up, why it’s occurring, and what can be done to rectify it.
Before data analysis became such a key tool for businesses today, companies would only be in a position to take action to collect customer insights and performance data after the fact. For example, the company may need to wait until after launching a new product to gather data on how receptive customers are to the product and whether or not it’s selling as well as expected. But today, with business competition higher than ever, and technology advancing at such a rapid rate, this kind of approach is just too risky for small business owners. Data analysis tools allow you to use data in real time and deal with events at the moment, making it easier for you to make more accurate predictions of the outcome in any situation where doing otherwise could be a big risk.
Improve Customer Experiences
Surveys show that today, more than 30% of customers prefer a personal shopping experience when they are looking for products to buy online. But with only around 20% of customers currently reporting that they are satisfied with the levels of personalization that they get when online shopping, e-commerce businesses in particular have got some work to do. Personalization can make the online shopping experience easier and more convenient for customers and has lots of benefits for the business including better customer satisfaction, reputation, and customer loyalty. Data analysis is the main way that personalization can be offered to online customers. By collecting and analyzing data on your customers, you can learn more about them in order to offer them a more personalized experience. For example, Amazon does this by showing customers suggested products based on their past purchases, wish list saves, or items that they have recently browsed.
For small businesses, it’s hard to get far these days without collecting and analyzing data. Data analysis can be used to improve various aspects of a business of any size, and in any industry.