Businesses of every conceivable size use data. Big data consists of huge amounts of data and information that “can only be stored, understood, and used with the help of special tools and methods.” For instance, retailers and social media sites store this data to track click-throughs, purchase patterns, and spending habits. If your business has a website, social media presence, or accepts credit cards – and what business doesn’t in this digital age? – you’re already collecting customer data. The key to making that data effective lays in understanding how to analyze it and how to use the information drawn from that analysis.
Collecting, analyzing, and learning from big data gives businesses an insight into what their ideal consumers want, how they want it delivered to them, how often they’ll need to repurchase, and what they’re willing to pay for it. That data is changing the way entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations do business. Here are three definitive ways that’s happening:
- Data collection allows your company to zero in on marketing and choose which campaigns are most effective. That targeted knowledge means your business can cater to the specific, identified needs of your preferred consumers. It can help your business predict future needs and be prepared to meet them. For example, when big data can tell you a hair salon chain purchased 500 gallons of shampoo concentrate – and how long those 500 bottles will last – it can tell you when the salons will need to re-purchase, allowing you to position your brand accordingly. It lets you to display proactive customer service by predicting what your customers want and need.
- Big data helps reduce costs for your business or corporation by helping you fine tune your marketing campaigns. Because data analysis allows you to predict future purchases and trends, it naturally improves future-casting, purchase planning, and inventory needs. For example, if that chain of salons purchased unscented shampoo on their first purchase order, scented shampoo on their second purchase order, and scented shampoo on their third and fourth purchase orders, that data tells you which shampoo concentrate to maintain in your stock. Additionally, the same data that tells the salon chain when (and how many) new franchises to open in the next fiscal year, tells you how much more product they will need to purchase from you.
- Finally, big data is changing the way businesses and consumers make online decisions. It can analyze website visits, specific page views, keystrokes, and clicks. It also analyzes apps and their usage and ratings. So, if that salon chain prefers to purchase via your app versus your website, big data will tell you that. If they prefer thumbnails to high definition images, it will tell you that. If they make purchases according to needs versus sales prices, data analysis will tell you that, too.
In a B2B sales environment, big data can position you as an attentive, preferred supplier. In B2C sales, it positions you as an innovative, conscientious company. Subscribe to the Lasting Impression By DPRINT newsletter and blog today to stay on top of industry trends, CEO news, small business innovations, and all things graphic design.