Previously we looked at the key technology trends in accounting to watch out for in 2020. Among the trends are big data and data analytics, which can have a great impact on businesses.
Business data has existed for a long time, whether in filing cabinets, ledgers or storage devices. But today businesses both large and small have to deal with huge collections of data every day. This has seen the rise of data analytics trends that include deep learning, machine learning and dark data.
Unfortunately, small and medium businesses (SMB) have to struggle with making a decision on implementing data analytics. This is largely because many SMB owners assume that data analytics is strictly for large organizations – especially because of the expectation that it’s expensive and complicated.
Luckily, reduced tech costs have made it possible for small and medium businesses to afford technologies that were previously only cost-effective for big organizations.
Is the Cost and Effort Worth It?
Before the advent of big data analytics, customer data was collected using surveys or customer feedback forms. Analyzing such data is tedious, and it’s possible to miss out on important trends.
Also, imagine running marketing campaigns and having no way to track how effective the campaign was. If you do this in your business, you have no way to know who saw the ad or even the response.
Enter big data and analytics and the whole marketing landscape changes. With big data, a business has clear insights about customer behavior. This is possible because we now can track visitors to a website, the time a visitor spends on a given page, action taken such as making an order, the location the purchase came from and so many other details that help a business refine its marketing strategy.
Is it costly? You’d be surprised to know that you don’t need to purchase expensive software. You’ll find, for instance, that you can take advantage of data collected by the QuickBooks accounting software. And depending on your business needs, the software can be connected with low-cost platforms that enable more detailed analytics.
You also can get free platforms such as Google analytics to analyze website traffic and gain insight into consumer behavior. Whatever your company size, you can take advantage of big data insights to better understand your customers.
Here are some reasons why it’s worth it:
- Analytics help to launch effective marketing campaigns that result in better ROI.
- Analytics help to track the customers in their sales cycle.
- It’s possible to track the outcome of business decisions, such as promotional strategies.
- You get to know which suppliers or other business partners to work with.
- Provides insights on customers who are likely to pay on time based on historical payment data.
- Improves customer service. This is possible when customer conversations from different channels are analyzed.
- It helps to improve the product or service offered by a business.
- Identifies trends and patterns. For instance, you can track frequently asked questions and then create a page to handle the common questions.
- Helps create a strong bond with customers. By understanding customer interests, a business will then engage with their customers by creating personalized offers and campaigns.
- On the tech side, big data is being used to detect and prevent fraud.
- Analytics identify problematic areas of a business, and this makes it easier to come up with a response quickly before the problem escalates.
When used correctly, data analytics can help a business gain a competitive advantage over other businesses. At the same time, it will also boost your business conversions and revenue. But collecting just any piece of data can be overwhelming and even a waste of time. The secret is in collecting data that will help you reduce business costs and increase your revenue.