Using Business Analytics Tools for Small Business Success

When you think of using data analytics in business, you may imagine it only having a benefit for the larger companies. However, while larger businesses can benefit from business and data analytics in many different ways, don’t underestimate just how important it can be for smaller businesses that want to grow. 

From home-based businesses to large, worldwide organizations, business analytics and data analytics have become essential for various different reasons. Not only will business analytics help you save time when it comes to making the best decisions for your business, but it will also help you to unlock new insights on your customers, discover the best marketing strategies to use for your business, and save money while making your company more profitable. Many large and successful companies around the world today didn’t just start using data analytics after their growth; many used data analytics to get them to the successful position where they are today. 

Business analytics is achieved through collecting, processing, and applying information. But why is it so important for businesses of any size? Here are some of the main reasons why every business needs business analytics today. 

Save Time

If you are running a small business, you probably have lots of different hats to wear and tasks to complete. Many small business owners feel that there is no end in sight when it comes to the huge number of responsibilities and tasks on their shoulders. Small businesses just don’t have access to the same kind of resources as the larger organizations do, so it’s often more difficult to be able to automate or even delegate those smaller, time-consuming tasks. By using business analytics tools, you can find out more about which tasks are crucial to the success and efficiency of your business, and which ones you don’t need to spend as much time on. If you’re interested in learning more, why not get an online business analytics degree from St Bonaventure University

More Successful Marketing

If you own a small business, chances are that your marketing budget is not huge. Many small business owners start out without a lot of money to dedicate to marketing at all, seeing them taking advantage of as many free or cheap advertising options that they can find. However, when it comes to marketing, trial and error can seriously cost your business. Instead, using business analytics to make sense of the data that you gather from your customers and target audience can make all the difference to how your marketing campaigns perform. When it comes to marketing your small business, business analytics tools can help you make smarter investments, unlock marketing insights, reach larger audiences, and discover new markets. This allows you to implement data-driven marketing campaigns, where you have a better idea of who your ideal customers are, what they are looking for, and whether or not they are getting it from your business. 

Better Personalization

Surveys have found that more than thirty percent of customers today expect a personalized experience when shopping online, while only just over twenty percent of customers currently report that they are satisfied with the level of personalization that they actually receive. It’s hard to deny that a personalized shopping experience is something that most customers find important. Personalization these days goes much further than simply knowing your customers’ names. These days, customers are used to shopping experiences such as that at Amazon, where a high level of personalization means that the company knows their customers very well, including the type of products that they are interested in based on past purchases and browsing activity, information that is used to show customers suggestions on products, deals, and more that they are likely to be interested in. By using business analytics that involves collecting the data on your customers to find out more about them, you can improve personalization levels and provide your customers with the experience that they expect. 

Maximize Profit and Save Money

Business and data analytics don’t have to be costly to your business. With plenty of free of very affordable software options to choose from, including open-source analytics tools and other inexpensive solutions that small companies can take advantage of, it has become easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to take all the advantages of data collection and business analytics. Thanks to these tools, small businesses no longer need to worry about finding a hiring budget for in-house data scientists. It can be relatively cheap to make sense of the business data that you collect and then use it to make better decisions on behalf of your company, increasing profitability, and saving money. 

Better Problem Solving

One of the main benefits of business analytics to companies is answers that are provided with more context. And most of the time, small businesses that are finding their feet are going to mess up and make some mistakes. While business analytics may not be the answer to preventing these mistakes altogether, the process of analyzing business data can certainly make it easier for small companies to discover errors and inconsistencies that they may not have realized even existed, helping them avoid potentially costly mistakes. 

Make Faster Changes

Business analysis allows small businesses to use more information in real-time. As a result, small businesses are not only to make more accurate predictions when it comes to performance and outcomes, but it also gives them the chance to deal with events in the moment, rather than afterward. Before data analytics became widely available to businesses of all sizes around the world, companies would only be able to take action by collecting feedback and performance data from customers after the event. However, the issue with this is that any problems that could have been corrected sooner in the process may be harder to deal with at this time. On the other hand, business analytics gives companies the power to make more changes and have more control in the moment. For example, they can make changes to the product development process during development rather than waiting until the product is completed to find out what could have been done differently. 

