No matter how well your business is doing, it could always do better. Thankfully, with today’s big data and business intelligence (BI) technology, achieving greater success is easier than ever before.
Here are our top tips for getting to that next level of business savviness:
Don’t underestimate the value of data
Given how frequently big data is hyped up these days, it’s very easy to brush any mention of it aside as just a repetition of something you’ve heard before. But you know why it lands in the spotlight so often? Because it’s incredibly useful.
According to the Harvard Business Review, 99% of businesses surveyed reported that they intend to implement big data analytics and AI in the near future. Thus far, however, fewer than one in three have actually followed through with their intentions – and they’re missing out, big time.
Primarily, data can help immensely with marketing efforts. The right sort of dataset will enable you to identify and target key audiences with higher conversion rates, work out which features your customers value the most, and adapt your service to fit demand.
In HR, too, big data technology can make a big difference.
“Trying to recruit very specific people with such hard-to-define skills is an issue that many CEOs face and can be addressed with data analytics,” Entrepreneur writes. “Having access to predictive talent models means that business leaders can more effectively and efficiently find, recruit, and retain the right people.”
Make sure your data is managed professionally
Just having access to data is not enough to guarantee success, though.
“The vast amount of information that organizations produce today can help them better serve their customers and increase productivity,” says Francis deSouza, the group vice present for Enterprise Products and Services at Symantec. “However, the same information can also become a major liability if it is not properly protected.”
According to sas.com, there are five main ways to ensure effective data management: make sure it’s easily accessible (by the right parties), employ advanced analytics techniques, scrub and filter data thoroughly, shape data using flexible manipulation techniques, and share metadata across data management and analytics domains.
For larger companies, it may also be worth hiring CDOs and CAOs (Chief Officers of Data and Analytics) to take charge of managing data. Having resources dedicated to this increasingly important task will make all the difference in the long run.
Advanced focus on customer experience
It should go without saying that a focus on customer experience has always been a key driver of any successful business – but now there’s a 21st century-style caveat to the initiative: artificial intelligence.
“If you see the graph of customer experience, it is day-by-day reaching new heights due to Artificial Intelligence,” explains Medium. “AI has completely redefined the scenario of customer experience with its power. This automation of customer experience aided many businesses at numerous touchpoints of the customers along their journey.”
One of the most common uses of machine learning in customer-facing businesses is chatbots. By utlising AI, businesses can train chatbots to interact with customers in an appropriate way, and learn from their interactions in order to continually improve the service they provide.
“Putting it straight, employing AI chatbots reduces costs and enhances the customer experience,” Medium says. “The support staff for your live-chat requires you to pay high bills. Therefore Chatbots are winners in saving your money.”
Be mindful of government regulations
We’ve already mentioned that data is invaluable in business; however, it can also be a huge risk factor where cybersecurity is concerned. For that reason, it’s important to appoint specialists and train staff on how to properly (and legally!) manage it.
GDPR regulations mean that information must be handled correctly to avoid compromising the integrity of your business, but using them as a guideline to be consistent in your collection and analysis of data can actually help your productivity immensely. The regulations also mean that, while you might not get as much data, a higher proportion of it will be useful – so you really should be making sure your business is GDPR compliant.
Harness business intelligence tools
Just saying ‘do more with your data’ is all very well and good, but, unless you have the tools to actually gather and analyse that data, you’re not going to get very far.
Business intelligence tools that use prescriptive and predictive analytics will help you identify strong and weak spots in the way you work, thereby allowing you to make a focused action plan of your next steps.
The scope of what BI tools can help you accomplish is huge, but to narrow it down a little, the main benefits are:
- Identifying market trends
- Finding new sources of revenue
- Optimising existing processes
- Increasing operational efficiency
- Improving decision making
- Giving you the edge over competitors
As with any quest for improvement, all of these action points are still going to require some work on your part. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll see the benefits in no time.