Big data has been a term tossed around in the sciences for as long as computers have existed, but only recently has the use of data analytics on large data sets to boost business growth become a viable strategy. The use of data across all industries has increased dramatically recently, with over 50% of all companies in the United States estimated to have used extremely large data sets in 2017. But what exactly can you do with huge data sets, and why is data analysis such a useful tool? Here are five of the most exciting ways that data analytics and big data can boost your business’s growth.
How To Use Data Analytics To Boost Your Business Growth
1. Less expensive research and design
One of the biggest expenses in any industry is the up-front cost of research and design. Before a product can go to market, the product must be extensively tested for a range of reasons. Whether a hardware product needs research in order to function properly or a website needs certain design choices implemented to entice new leads, multiple different factors need to be optimized perfectly to create a solid product.
Traditionally, many of these factors have been ironed out post-production – particularly those factors that have to do with consumer willingness to purchase the product. Data analytics can slash costs and time from development to production. By combing through consumer data sets with millions of data points, algorithms can detect what products are likely to sell well and how to entice consumers.
For example, a tennis company may be considering a new tennis racket line. The company can implement data analytics by scanning through past purchases and current customers for factors that led to purchases. These insights can then generate the most interesting combination of colors and technology for the hardware and the most likely demographic to buy the racket. While traditional research methods would utilize focus groups and long-term studies, data research can be done in just a few days and can likely produce more accurate results.
2. More personalized consumer experiences
Though the major appeal of data science and data analytics is the massive business growth the techniques can deliver, the reasons why they can deliver come down to consumer satisfaction. Huge data sets can contain massive amounts of information about individual consumers. The information can be used to create fine-tuned, personalized content that gives a far more satisfying experience than bland websites designed for the widest market possible. Industries that were once thought to be too difficult to compete in are now filled with new companies using data to carve out niches. These industries include:
- Automobile manufacturing
Perhaps the best example of data-driven, personalized experiences that makes people’s lives easier is from ridesharing services. Taxis had a complete stranglehold on that aspect of the transportation industry, but ridesharing companies leveraged data to find an unexploited niche. This niche delivered personalized rides right to your doorstep, giving you a safe car ride to nearly any destination for far cheaper than a taxi going the same distance. Companies that use personalized experiences are able to fine-tune those experiences even further, as consumers have far more trust in personal experiences than in mass-marketed experiences. The more time that a user spends time on a company’s app or website, the more data is collected. More collected data means more personalized experiences, as each data point gives more information on that user’s interests and needs.
3. Converting leads to sales
Lead conversion is one of the most nuanced parts of any business, as each interaction with potential customers differs dramatically. But when looking over past data to see how lead conversion rates can be improved, it’s hard to be objective. There is quite a bit of inherent bias in the process, as you have both conscious and unconscious opinions on every part of the conversion process.
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Perhaps your sales manager has a specific, successful opening line that they’ve used in their calls with new customers, but you don’t fully trust that it’s the most effective conversation starter and lead converter. Instead of trusting your gut, you can use data to objectively analyze the success rate of that line. You can also run split tests where you directly compare two opening lines to objectively compare success rates – and all the outcomes can be analyzed using data analytic methods.
4. Optimized content delivery timing
More businesses are relying on social media sites to get high-quality content to potential customers. But social media is not easy to navigate – a post that does well on a Monday afternoon may crash and burn on a Wednesday night. Data analytics can actually generate optimal times to post different types of content on different social media sites. Data can be collected from all of your business’s previous posts and assessed using different data analysis pipelines. The pipelines can pinpoint the posts that were successful and why they were successful before generating suggestions for similar posts and when to publish the newly developed posts for maximum results.
5. Niche detection
Data analytics is amazing at providing pinpointed targeting, increasing the return on investment dramatically as compared to non-data-driven methods. This is perhaps the largest market for data analysis software companies, as they can develop unique algorithms and pipelines to deliver critical insights across different industries.
These algorithms can spot the correlation between consumer spending and specific keywords searched that no human could, can spot demand for certain types of products that are not on the market, and can even suggest ideas for designs that appeal to consumer ideals.
Big data is quickly reshaping the business world. Even the United States government actively encourages businesses to use their data resources, with data sets available in fields ranging from agriculture spending to housing affordability across America. These data sets, along with your business’s own curated customer database, can grow your business at rates faster than any other method could allow.