Three Key Areas to Get Started on Applying Data Analysis for Your Business

Three Key Areas to Get Started on Applying Data Analysis for Your Business

In today’s information-driven world, data analysis is being used by leaders in every industry – and an increasing number of businesses widely adopts their techniques. A well-executed data strategy is considered essential to success in any modern enterprise.

However, data needs a purpose – otherwise, it is just numbers, charts, and figures, a solution in search of a question. Here are some areas where you should consider focusing on the application of data analysis methods to optimise your business.

Customer analysis

Naturally, you won’t have made it past the startup stage without some solid market research. Selling some product means you’ve already established a customer base. Data analysis guides you in your next steps forward. By building a profile of your customers, you can subtly improve their experience with your brand, innovate based on their needs, and create that most desirable of business commodities: consumer loyalty.

Customer profiling is hardly new – business has been doing it before the age of the internet. But new technology has exploded a wide array of profiling and surveying methods onto the scene – from the relatively simple, such as online surveys, to engaging with social media or writing insightful blogs on industry topics, and analysing the post metrics. Still, unless your market is exclusively in the millennial group or younger, it can pay off to continue analysing traditional data such as surveys and referrals.

Using online techniques, along with old fashioned methods, can net you a deeper understanding of your customer base across various demographics.  This can lead to important decisions such as whether to develop an app for your business, targeting users who are most comfortable with interaction via mobile devices.

Manufacturing and supply chain efficiency

The “Amazon effect” in today’s ecommerce-driven scene means that businesses face competitive pressure to deliver their product faster and with minimal fees to improve consumer convenience. Your process may vary, but generally, businesses depend on a supply chain with several variables that can affect the timeframe in which products can be delivered.

Using data analysis along the supply chain reveals the most important areas where delays are encountered, and what specific challenges are being met. It can also lead to considerable cost savings, especially in manufacturing, as you can better anticipate seasonal demands or material shortages.

Not all aspects of the supply chain are fully under your control, but you can carefully ensure that your fulfilment partners are making use of big data to run efficiently. Your freight company may be offering full load transport, but they should also be using data-driven strategies for load forecasting and route optimisation, for example.

Marketing and ads

colleagues discussing the data from the ad campaign

Even in the age of radio and television, it’s been said that good advertising more than pays for itself. The analytical business owner, however, would like to know the return of investment in advertising and marketing expenditures. After all, while generating brand awareness, in general, is a good thing, the bottom line is that ads must drive cash flow.

The success of an ad campaign has never been easier to measure and analyse with the data now available for online ads. You’ll know which channel works, and what type of product placement gets the most hits. This allows you to cut costs on ineffective ads and focus on what works.

Data analysis can be applied to probably any aspect of your business operations, but it’s best to target the low hanging fruit and areas of most urgent need. Most small-to-medium scale businesses starting to embrace data analysis will find rapid improvement in targeting these key areas. Build on this and continue to integrate data-driven practices for your future success.