Choosing the Right Analytics Tools for Your Business

Data has become one of the most important assets for any business today, including small businesses. However, many small businesses are not sure of the methods available to them to help them get insights from the data that they collect. The rise of the internet and artificial intelligence is providing huge amounts of data to companies that can be incredibly useful, but only if they know the best way to analyze and interpret such large amounts of information. 

The good news for small businesses is that there are various analytics tools that you can use to analyze data for different purposes. But with more and more new analytics tools being released for small businesses, choosing the right one to use is not always an easy task. With data being generated in its masses by companies of all sizes, using analytical tools is the best way forward. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing the right analytical tools for your business. 

Understanding Your Business

The first step in choosing the right analytical tools is to get a better understanding of your company. A solid understanding of your business will help you ensure that the tool you choose to use is the right option to help your business meet its goals and objectives. Determine what your goals are and the questions that you want to answer. What you do want the results to accomplish, and which problems are you looking to solve? Determine where your data is, how it is going to be migrated, who handles it, and how you are going to protect it. Consider your future, particularly in terms of how you expect your data needs to increase in the future. 

Research Available Tools

Once you have your business goals, objectives, and plans for the future in mind, the next step is to research the different analytical tools that are currently available on the market. While researching, it’s a good idea to separate the different tools into various classes including report writing tools, semantic layer reporting tools, data discovery tools, visualization tools, embedded business intelligence and reporting tools, MXD and Cube query tools, data science and modeling tools, and AI and machine learning case driven tools. Doing this will help you get a better picture of the landscape in terms of the various analytical tool vendors and what they have to offer. Along with this, taking this step will make it easier for you to sort through everything that is available and how they fit with your business needs and requirements. 

Choosing the Right Analytical Tool

Once you have determined what your business needs and have researched the available options, the next step is to take a deeper look into the individual tools that are available to find out how well they fit with your business requirements. With no shortage of business and data analytics tools and software programs available on the market today, it’s not uncommon to find some that have a lot of similarities to one another, so digging deeper into the specifics will ultimately make it easier for you to determine which one is going to be the best choice for your business. There are several steps that you can take to help you achieve this, including:

List of Features: Start by making a list of features that you will require from an analytics tool based on the information that you have gathered about your business needs and your future business goals. It’s important to have a clear idea of what you require, and which features are simply nice-to-have, since this will make it easier for you to make an accurate assessment of your options. 

Consider What You’re Tracking: While most tools have the ability to put together a complete tracking tool for you once you choose the right one for you, it’s important to have an idea of the data that you are going to track to help you choose the right analytics tool for you. Once you know what you are tracking, you will have more context for how you will need to use the data you collect with the tool that you implement. 

Consider Mobile: If like many companies you are a mobile-first business, it is important to consider this when choosing the right analytics tool. Bear in mind that some of these programs have been in the market for quite some time and have been build primarily for web browsers rather than smartphones. Some will have adapted mobile-friendly versions, while others are newer tools in general and were built with smartphones in mind. Free trials are a good way to determine how well the tool works on your devices, helping you get a better idea of whether or not it’s the right choice for you. 

Support: Finally, consider how technical you are and how much support you and your team is likely to need. If you are completely new to business analytics and don’t have any analytics experts on your time, a user-friendly program or app that is designed to be simple and easy to use is likely always going to be the best choice. It’s also worth considering the level of support on offer. This will depend on the tool that you choose and whether there are different levels of support to sign up to; for example, some apps offer more or less support depending on the subscription that you choose. Consider the employees that you have and their experience with data analytics, before determining how much support you may be likely to need.

Today, even the smallest of businesses can benefit from using business analytics to make sense of the data that they collect in large quantities. Data analytics tools are becoming more widely available and are one of the best ways for your business to gather more insights and make better decisions.  

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