6 Ways Big Data Analytics Can Help a Company Grow.

Big Data is more than a buzzword; successful businesses today rely on data analytics to make nearly every important (and sometimes unimportant!) decision. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, 97% of successful businesses rely on customer analytics to guide consumer-facing decisions, and a recent McKinsey report found that using data to inform marketing can increase effective marketing choices by over 15%.

Companies in the technology space are no different. In fact, they shouldn’t be. Does your company use data analytics to drive market-based decisions? Does it collect quality data from employees to help guide Human Resources policy and to build and maintain a success-oriented and healthy company culture? If not, it’s likely time to invest in those tools that can mean the difference between Success and Big Success.

Here are 5 reasons (and a bonus) your team cannot afford to overlook setting up a robust data analytics enterprise going forward.

1. Know Your Edge

Running a business can be a lot like, well, running. If you work up from 1 mile to 5 over the course of a few months, and then keep running 5 miles forever, you’re not hurting yourself, but nor are you growing anymore. With data analytics, you can introduce an element of challenge to your business by ascertaining exactly where the limits of your current model are--and then making an informed push to expand those limits. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be running a marathon by the end of the year; a robust data enterprise can be the key to getting you there.

2. Celebrate Wins

Once you’ve set those goals, a solid data system can give you a concrete sense of how close you are to reaching them, and in what ways you need to pivot or adjust in order to ensure you reach them in time. And all so that when you do reach them, you can celebrate those wins--appropriately. Remember: celebrating wins is a tried and true method for increasing employee engagement, creating a positive team culture, and helping your staff know when they are on track or not. In addition, clear data will give you the power to know the difference between a win that’s worth a party, and a win that’s worth a handshake. And who doesn’t love a (well-earned) party?

3. Fight the Right Fights

Intuition is a powerful force in business; it was Steve Jobs intuition that gave him the sense that aesthetics would trump hardware in the early Apple PCs. But after that initial stroke of genius, what’s a better north star--concrete data analytics? Or a hunch? Investing your company in a comprehensive data outfit will give you the tools to know which fights are the fights worth fighting, and which are better left aside. Who are your real competitors? Or is your greatest competition something your current enterprise lacks? Big Data can help; if only you ask.

4. Treat Your Employees Better

It’s not only sales, marketing, or other external processes that data can help you understand. Internal issues, like human resource management, hiring, talent support, and team development can also be enhanced by a solid data analytics operation. Employee surveys, like Great Places to Work, can help you understand if your employees are happy, and if not, give you concrete and actionable steps to change that situation. Ultimately, being able to track and understand employee behavior can be a powerful tool to help make your company a literal great place to work.

5. Learn from Mistakes

Most managers are great at helping their teams identify missteps and brainstorm ways to avoid them in the future. But this kind of course correction functions within the known-paradigm of “business as usual;” how do we ascertain the kinds of missteps that are occurring company-wide, or even across an entire industry? Big data analytics! Because of its ability to crunch massive amounts of information quickly and efficiently, a powerful data bank can help your company identity and anticipate changes on the horizon long before a manager--or even a CEO--might take note of it in human behaviors or profit patterns. It’s the kind of investment that can mean the difference between following industry trends, or leading the pack in creating them. For this reason, big data is a truly worthwhile investment.

6. Bonus: Data Can be Simple!

Don’t be intimidated by data! Today is the golden age of data visualization, so it doesn’t have to be all numbers in boxes. Charts make data more accessible for those who aren’t drawn to numbers, and can be used to explain, express, and story tell big decisions you present to investors, board members, or even a reticent internal team. Big Data isn’t the be-all-end-all of your company’s success, but it can be a partner in overcoming challenges and investing in a successful future. Don’t assume that “data” is a four letter word. Make it simple, and enjoy where it takes you!


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