Crucial Benefits of Collecting and Analyzing Data for Modern Businesses

Big data has helped countless businesses thrive in the face of uncertain challenges.

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Shutterstock Photo License - By Gorodenkoff

The market for big data is expected to be worth $274 billion by next year. This is hardly surprising, since so many businesses depend on data analytics to draw useful insights on every aspect of their business model.

Analytics is one of the most powerful tools that modern businesses possess. Any business that is ready to embrace data analytics will have access to a wealth of information on their industry, customer base, competitors and more. Data provides businesses with a key opportunity to drive change and make informed decisions that will bring about positive outcomes to propel business growth and advancement.

When it comes to making business decisions, managers, business owners and other key decision-makers need to be grounded in solid data. Without using data, business decisions are less likely to be informed and there is a higher risk of making the wrong choice. Data analytics are there to provide decision-makers with key insights into the company that ensure the right choices are made in terms of what the organization and its customers need.

Using data analytics can help you learn much more about the current situation and health of your company. Data analysis provides business owners and other key decision-makers with a clear idea of whether or not they are on track to achieve their business goals and objectives, what is happening in the business right now, and whether or not any changes are necessary in order to ensure that the business can thrive over time. It offers tremendous value to businesses in all industries.

And the best part? Obtaining pertinent data is now easier than ever for many businesses, with tools available for companies that can collect customer data throughout the customer journey, from the business website, social media, and in many other key areas. Affordable tools for automated data collection and analysis are now available to enable business owners to get sophisticated reports in real-time, making business decisions quicker and easier to make. So, how exactly does data analysis benefit today?s modern businesses, and why it is worth learning more about?

Better Goal Setting:

Any business owner will know that setting the right goals for the company is important for future success. However, when setting future goals, it is very important to ensure that you are being realistic about what your business is going to be able to achieve over a certain period of time. The goals that you set should be realistic and achievable, but it?s not always easy to figure out what this will be when you?re not using data to back your goal-making up. Without analysing the data, setting goals for your business might be based mainly on guesses, which can leave you with business goals that are constantly changing and shifting as you realize that you haven?t been realistic about what your company can achieve. By putting data analytics to use, you can assemble and analyse data from historic trends and previous activities to determine what might work well in the future and get a clearer picture of what realistic goals are going to look like for your company.

Make Better Business Decisions:

Experience and intuition are always useful tools to use when you are making a key decision. However, when it comes to your business, the best decisions for the future should always be backed up with data. When you are faced with making a choice that is going to affect your organization, customers and employees, data analysis can help you make a more informed decision by providing you with all the information and facts you need before you decide. The best business decision-makers know just how important it is to analyse the data first to collect actionable insights that can be used to inform their decision-making process. Whether you are making decisions about hiring and staffing, branding, marketing, customer service and the customer experience, making changes to products and services, redesigning your website, relocating your store or office, managing your inventory and more, using data in the decision-making process will enable you to make better decisions that are more likely to have the right outcome for your company.

For example, when it comes to marketing a new product or service that your business provides, using data to drive the decisions that you make means that you are able to look back on your marketing campaigns of the past and gain more insight into what worked and what didn?t go so well, providing you with more key information to use when it comes to the strategies that you use this time around. On the other hand, if you don?t perform data analysis when putting together a new marketing campaign, you are left taking a shot in the dark when it comes to determining what might work well and what might be a total failure ? leaving you wide open to making mistakes. You may end up only figuring out where you have gone wrong when it is too late.

Better Target Audience Identification:

Whatever kind of business you have decided to start, identifying and getting to know your ideal target audience is a key part of the process. It?s important to get your customer base right ? after all, targeting the wrong audience could mean that although you have an amazing product or service to offer, it simply won?t get the interest and sales that it deserves because you are advertising to the wrong people.

The good news is that there are several ways in which you can put data analytics to use to identify your ideal target audience and learn as much as possible about them so that you can make better marketing decisions in the future. You can put data analytics to use on an ongoing basis to make sure that you are always targeting the correct customers or whether it makes more sense to target a different audience. You can use data collected from existing customers, social media, market outreach and research services, your competitors, and many other sources to determine the audience that is most likely to be interested in the products or services that your company offers. Today, businesses have access to a wide range of tools that they can put to use to find out more about their ideal target audience including Google Analytics, KISSMetrics, CrazyEgg, Facebook Analytics, and many more.

