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Why the unknown value of your business sits in your data

The term ‘big data’ is not a new one; while its origin is widely contested, there is no doubt that in recent decades the positive correlation between data analysis and business development has become increasingly understood and utilised.

Be it customer interaction data, supply chain data, operational data or financial data, companies of all sizes are rapidly learning how to identify and leverage insights, trends and customer behaviours, regardless of industry, to bolster their growth and strategic decision-making.

Statistics suggest that, within organisations with advanced data and data analysis maturity, 82% saw a positive year-on-year growth in revenue over the past three years. It is no surprise then, that a recent report by Deloitte found that over half (54%) of companies polled intend to increase their investment in innovation in 2024.

The value of data for businesses

Despite the apparent growing faith in ‘big data’, just four in ten companies actually use big data analytics; a disproportionate number considering the proposed benefits. In fact, the value of data is held in such high regard that in 2020, the UK government announced a National Data Strategy in a bid to “drive the collective vision that will support the UK to build a world-leading data economy”.

So why?

Leveraging the data you have access to might seem daunting, but doing so can enable you to make better decisions, anticipate needs, direct your contact and content to the right people at the right times, and ultimately lead to a better customer experience on the whole – regardless of who your customers are. All of this combined can help with interaction and conversion, propelling your business to new heights and new profit margins.

Data and decision making – a match made in heaven

In the current business climate, especially for SMEs looking to scale – having the ability to analyse and understand data can be the difference between a business thriving or surviving. Accurate data analysis can transform a set of numbers and information into valuable insights, patterns and trends – all of which, if utilised properly, are opportunities for growth.

By learning how to make use of your owned data or data you buy from others, or by taking a more data driven approach to operations, you’ll be able to make more confident decisions as you have already done the hard work to figure out what may or may not work based on previous instances.

Given time, data analysis can also enable you to make decisions proactively, for example by giving you the tools to identify and act on trends in the right way for your audience before competitors have the chance to do so, as well as helping you to identify exactly who that audience is and how best to reach them.

The key here is to ensure that the data and data analysis you’re using is accurate, that your decisions are analytical in nature and that you’ve considered the

How does data help with acquisition and conversion?

Growth and development is, without a doubt, one of the key goals of any business – be it a sole trader, an SME, or a well-established large corporate. That expansion cannot happen without attracting and retaining customers, which can sometimes be hard to do in such a saturated market.

This is where the value of data really shines. By gathering and analysing information on your target audience, you can gain precise, valuable insights into their journey and mould your approach to fit, taking into account trends, patterns, preferences and pain points. So how do you go about it?

The key is to start with data that is ‘clean’; this means that that is accurate, compliant and reliable. Aside from meeting regulatory standards, the benefit of clean data is that it ensures that the insights you are leveraging are as well informed as possible.

It isn’t enough to just have the data though, you have to know what to do with it and how to use it to your advantage. There are a huge range of analytics platforms on the market that cater to a variety of business sizes, the key is to look for those that can handle large datasets and offer real time insights, this will be highly beneficial and help maximise results both now and in the future.

This marriage of clean data and good analysis has the potential to put the right content into the inboxes of millions of key decision-makers, in turn increasing response and conversion rates.

Data for long term growth

You’ve gathered the data, you’ve analysed it, you’re making informed decisions, and it is paying off. But the cycle doesn’t stop there; quality data is just as much about retaining customers as it is attracting and acquiring them.

Whilst you continue to attract more customers, you can put that same data to good use to assess how best to keep customers coming back to you time and time again. For example, you might analyse the point at which most people look for alternative services and their reasons for doing so; perhaps there’s a particular time of year that you need to be increasing or decreasing your contact with your audience to keep them invested; or perhaps you’ve identified a downturn in engagement and want to figure out why.

By using quality, up-to-date data and data analysis, you can continue to address the wants and needs of your audience, even as trends and preferences change and your business goals develop. Those highly satisfied customers will become ambassadors, in turn encouraging others to interact with your services and continue the cycle of growth.

It is important to remember that the value of your data for your business is only as good as the data itself; ensuring that you have effective data collection and cleansing processes, as well as accurate analysis processes, will set you on the right road to strong business decisions, actions and outcomes.