Data collection – and in particular, data analysis – is completely transforming the business landscape and has been one of the tech industry’s major growth areas over the last 10 years.
Data analysis is helping us understand the world around us better than ever before – in everything from traffic flow to how businesses operate and make (sometimes lose) money.
There are several ways data can help you plan your new business and streamline your operations to improve productivity and Return on Investment (ROI).
Here are just five ways data can help reduce your costs and minimize risks.
Mitigating losses in the field
Financial losses incurred during everyday work are almost impossible to tie down unless you use some form of a monitoring system to ascertain where the problems originated. This kind of software is particularly beneficial for remote, sales-type roles where your staff could be out on the road for extended periods.
The best field service software allows your staff to input information regardless of whether they have an internet connection – with the app then uploading data once the device is connected again.
Making an informed SWOT analysis
As a business start-up, one of the first things you will have already done is a SWOT analysis – to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
While in the past, many of these conclusions would have been drawn largely from guesswork, these days, there are vast libraries of data that you can refer to, allowing you to make informed decisions and conclusions. Search online for identified existing risks in your industry – you’ll likely find masses of information that can help you avoid the mistakes made by others.
Managing and minimizing costs
Unless a company is aware of how it is spending money – and potentially where it is losing money – it will be impossible to reduce losses. By studying data analysis, companies can accurately identify where significant losses are occurring.
It’s estimated that around 25% of all company costs are through indirect or unknown expenses. Indirect costs are classified as those that do not directly contribute towards the productivity of the company, yet still cost money. For example, lights being left on or repeating subscriptions for software that isn’t used.
Taking a macro view of a company’s expenses allows financial bosses to accurately identify problem areas and minimize losses.
Online marketing data
In today’s connected age, most companies rely heavily on their website and social channels to generate new business. Online marketing has never been more critical in the overall marketing mix of a company, and thankfully there is a wealth of information available – both in terms of ways to improve your online presence but also ways to analyze the effectiveness of your website, online advertising, and social media promotion.
Most web hosts offer at least basic statistical monitoring to show the number of visitors to your site. Also, most will provide you with stats on how users pass through your pages. If your host or development, company doesn’t offer this, considering signing up for Google Analytics – a free service that breaks down your web stats in startling detail.
In light of the recent coronavirus, company websites have taken on even greater importance. Indeed, the businesses which are doing best through the pandemic are those that already had a strong web presence.
Understanding customers and buying habits
Traditionally, cash flow and product and loss accounts were viewed as sufficient to understand customer buying habits. However, scratch a little below the surface, and you’ll soon find patterns exist that can’t be revealed by sales figures alone.
By installing sales tracking software, you’ll be able to monitor where your customers came from, your conversion rates, and your exact ROI. In particular, tracking the source of leads can be hugely beneficial and will allow you to prioritize your marketing budget.