Get Better Social Media Marketing Results:

While social media was first designed as a method for helping people stay in touch with family and friends at any time and from anywhere, it has since grown into one of the most powerful tools that a brand can use to engage with and advertise to its target audience. In addition, social media is also one of the best methods that customers can use to gather data on their audience, allowing them to not only stay connected to and in touch with their customers but learn more about them.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn can be leveraged by businesses to not only advertise the brand, products and services, but also to find out more about who their ideal customer is, what they like, what they want, and other facts about them that will make a difference when it comes to making key decisions regarding future marketing campaigns, new products and services and more. Businesses can use a wide range of analytics tools that are designed to provide them with an in-depth look at what people are saying about the brand online. Monitoring the chatter on social media allows your business to collect data on both the positive and negative things that your target audience is saying about your brand online, which you can use to fuel future decisions regarding improving your brand image.

All the big social media sites will also provide their own tracking and analytics tools that businesses can put to use when measuring the effectiveness of social media advertising campaigns on the platform and more. You can use the analytics tools provided by sites like Facebook and Instagram to get actionable and useful insights into your customers such as where they are coming from, what they are interested in, what devices they are using to access your content, how much and what type of interest they show in your advertising posts and more. Gathering and analysing this information provides you with the insights that you need to put together more effective social media marketing and advertising campaigns for the future.

Personalize the Customer Experience:

Today, popular shopping sites like Amazon have made it possible for customers to enjoy a much more personal and tailored shopping experience, no matter what they are looking for. And with almost half of today?s customers reporting in surveys that they prefer a personalized shopping experience that feels like it was designed for them, it?s never been more important for retail businesses of all sizes to spend time examining the data and getting to know their customers to make this type of mass personalization possible. Personalizing the shopping experience requires a business to have a solid understanding of who their customers are, what their past shopping and browsing habits are, and what they are looking for ? all of which will require the gathering and analysis of a lot of consumer data in order to achieve.

By analysing your customers from the start to finish of their journey and collecting information about them using a customer relationship management (CMS) program, you can collect insights into the type of products that they might be interested in, products that they have purchased or expressed an interest in purchasing in the past when they are most likely within the month to spend money at your brand, the type of online ads and marketing that tends to get the best response, and more. Learning about what individuals and groups of customers do throughout the customer journey makes it easier for you to provide specific, targeted and personalized messages that will encourage them to return time and time again. Find out more about online MBA programs from Suffolk University that focus on data analytics and using data to improve the customer experience.

Better Business Expansion:

Data analysis can be put to use in several different ways when it comes to business growth and expansion. Imagine that you are planning to expand your business by opening a new store in a different location, for example. The data that you have gathered so far about your target audience and existing customer base, employees, equipment and asset maintenance, delivery and distribution scheduling and much more can be put to use when you are putting together your plan for expansion, allowing you to make tailored decisions regarding your new location and improve the chance of success. In addition, there are various tools that you can use to gather data on your new location and the target audience there, which might not be the same as your current audience in your current location.

You can use business analytics tools to examine the information that you already hold on your customers to make sure that your plans for expansion are going to go down well. Making sure that any decisions that you make throughout the process of expanding your business are in line with what your audience wants and expects from your company is absolutely crucial to your success. You can use these tools to research what people are saying about your company, which marketing campaigns are getting the most success, and where your ads are reaching.

Using the data that you have gathered on your audience and any local competitors in the area where you are planning to expand your business means you can determine whether or not you are sending the right messages to your target audience and if any changes can be made to improve your results. Data can be used to make the right marketing decisions, understand consumer habits and preferences, and figure out what you can do to gain further success by differentiating yourself from competing brands in your niche or area.

Today, data is one of the most valuable assets that a business can own, but data analysis is essential to turn the information gathered into actionable insights that can benefit the company. From improving customer relationships to boosting sales and expanding your business, analyzing data has become one of the most important and beneficial steps that any company can take.

Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Email: