Businesses store data like we store clothes. How many times do we step into our closets and wonder “When was the last time I wore this”?
This is similar to what we, as business owners, should be asking ourselves. “When was the last time I used this data?” We collect and store data on a constant basis, but if we aren’t using it, then it’s only taking up space and costing us money. It’s a common misconception that big data analyst programs or Business Intelligence are solely for large businesses. We should be using these tools and taking advantage of them every chance we get.
Most small businesses assume that they cannot afford Business Intelligence Tools. While this may have once been true, it’s just not the case anymore. Before now, business intelligence tools came with a hefty price tag and needed highly trained and educated staff to run them. However, with today’s advances in technology, there’s been a considerable improvement in affordability of these tools. There is no longer the need for entire teams of analysts and scientists to explain the data in layman’s terms. Now, programs and tools such as these work as a middleman, giving even the most inexperienced employee access to compelling, game-changing data. Now, that data that sat unused can now have huge impacts on your small business’ profits, efficiency, and security.
There are few main ways that business intelligence tools can aid your small business:
One of the most critical aspects of a business is profit – without it, everything stops. Business Intelligence Tools aid your business’s profit by providing valuable insight into your activity and your customers’ behavior. Business Intelligence Tools can increase your business’s profit, both current and future through the use of analytics and science-based predictors.
Efficiency is a vital cornerstone of any business. You can build the effectiveness of your small business operations in a few ways. The easiest way is by using a Business Intelligence Tool like Business Activity Monitoring. Business Activity Monitors analyze data that comes from inside your organization as well as outside, such as those involving your customers and partners. This analysis offers you an opportunity to see where gaps exist and where they don’t. It also looks for patterns of efficiency within your business by showing which departments are running efficiently, and which aren’t. These tools ensure that you and your staff are making efficient use of all your resources, no matter how large or small.
The 2017 SMB Routes to Market Study found that small businesses reported that “getting better insights out of the data they already have is their top technology challenge”. How much data does your small business have that isn’t being used to its full potential? This unused data might make a huge difference in your business marketing. Business Intelligence Tools help your small business by further developing and strengthening your market reach. This makes use of the data that you’ve already collected and helps you detect patterns. These patterns can reveal both customer and employee trends. Tools such as these fill that void by giving employees the opportunity to be more productive and efficient in working towards the greater good for the business.
Another essential tool is the digital dashboard, which gives you a dashboard view of numerous sources of data all at once, in an easy-to-understand and organized way. A recent study showed that only 40% of the workforce knew about their company’s goals, strategies, and tactics. Improving the efficiency of your business means getting all your employees working towards the same goal. Digital dashboards provide an explicit representation of the data findings of your business, to anyone from the CEO to the temp receptionist, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same data-driven goals.
Maintaining secure and stable storage of essential data helps you provide professional and trustworthy service. Business Intelligence Tools provide security by protecting the data it holds. For example, a Business Intelligence Tool for data cleansing can monitor your data to detect any corrupt files. Once it finds a corrupt or incorrect file, it safely confines and deletes it. This tool not only protects your clients’ data but safeguards your company from possibly making decisions based off of faulty data as well.
Business Intelligence Tools are no longer out of reach for small businesses. They can help your business reach its full potential, help you increase profits, improve efficiency, expand your market reach, unite your staff’s efforts and improve data security. As a small business, you now have these resources at your disposal. Don’t let that data continue to sit unused. It could have a big impact on your small business.