In a survey released in March 2018, Dell EMC revealed that more businesses than ever are capitalising on the benefits of data analytics.
Almost half – 46% - of survey respondents said that their organisations use big data/analytics, 39% say they use predictive analytics and 36% use algorithms. While the commercial adoption of data analytics is growing steadily, most businesses are still missing out on all that data analytics could help them achieve.
Data analytics means digging into the information at an organisation’s disposal and using innovative methods to derive actionable business insight. As more businesses incorporate big data and its analysis into their operations, we’ve explored three tangible benefits this activity makes possible.
Exposing a true audience picture
Many businesses may think they know who they want to target with their products and services. However, basing this on best guesses, or even face-value historical data, doesn’t always reveal the full story.
Using data analytics to profile and segment customers based on their behaviours can reveal surprising results, since people within the same ‘demographic’ often interact with brands in very different ways. Honing in on the key traits and behaviours of your customers can take the guesswork and assumptions out of identifying target markets and how they develop over time, helping you to incorporate better levels of personalisation for customers and pinpoint those that are worth most to a business.
Maximising marketing campaigns
In addition to more accurate audience identification, data analytics can help businesses make the most effective use of precious marketing budgets and resources. Knowing who to target, how best to connect with them and joining up marketing channels to create a seamless experience all becomes possible through the analysis of data.
Thanks to innovations in digitisation and data science, marketeers can now evaluate the efficacy of previously ‘untrackable’ means of marketing communication, such as visits to brick and mortar businesses. In 2017, Google introduced a store visits measurement tool, which uses deep learning algorithms trained with vast amounts of anonymised consumer data, to reveal store visits prompted by online ads.
The data behind omnichannel customer touchpoints helps to shed light on often complicated consumer journeys to conversion - online to offline and back again – and enable you to invest time and budget where it’s most valuable.
Expanding into new areas of business
As organisations look to expand into new markets, locations and services, data analytics can add invaluable visibility. For example, using data to find an area where there’s high online search volume for certain services could help to create a business case for opening a new branch there, as well as informing the facilities it offers. Starbucks uses data in this way, analysing factors such as traffic, customer behaviour and local demographics before choosing new coffee shop locations.
Business growth inevitably carries risk, but mining and visualising data for the insight it contains can help a business mitigate this and optimise its chances of successfully and sustainably increasing its reach.
Recruiting the best talent
There are few operational practices to which data analytics cannot add value; even recruitment can become a clearer and more efficient process. Businesses can use data analytics to rapidly screen new candidates at the outset, saving considerable time spent manually sorting through applications.
Machine-learning platforms, ‘trained’ to identify candidates that best embody desirable attributes and qualities, have helped transational consumer goods giant Unilever to quickly isolate those with the most potential. Applicants complete online games that analyse their decisions and responses, before submitting recorded answers to automated interview questions to a system that examines their body language, speech and intonation.
Data analytics matters to every aspect of business
The analysis of data can help businesses find the best course of action, from the customers of most commercial value, to opportunities for growth and the people with the talents to take it forward.
What data analytics can do for business is virtually limitless, since the key to its potential lies in the capabilities of those who work with it. Therefore, being able to effectively analyse data is a highly sought-after skill, one that organisations across a wide range of sectors are increasingly and actively looking to harness.
Our Online MBA with Data Analytics is designed to help you develop this expertise and prepare for a career that facilitates business progression through data insight. Find out more by requesting more information through our online form.