There was a time when big data was out of reach of small and medium-sized businesses. That time is rapidly coming to a close. AI, machine learning, and the Internet of Things made big data much more available to business owners, giving them unprecedented access to valuable information.
But data science is only useful if you can put it to work for you. Here are a few ways you can use data science to grow your business.
It’s one thing to spot vital trends or new potential markets through expertise or intuition. It’s another to see them coming through hard data and use that data to power business decisions. Predictive analytics can transform raw data into priceless insights about consumer trends, changes in the market, or possible risks. Data science can help business owners hone their strategies, lower their operating costs, and increase their sales.
Better Insights, Better Products
For better or worse, customers are willingly giving away more of their personal data than ever before. That means valuable marketing insights on purchasing trends, customer preferences and behavior, and the changing face of the market. Smart business owners can leverage this data to improve their products, develop relevant new products, or otherwise innovate to keep an edge over the competition.
Automate and Streamline
Data science can also be used internally to increase efficiency in your business. For example, with the help of machine learning, your company could reduce the number of time-consuming decisions employees have to make by automating processes like search and data collection. Some processes could also be automated, freeing up employees’ time to take on more important and sophisticated tasks. Technologies like AI-powered text analysis can free up hours of time employees might spend searching for specific kinds of information.
Implement Employee Tools
Another highly effective way of using big data is to leverage it into powerful tools for your team. Organizing customer data into apps or software means putting more information in the hands of your team, which frees up time for them to do what they do best — whether its’ focusing on sales, managing your social media, or improving your products or services. This goes hand-in-hand with automation, making for a boost in efficiency and productivity across the board.
Data can also be used to create powerful visualizations. Spreadsheets and raw data are undoubtedly useful, but strong, simple visuals can help persuade customers, inform employees, or help illustrate the reasoning behind business decisions. An interactive tool or app that transforms your data into an attractive, compelling visual can make all the difference in the world when it comes to making more conversions or building your brand.
Offer Data Transparency
Today’s consumers, especially younger consumers, value transparency and honesty in the businesses they buy from. A feeling of authenticity and humanity goes a long way toward building trust with customers. This gives businesses an opportunity to build rapport with customers by sharing their own data. A company that is open about its revenue, salaries, or fundraising can gain a lot of traction with data-hungry consumers. Transparency doesn’t mean giving away everything, of course — just enough to build your reputation and grow your business.
Change With the Market
The modern business landscape is constantly changing. Companies have to work harder than ever before to keep up with market trends, consumer preferences, and changing technology. The good news is, the unprecedented availability of data makes it easier for businesses to keep abreast of those changes. Data science and predictive analytics can detect changes and trends in the market and (with a little luck) act on them before the competition. Spotting a shift in consumer preferences through social media, images, and videos makes it easier to stay on track with your target audience and expand your reach in the marketplace.
Data is also useful for assessing and minimizing risks in business. This isn’t merely a matter of using analytics to identify potential hazards or consequences to your business decisions — although that is a common use of data science. Data can also be used to minimize other risks, such as fraud, failure points in your daily processes, and changes in customer loyalty or retention. In the same way, that big data can fuel innovation by spotting trends or opportunities, data science can also reveal shortcomings or inefficiencies that can be fixed.
More than ever, in today’s marketplace, data matters. But making use of big data requires education and expertise. A good data scientist is skilled in mathematics, statistics, and programming skills the non-technical members of your team may not have. Having a data scientist on your team can provide you with powerful new tools to improve efficiency, fuel innovation, and grow your business in unprecedented new ways.