How Analytics Can Transform Your Small Business

BY • POSTED April 12, 2019
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Big data and predictive analytics are commonly used by large corporations to enhance the way that they conduct business. However, they aren’t exclusively useful to business giants — they can help even the smallest businesses transform to become more efficient, profitable, and successful.

Being able to truly leverage available data is one of the best ways for a business to grow, and while small businesses certainly won’t be dealing with the huge data pools that giant corporations have access to, analytics are still an incredibly useful tool.

Inventory Management

Business analytics can have concrete, lasting impacts on how a business conducts itself, from sales down to the supply chain. Optimizing your supply chain and inventory management can be rather difficult, but pinpointing weak spots and fixing them becomes infinitely easier with analytics. They can also help with order fulfillment, granting insights into which products are the most popular and when you need to restock them.

A business can use analytics to completely transform their inventory management, streamlining nearly every aspect of it. Analytics can help to reduce a business’s dependency on storage space, eliminate an excess of inventory, implement an effective alert strategy, and even optimize warehouse locations to improve efficiency. They can reduce or even eliminate unexpected downtime, ensuring that a business remains as productive and profitable as it can be in any given situation.

Data analysts can also forecast appropriate stock levels, ensuring that business always has their most popular items in stock whenever they need it. Additionally, analytics can help to reduce breakage and shrinkage, which in turn increases the profitability of a business by reducing overall losses. Analytics are truly an invaluable tool for business owners looking to improve their inventory management.

Customer Insights

Analytics also shine outside of managing physical inventory by granting businesses insights into their customers’ behaviors and needs. Such insights can help any given business boost quality traffic to their website through targeted advertisements and also to grow the business in general by using personalized marketing methods. Businesses can use analytics to understand their customer base in a previously unheard-of way.

The applications for analytics in this sense are truly astonishing — they actually go far outside of the business world. Educators also use analytics in a very similar way to businesses in order to understand how and what their students are learning. This might help them adapt their approach to teaching to better educate them. In both business and education alike, truly understanding the people being served is the key to long-term success.

Businesses use analytics to grow and improve their market and customer research in a variety of ways. Not only can analytics show a business important insights into their current customer base, but they can also help them to expand their customer base and extend their overall reach. When a business is able to look at accurate click-through and bounce rates on a website, they can better understand how they can make their website more user friendly.

Advance and Grow

Analytics can also help a business make smarter decisions when they are planning to expand. Armed with information about their customer base and a fully optimized supply chain, a business can further rely on data to show them the most effective time to open up a new branch, and even where would be the most profitable place to do so. While the entrepreneurs of the past often relied on intuition or surface-level data to make these important decisions, modern businesses have been offered the tools to make more informed choices.

Employing someone with a Masters in Business Analytics is one of the smartest moves that an up-and-coming business can make. Instead of wading through muddy waters, business analysts can point a business in the right direction, effectively steering the ship to where it needs to be. Leaving valuable data on the table is a poor decision, and by engaging in business analytics, a company is giving themselves an edge over their competition.

Business analytics can provide a business with the opportunity for actionable growth in nearly every aspect of their business. From marketing, production, hiring, customer support, and customer acquisition, insights from big data takes the guesswork out of what a business should be doing to improve at any given time. Businesses that take business analytics seriously, no matter their size, are going to be better off than competitors who don’t.

No matter what a business specializes in or how large or small it might be, any business can benefit from the appropriate use of business analytics. At the end of a day, if a business chooses to eschew analytics as a passing phase, or if they think that their business is too small to benefit from it, then they are truly doing themselves a serious disservice.

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