How to Bring Analytics and Strategies Together for Success
The most honest indicators in the business world are raw numbers. You’ve heard that “numbers never lie,” and when it comes to your data analysis, numbers can tell you a lot. Data can give you insights to your customer’s habits, your product success, and areas where you are underspending or spending too much.
However, these numbers are only helpful if you can take the analysis and convert it into a strategy for success. The data should be used for predictions, internal changes, and executive decisions — otherwise, it’s just a bunch of pretty numbers.
Perhaps you are a “numbers person” and you like to have data so you know where your company stands. Or maybe you are more about strategy, and like making plans rather than looking at numbers. In any case, the best scenario for any business is when you marry your numbers and strategies to make informed decisions and form educated business plans. Take a brief look at four distinct examples where analytics and data can be used to make your business perform more efficiently, and lead to a more successful business model.
Bringing Related Items Together
IBM’s Watson platform is an example of analytics and big data working side-by-side to bring personalized results to consumers based on the success of individual brands. For example, consider how Watson can work in the travel industry. It can collect data about the airlines, car rental agencies, hotels and even products that certain types of customers purchase on their trips. As this information becomes compiled, it can show consumer motivations and patterns. This makes it possible to develop applications that can recommend products and services that consumers will find more fitting based on their individual tastes.
Using data to group common patterns together will help you to “connect the dots” and follow the behavior and decision processes of your customers and clients in order to fine-tune your products or services. This can be helpful when you have a wide audience or work in a unique industry. Data will help you to narrow down targets and tailor your strategies so that they follow the correct patterns.
More Informed Decisions
Equifax is yet another company that specializes in collecting and analyzing data for businesses, but the way that businesses utilize their data is different than with Watson. The best example of how businesses utilize analytics (like those provided by Equifax) concerns companies utilizing data to make better decisions. Banks are likely the best example of this in action. They’re using a large amount of seemingly unrelated data points to create patterns that can then be used to assess how viable a consumer is for certain loans. This helps them determine not only whom to lend to, but also how much of an interest rate to charge to ensure that they make business decisions that are successful.
If your company has access to big data, use this information before making decisions. That’s why you are paying for the data—to turn the numbers into information, and then to base your decisions off of that information. If you aren’t sure how the data should affect your choices, consult a professional who can break down the meaning of each metric and what it means for your business. Don’t get in over your head and try to interpret data that you don’t understand. You will still be the one to make decisions for the company, but when you have a data analyst interpreting the numbers for you, those will be much more informed decisions.
Making the Right Data Accessible at the Right Time
One of the more common problems with customer support is balancing how securely data should be kept, with how available it is to customer service representatives to solve problems. This is generally what causes the most congestion in this process. With companies like Rexel UK Ltd., analytics are used to help determine if an employee needs access to certain pieces of data automatically. This relieves the need for manager authorization, which in turn significantly reduces call times and leaves customers happier. Yes, bringing data and strategy together takes time, but this process will go muck more quickly (and be a lot less frustrating) if everyone on your team has access to the numbers they need, when they need them.
More Effective Marketing Strategies
Analytics and big data go hand-in-hand when it comes to connecting seemingly unrelated dots. They then form a picture of buyer motivations, industry trends, and a number of other figures that become vital to predicting what consumers will desire the most. Some analytics setups can even automatically select the best performers for certain markets. This allows you to have several marketing plans in place at once, then to enact the best performing plans automatically while your businesses focuses on other things. In an age where data is widely available, there is no excuse for not including numbers in your marketing strategies. Even if you feel like you know the industry and your customers like the back of your hand, data can give you helpful insights to changes in the industry, and what your customers need from you.
The number of uses for analytics in business is dually overwhelming and exciting. It will be overwhelming when you are figuring out just how to use your data to increase efficiency and solve problems. However, it will be exciting once you get the hang of things, and can use data to make your job easier by speeding up processes and giving customers what they truly want. When you can properly interpret and apply the information you have, you’ll notice that your business runs more efficiently, your customers are more satisfied, and that you have more time to spend on other aspects of your business.