Data is everywhere. It’s more than any business could ever process. It’s customer reviews, social media analytics, purchase history, page visits, productivity, and more.
So forget about the overwhelming enormity of it for a minute. Instead, get hyper-focused on how they can actually use that data now to transform your business in real and tangible way.
Here are 5 great places to start.
1. Business Intelligence, Not Just Data
It’s easy for business leaders to spread themselves too thin, reducing their effectiveness — especially when it comes to data analytics.
Given just how much data is out there, you’ll need to focus your efforts to see the greatest return on investment. Business intelligence is more than just collecting a lot of data.
It uses technology to narrow your focus to what’s important and helps you get a comprehensive view of performance. Harness an overwhelming amount of data quickly and efficiently so that it becomes more useful. Make more data-driven decisions because you always have up-to-date and useable information.
For example, simple data collection can tell you how much revenue you generated in the third quarter. But business intelligence leverages the power of technology to analyze many data points. It helps you understand:
- Why revenues rose/fell
- Where they’re coming from
- What you’re doing to affect them
- How you can consistently repeat the desired result
- How you can cut costs while doing it
Business intelligence data is not acquired through a specific type of tool. Rather, it’s a feature to look for in a great data analytics platform across industries and departments. Don’t just look for the tool that collects the most data. You can always collect more data.
Rather, choose analytics tools that present data to you in a useful way.
2. Better Customer Targeting
For most businesses, somewhere around 50-75% of the target customers’ journey happens online. That’s great for your business.
You can track most of what customers do online, within reason.
Don’t be a stalker.
You can’t see everything. But you can use what you can to better understand who your ideal customers are.
- What drives their decision-making?
- How do they find you?
- What do they need from you?
- How do they respond to your efforts?
- What keeps them coming back?
Knowledge is power. Now, take what you learned to influence what they do.
The real power is in collecting first-party data through your own customer relationship management software (CRM) such as HubSpot or Salesforce.
3. Cutting Costs Through Efficiency
Data analytics can help you streamline operations in every department. Identify where you’re wasting money. Then use that same data to narrow down the cause and start applying strategies to eliminate that waste.
Not only is this good for business. Employees and customers suffer in inefficient businesses. Businesses that overlook ineffective people, tech, and processes will lose customers and employees.
Enterprise resource planning tools (ERP) help you track, streamline operations, and cut wasteful resource usage related to:
- Quality issues (internally and with vendors)
- Productivity loss
- Inefficient processes that should be automated or revised
- Overspending on raw materials
4. Enhancing Customer Service
Data gives you a window into how well your customer service team is addressing customer complaints and questions.
See how these influence their future buying decisions and revenues. Gain insights into how you can generate more delighted customers.
As an example, use data to identify your customer’s most common questions. Then build chatbots to answer those questions and free up your people to manage more advanced issues.
Not only are customers getting their answers without having to wait for a customer service rep. Customer care gets to stop answering the same obnoxious questions over and over.
Your CRM centralizes data across departments and helps you view the customer’s whole brand journey. Explore its customer experience enhancement features and put them to work to transform that brand experience.
5. Protecting Sensitive Data
Data can help you track who’s accessing private data and how they’re using it. Machine learning — a type of data analytics — can learn from the data it collects. It can spot nefarious activity more quickly, notify you, and even address the situation on its own with automation.
Network Security Monitoring tools and vulnerability scanning technology can help you begin to capture and track this data.