As a small business owner, you might think that data reporting and analytics don’t matter in your organization. You could be mistaken for thinking there’s too little data to report and analyze and that you can’t possibly have access to the powerful analytics tools that large businesses have.
However, if you’re a small business owner looking to scale and grow, smart technology can revolutionize the way you view and understand your business. There are specialist management apps for every business niche, and utilizing them is the first step to scaling your operations and being able to acquire new business. For example, field service companies such as those engaged in landscaping, will be interested in software programs that can give insight into how they can schedule more visits and appointments per day and report on payments and invoicing. If you run a landscaping company, apps like this one from Jobber will do exactly this, and in doing so, actively help you run and grow your business.
What Are Reporting and Analytics Tools
Reporting and analytics tools help businesses track performance data so they can make decisions that will positively impact their company’s growth. This could be, for example, tracking the number of visitors on your website or looking at how much revenue you can collect from an advertising platform.
Reporting tools come in different forms. They can be the usual spreadsheets and dashboards that provide company data, or they can come in complex forms that take advanced programming knowledge and skills to build.
On the other hand, analytics tools go beyond reporting. These tools look at the relationship among data and provide historical, current, and predictive views of your business’ performance. Analytics usually come with reporting because interpretation and insight generation won’t be possible without any data.
Both tools are innovative, and they can give you insights that are hard to achieve with personal observations or gut feelings. All of this information can prove valuable to your business’s growth journey.
Here are other ways that reporting and analytics tools can benefit your small business.
1. It helps influence business owners to make better decisions
Combining what these two can offer, many businesses can utilize them to identify root problems and provide strategies to get them solved. They can also show which aspect of your business is doing well, so you can continue these practices. By using information gathered by your reports and analytics tools, you’ll be able to make better informed decisions based on actual data instead of guesswork. You may even utilize this information to come up with other strategies to help your business grow.
2. It will help save time and resources
Analytical tools with reports can help make business strategies more targeted, and thereby, more efficient. This will also help to save time and resources that you’ll likely waste creating reports from scratch and conducting longer meetings.
Also, using big data in marketing and other promotional campaigns have a more stable foundation, and therefore higher chances of success. It’s because you don’t have to rely on assumptions that may or may not be right. With data-driven decisions, your business can eliminate the hit-and-miss strategy that some companies employ. Analytical information can also help companies feel confident about venturing into locations or systems previously unknown or unused without losing much budget.
3. It can facilitate productive communication
Once you have learned what all your data means, ensure to communicate this to all relevant stakeholders to better guide strategic decision making.
4. It can enhance business efficiency
Entrepreneurs know a few truths about small businesses—the need to multitask due to a limited number of employees and at most times, tight budgets. Some are even run by solo entrepreneurs burning the midnight oil to make sure that all aspects of their businesses are covered. (1)
This is why reporting and analytics tools are more critical for small businesses. These tools offer automation for otherwise time-consuming tasks and can also help employees and business owners focus on what matters most. Since information is readily available for their evaluation, they know which areas need more improvement and the tactics that are working and worth keeping as a result.
5. It can contribute to better customer satisfaction
As mentioned earlier, analytics can provide prediction and interpretation, which can help you solve a problem even before customers encounter them. By making business and analytics tools a part of your business strategy, you can improve customer service. In return, this increases the likelihood that customers are satisfied, increasing their brand loyalty. With brand loyalty, you can ensure that your customers will consistently buy from you as statistics show that 60-70% of purchases come from existing customers. (2)
Another benefit of these tools in building customer satisfaction is their ability to improve personalization, which helps in customer engagement and loyalty. Analyzed data from previous transactions can help companies develop products and suggestions catered to the needs of a specific customer. This can make clients feel that their needs are understood. (3)
Reports and analytics tools can help your organization improve its decision-making process and communication capabilities. In addition, they can also help you provide better customer satisfaction and improve your company’s efficiency. All these benefits can eventually lead to your business becoming more efficient and being able to scale operations which is an essential requirement if your company is to experience success and growth.
(1) “5 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know”, Source: https://entrepreneursbreak.com/5-things-small-business-owners-need-to-know.html
(2) “Why Good Customer Service is The Most Important Business Metric”, Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/319778
(3) “Why Personalization Works: From Cake Selfies to Curated Shopping Carts”, Source: https://www.inc.com/shama-hyder/why-personalization-works-from-cake-selfies-to-curated-shopping-carts.html