How to Make Big Data Work for Your Small Business

By QuickBooks India

3 min read

Our earlier post introduced you to the concept of ‘Big Data’. Big data gives you an opportunity to learn from your company’s data in order to make smarter business decisions. In all likelihood, most of your competitors– large and small — are using big data to improve marketing operations, product quality and advance relationships with customers.     The following are few ways that you could use data to improve your business:

  • Sales receipts

The sales receipts you hand out to your customers, provide insightful data about their purchasing behaviors including data like how frequently they visit your store, the kind of products they purchase and which service they prefer. Examine this data carefully, maybe going back many months and years, to reveal a certain pattern and you will come across some powerful insights.

  • Email marketing metrics

As a small business, you probably keep in touch with your customers via email. That is ready information available at your fingertips. Examples of data you can examine are open rates, click through rates and forwards. A click through tells you that your reader found your content interesting enough to take that extra step. While a forward reveals even deeper information, saying that the reader not only liked your content, but liked it enough to share it with their networks.

  • Social media marketing insights

Popular social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, have become the norm. The amount of time that people spend on your social media channels can give you tons of data on their choices, preferences, likes and dislikes. Tools like ‘Facebook Insights’ and Twitter analytics dashboard give you an understanding of the type of content your audience likes, when they are usually online, and what posts they engage with the most on your company’s pages.   Strategically use the data you have gathered: Data is simply a bunch of numbers and words, until you do something with it. Following are a few simple ways you can put all that data to use:

  • Seasonal promotions and discounts

Going by the purchase behavior analysis you have collected from your sales receipts, you could plan running tailored seasonal promotions to capitalize on the behavior patterns you’ve observed.

  • Email marketing content

Having examined data like email content, designs, click-throughs and forwards, you can use this data in the future to alter your email content to give provide your readers with exactly what they want. Experiment with what could work and what doesn’t. Conduct an A/B split test that allows you to test certain specificities on two different groups. Your email marketing content should be an evolution and should definitely be sensitive to your customers’ behavior.

  • What works on social media

Having looked at your social media content and gathered the different data. Judging by what works, you can improve on the style of your content and tailor it more to what your audience likes and post it at the time of the day that gets most engagement. Constantly modifying your content and improving it according to which way the wind blows, will step up your social media marketing.

  • Benchmarking against competition

Not so long ago, you had to rely on surveys and polls gathered over different time periods, often resorting to outdated information, to understand what your competitors were up to. The tides have now turned. As a small business, you now have access to large amounts of current and up-to-date data about other businesses in your niche market or locality. Such data allows you to see the latest trends in your industry and decide how you would like to see your business grow. The power of harnessing big data could be a very real and powerful advantage for your business. It can drastically transform the entire outlook of your business. Small businesses do not need be afraid of the relevant infrastructure required to store and analyse their big data. All this infrastructure can now be outsourced  to several services and companies that offer cloud data storage solutions and big data analytics services.

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Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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