YES! Data is extremely important for your business.
A human body has five sensory organs, and each one transmits and receives information from every interaction every second. Today, scientists can determine how much information a human brain receives, and guess what! Humans receive 10 million bits of information in one second. Similar to a computer when it downloads a document from the web over a fast internet connection.
But, did you know that only 30 bits per second can be processed by our brains. So, it's more EXFORMATION (information wasted) than information gained.
Data is everywhere!
Humanity surpassed a zettabyte in 2010. (One zettabyte = 1000000000000000000000 bytes. That's 21 zeroes if you're counting!)
Humans tend to generate a lot of data each day - from heart rates to favorite songs, fitness goals and movie preferences, you find data in each drawer of businesses.
Data is no longer restricted to just technological companies. Businesses as diverse as life-insurance agencies, hotels, and product management companies are now using data to improve their marketing strategies, customer experience, and to understand business trends or just collect insights on user data.
Increasing amounts of data in the rapidly expanding technological world of today makes the analysis of it much more exciting. The insights gathered from user data are now a major tool for decision-makers. I've also heard that these days data is used to measure employee success! Wouldn't appraisals be a lot easier now? :P
Forbes says there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day - and only 0.5% data of what is being generated is analysed! Now, that is one mind-boggling statistic.
So, why exactly are we talking about data and its inclusion in your business? What are the factors that encourage data dependency? Here, I have listed 6 solid reasons as to why is data so important for your business - you'll thank this article later.
Aspects of Data Analysis and Visualization
What do we visualize? Data? Sure. But there's more to data.
- Variability: Illustrates how things differ, and by how much
- Uncertainty: Good visualization practices frame uncertainty that arises from variation in data
- Context: Meaningful context helps us frame uncertainty against underlying variation in data
These three key aspects create questions that we seek answer to in our business. Our attempts at data analysis and visualization should focus on marginalizing the above three points to satisfy our quest of finding answers.
1. Mapping your company's performance
With tens of data visualization tools like Tableau, Plotly, Fusion Charts, Google Charts and others (my Business Data Visualization professor loves Tableau tho! :P) we now have an access to ocean of opportunities to explore the data.
When we focus on creating performance maps, our primary goal is to provide a meaningful learning experience to produce real and lasting business results. Performance mapping is also essentially important to drive our decisions when selecting strategies.
Now let's fit data in this whole picture. The data for performance mapping would include the records of your employees, their job duties, employee performance goals with measurable outcomes, company goals and the quarter results. Do we have that in your business? Yes? Data is for you!
Implement all these data on a data visualization tool and you can now map if your company is meeting the expected goals and your employees are assigned the right mission. Visualize your economy for a desired time frame and deduce all that is important to you.
2. Improving your brand's customer experience
It will take only a few unhappy customers to damage or even disrupt the reputation of the brand that you have earnestly created. The one thing that could have taken your organization to new heights-Customer Experience is failing. What to do next?
First things first: unearth your customer database on the basis of behavioral business. Plot the choices, concerns, sticking points, trends, etc. across various consumer journey touchpoints to determine points of improvement for good experiences.
PayPal Co-Founder Max Levchin said, “The world is now awash in data and we can see consumers in a lot clearer ways.” The behavior of customers is a lot more visible now than ever. I say, leverage that opportunity to create a pitch perfect product strategy to improve your customer experience now that you realize your users.
Businesses can harness data to:
- Find new customers
- Track social media interaction with the brand
- Improve customer retention rate
- Capture customer inclinations and market trends
- Predict sales trends
- Improve brand experience
3. Make decisions quicker, and solve problems faster!
If your business has a website, a social media presence or involves making payments, you are generating data! Lots of it. And all of that data is filled with immense insights about your company's potential and how to improve your business
There are many questions we in business seek answers to.
- What should be our next marketing strategy?
- When should we launch the new product?
- Is it a right time for a clearance sale?
- Should we rely on the weather to see what's happening to business in the stores?
- What you see or read in the news would affect the business?
Some of these questions might already intrigue you by the idea of getting answers to from data. At different points, data insights can be extremely helpful when making decisions. But how wise is it to make decisions backed by numbers and information about company performance? This is a sure-shot, hard hitting, profit-increasing power you can’t afford to miss.
4. Measuring success of your company and employees
Most of the successful business leaders and frontmen have always relied on some type or form of data to help them make quick, wise decisions.
To elaborate on how to measure success of your company and employees from data, let us consider an example. Let’s say you have a sales and marketing representative that is believed to be a top performer and having the most leads. However, upon checking your company data, you come to know that the rep closes deals at a lower rate than one of your other employees who receives fewer leads but closes deals at a higher percentage. Without knowing this information, you would continue to send more leads to the lower performing sales rep and lose more money from unclosed deals.
So now, from data you know who is a better performing employee and what works for your company. Data gives you clarity so you can achieve better results. By looking at more numbers, you pour more insights.
5. Understanding your users, market and the competition
Data and analytics can help a business predict consumer behavior, improve decision-making, market trends and determine the ROI of its marketing efforts. Sure. The clearer you see your consumers, the easier it is to reach them.
I really loved the idea of Measure, Analyze and Manage introduced in this WordStream article. When analysing data for your business to understand your users, your market reach and the competition, it is essentially important to be relevant.
On what factors and for what information do you analyse data?
- Product Design: Keywords can reveal exactly what features or solutions your customers are looking for.
- Customer Surveys: By examining keyword frequency data you can infer the relative priorities of competing interests.
- Industry Trends: By monitoring the relative change in keyword frequencies you can identify and predict trends in customer behavior.
- Customer Support: Understand where customers are struggling the most and how support resources should be deployed.
In the rapidly expanding technological world of today, using data to help run your business is the new standard. If you’re not using data to guide your business into the future, you are sure to become a business of the past!
Fortunately, the advances in data analyzing and visualization make growing your business with data easier to do. To analyse your data and get the insights you need to propel your company into the future with data.
Know Your Author
Rashi is a graduate student and a UX Analyst and Consultant, a Business Developer, a Tech Speaker, and a Blogger! She aspires to form an organization connecting the Women in Business with an ocean of resources to be fearless and passionate for the work and the world. Feel free to drop her a message here!