You’re doing all the hard work of building and launching your business, making sure you’re on the right social media platforms and connecting with your audience.
And all your hard work is paying off (even if it’s not showing in sales yet). See, now you have tons of data to help expand your audience and generate leads. But the question is, are you using your data to your advantage?
Now, you may be nodding your head yes to this question, but there’s a chance that your data is dark – how mysterious!
But dark data is no joke. Around 55% of businesses’ data is dark – meaning they have the data and don’t know it, or they have the data but don’t know how to use it. Either way, it’s preventing your business from reaching its full potential.
But that’s why we’re here, people! We don’t want you to live with dark data; it’s time to see the light (can we get an amen?).
But to use your data to the fullest and make data-based decisions to improve your business, you’ll need data analytics. In this article, I’m going to talk about what data analytics is and why you need it as a business owner.
I don’t want to throw you into the swimming pool before learning how to swim. So, it’s crucial you know the foundation of data analytics before taking any further steps.
Data analytics. You’ve probably heard of it, but what does it mean?
Data analytics is collecting and examining raw data and pulling out specific information using analytic tools (like Google Analytics) to help make strategic decisions for your business.
See, whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re collecting tons of data about your audience and their behavior. But from where? Well, data can come from many places, including:
This data analytics is then used to understand audience behavior so you can make data-based decisions and strategies for your businesses.
Does this just sound like a bunch of words? Let me break it down for you.
Let’s say your candle website is bringing in traffic, but you’re not making any sales. How do you figure out what’s going wrong?
Using a data analytics tool like Google Analytics, you see that your audience leaves before scrolling through the homepage. The data shows you that it could be you don’t have a strong call-to-action (CTA) or you’re targeting the wrong audience.
With this information, you can make the necessary tweaks to your marketing strategy or website layout to fix the problem.
Whether it’s your website or social media profile, data analytics helps you gain a better understanding of how users are interacting with your brand and what areas you need to improve.
It doesn’t matter if you have a small or big business – data is key to your success. But why? Well, I’m going to share some really important reasons why you need data analytics for your business.
When you know what’s going on with your website and social media, you can make better decisions about your business.
For example, let’s say you’re looking at your Instagram insights for your dog grooming business. The data tells you that fewer people like and comment on posts from the past month.
With this information, you can see what has changed in your recent posts. Maybe you’re posting less frequently, or you’ve changed the style of your posts – whatever the case may be, data is giving you the information to help improve your engagement on Instagram.
But remember, data doesn’t only exist for your social media. You can get this data from your website, email campaigns, and sales.
With data, you can draw conclusions about buying behavior, interests, engagement, and more. Having this information in your hands gives you the power to make smarter data-based decisions.
When you don’t know what’s working and not working for your business, you throw money into the wind trying to figure it out. And this isn’t the way to do it (I mean you can do it that way…if you have unlimited cash in the bank).
With data, small businesses can get information that shows them the problem areas in their business, so they can resolve those issues.
For example, let’s say you have a candle business and offer gift wrapping at checkout. If the data shows your customers aren’t interested in purchasing gift wrapping, then you can remove this offer and cut the cost of purchasing and storing gift wrapping supplies.
While this may not seem like a huge cut on costs, every penny counts when you’re a small business.
Small businesses can collect data from various channels (email marketing, social media, website analytics, etc.). This data provides small businesses with insight into how their customers prefer to shop.
When you have this information, you can streamline your marketing, website, and products and services to better fit the customer’s needs. In turn, you enhance the customer experience which increases sales.
For example, let’s say you have an online clothing business. You can analyze the sales data and social media data to create marketing campaigns for products that customers are already interested in. By doing so, you enhance and personalize the customer experience.
You know you’re not the only small business out there. You have some competition, and right now, they’re using data analytics to help improve their business – so it’s time to join the bandwagon. Today, 60% of companies use data and analytics.
Why are companies jumping to use data analytics? Because when you have a solid idea of how your customers think and their interests, you can tailor your products and services to meet their needs, going that extra step.
For example, you have a candle business. Your competitors found out that through data analytics, customers who buy candles are interested in health and wellness. Yet, you’re only marketing to customers interested in home design. You’re missing a significant target market that your competition is grabbing. With data analytics, you can discover secondary audiences and expand your customer base.
You know why you need data analytics for your business, but where do you go from here? I recommend watching this YouTube video for more information about data analytics.
If you want to learn more and go in deep with data analytics, I recommend taking a course. Google has a data analytics course that will help you master analytics and take advantage of your business’s data.
Natasha Ivanovic is a Vancouver-born creative writer that started her writing career as a freelancer while studying for her Master’s in Investigative Psychology. On the weekends, she writes short stories for her blog, TheLonelySerb, and cuddles with her bulldog, Bob.