In the fine print and in the numbers lies critical information. Dig deep brave data divers and the rewards will merit the effort.
Data miners will tell you there’s gold in them there fields, but what is the impact of analytics on sales, on your costs and performance. And how can data impact your bottom line?
Data data data… it’s all the internet cares about…
The digital world thrives on data. Period. In order to access a website, you need to enter its URL, which is a form of data. Its output is also some form of data. Online businesses generate enormous volumes of such data every minute. And most of this data is compiled into CRM and ERP legacy systems.
Deep down we all know data is essential, but it’s hard to quantify and collate. A year ago, understanding data could involve multiple parties and take as long as 6 to 8 months. The alternative is to hire in-house data experts, but it’s a costly process and hard to justify the large capital investment required.
Why is data so important?
Imagine picking your business up in one hand, turning it over and looking underneath. Imagine taking it apart cog by cog and seeing exactly how it works, where it falters and where it excels. Data can highlight your peak performance and let you know when it’s idling.(S)He who holds the data holds the power.
Analytics as a Service
There is a new way to get inside your firm. As the data tsunami roars across the business world, it was inevitable that some smart start-ups would surf the wave. Thus the legend of Analytics as a Service was born. These upstarts are the new super-heroes of business analysis.
Data is power
If data analysis is a superpower, it’s the combined force of x-ray vision and divination. The power to see through any barrier and to foretell the future. The good news is, you no longer need to be an expert to make it work. Imagine your firm laid bare, sales, performance and all the insights you can eat.
Data to go
You can outsource business analytics, like payroll, marketing or social media. Forget hiring a team of boffins, the hardware and infrastructure and all the associated costs that come with them, there’s a new way to dig. By using an AaaS company you can see the impact of data on sales and get an almost instant return on investment.
Welcome to the Data Age
Business is driven by hunches, educated guess, and speculation, but this is the age of data. Now, it’s possible to leverage actual insights from your numbers. Sales, performance and your bottom line can all be impacted by data and you don’t need a degree, an AI, or a room full of scientists to understand it.
In the past consolidating data could be a mammoth struggle. You’d need to find it, which could mean pouring through dozens of Excel spreadsheets, your address book, calendars, random CRMs, and even the office roller-dex. After gathering your data there’s the matter of accuracy and you need to consider what to report. Without understanding data and how to apply it, you can simply end up with pages of meaningless numbers and be no wiser than you were when you started. AaaS firms know what data is important and where to find it. They can even collect and collate it for you. They know analytics impact your sales performance and they know where to look to prove it. Employing an AaaS is enabling a data-driven culture and today that’s the culture to embrace.
Cross-sell and up-sell at will
Imagine how profitable your firm would be if you were able to bundle cross-sold products or up-sell to customers at every opportunity. By gleaning valuable sales insights from your sales data you can identify products which sell well together and home in on realistic chances to up-sell to your customers.
Unprofitable customers and how to defeat them
Not all transactions are equal. Some customers turn up, buy and go, but there are others who enjoy dragging the whole process through the mud. Difficult customers barter hard, demand your time and stretch the rules as far as they bend them. These customers are not loyal, demand heavy discounts and will do all they can to get the edge on you.
Analyzing your data will help you can spotless profitable customers. The numbers will show you who makes you money and who is a drain on your resources.
Trends, fads, and that guy in sales
How many times have you been sailing through June only to have the bottom fall out in July? These fluctuations can be the simple result of a competitor lowering their prices or maybe there’s something new out there?
The truth is in the numbers. By analyzing those figures, you’ll be able to link good and bad days and identify individuals in the sales team who need to up their game. Every day, every hour and everybody is different and every performance can be assessed. The numbers never lie.
Data data everywhere
Used well it can help you understand the margin/profit for product families, SKUs, customer segments and individual customers. The secret to understanding your customers in understanding their data. An AaaS can provide insights into almost every aspect of your business.
Data knows where your money is coming from, what’s selling and who your customers really are.
Data gives you powerful insights into your customer’s lives. Learn who they are, where they live, what they do. The more you understand your customers the easier it is to reach them. Social media advertising is massive. By leveraging the insights you’ve gleaned from your own data, you can place your products straight their Facebook feed.
The numbers know
Retail giants Target famously used data to predict a young girl’s pregnancy and before she’d even told her father. The firm was able to identify her condition based on insights gleaned from slight deviations in the young woman’s shopping pattern. Their subsequent mail-out featuring a whole raft of baby items did not go down quite as well however and her irate father called the store to complain. However, a few days later, he apologized after discovering the power of data the hard way.
You against the world
There is a lot of information out there. Once you have your own insights, you can compare them with the world at large. How are you doing in Texas, Alabama, New Mexico, are you in the top 100, or the top 10? Understanding your performance data will allow you to not only understand your own business, it will allow you to benchmark it against all of time and space.
Keep it a secret… keep it safe
There is a raft of regulation covering data, from the 4th Amendment to the EU’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation. The former guarantees US citizens right to “a reasonable expectation of privacy”. The latter, which will come into effect in 2018, means heavy penalties for any firms trading with the EU who fail to secure any personal data they possess. AaaS firms, as a rule, automatically encrypt any data they’re holding and using. This protects your firm from huge fines and other penalties.
No more bored room
We’ve all sat in the board room and listened to pages and pages of uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be great to hear something constructive?
“This month we achieved this and next month we’ll be here…”
Understanding your data allows you to comprehend the past and prepare for the future. Data is more than just a four-letter word.
Do you need super-heroes? Great, let’s talk.