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Proper decision making happens to be an integral part of running a business. Impactful and insightful decisions help your business to transcend beyond competition. And this is where, entrepreneurs need to consider quite a few aspects around transactional data, better known as big data. For enterprises that know the art of harnessing this gold mine of information, big data can ensure a tangible competitive edge. Quite inevitably, this has generated quite a powerful buzz in the business arena.
Although the prime focus has always been on gaining useful insights from humongous chunk of data, there is a more intriguing thought lingering beneath it. And that is, how these business data sets can be turned into strong business decisions drivers. How this can be done? Simply by knowing the value behind the right approach to data mining and data analytics.
What is big data and why is it important?
In its day-to-day functioning, a business is overwhelmed by the large volume of unstructured and structured data sets. The term ‘big data’ refers to these data sets that inundate your company at various levels – financial performance trends, management reports, social media buzz, brand chatter, important data of all stakeholders in the supply chain process, etc. These are just the tip of the vast iceberg known as big data. Combining this data with dynamic analytics will help you accomplish quite a few crucial business tasks that include:
- Finding out the major reasons for issues, defects and failures in real time
- Recalculating business risks, trends, projections, future prospects
- Identifying fraudulent activities and malpractices, before they wreak havoc on your organization
- Studying consumer purchase habits and customizing marketing strategies to specifically target them
Sources of business data
Tapping into the huge goldmine of information and data for big data analytics is not limited to a single source. Nowadays, enterprise data can be classified into three broad categories.
- Data from social media: Marketing and sales are crucial business functions. Data obtained through social interactions from existing or can prove to be highly beneficial for determining the course of these functions.
- Streaming data: Most of the businesses have perfect connection between several devices within the businesses. Streaming data refers to those data sets that reach IT systems through the web of these devices. You have the opportunity of deciding on which data sets to keep and what to discard.
- Public sources: Data is also available from public sources through their official portals.
Essential features of data harvesting
Perfect identification of data sources inevitably brings you to the crucial elements of handling it to enable proper analysis. Once you know the key to harnessing business data, it will not be long before you achieve the power of impactful business decisions emanating from it. The main features to keep in mind when optimizing data for further analysis –
- Proper storage and management of data: You have to ensure that mind boggling volume of data needs to be stored, accessed, shared and retrieved in its full integrity at any and all times according to the user demand.
- Determining amount of data: There are organizations including every data in their analytics. Depending upon your business requirements, you can either choose to do that or identify relevant data to sift prior to analyzing it.
- Ready to lock and load: Now you are ready to pass the transformed/optimized data through appropriate BI/analytics tools. This will help management visualize the story behind the data and give them immense clarity on how to use these actionable insights for their best interests.
Importance of right data
It is amply clear now that the best decisions can be taken with only the right type of data being passed through BI tools. And when you have the right data with you, your business can be empowered at multiple levels. Check out these ways in which the right data flow can turn around the fortunes of your business.
Getting gold nuggets of information to alleviate pain points
- The figures and facts processed by your company regularly are what we call as raw data.
- Once this data gets processed and gets relevance, purpose and context added to it, you achieve business information. This can include anything from your sales trends to customer behavioral patterns.
- The moment you are successful in deriving a relationship between these chunks of information and your business objectives, what you acquire is business knowledge. A common example of business knowledge can be a baker ordering more cakes on a specific day of the week because he knows that they will have a huge demand on the following day.
Helps in decision making
Companies are in a state of constant influx of data. Managers need to stay alert to such data and base their customer acquisition and retention strategies around this data. For this they need to be agile, act faster, react positively to changes, decide collaboratively and bring in an essence of innovation in decision making.
Looks to be a huge task?
With Big data this ‘huge task’ is simplified to a substantial extent. What you are left with is high powered analytics that throws insightful information to help senior level management in high quality decision making
Enhances user experience
As an entrepreneur or manager you also have the option of utilizing Business Intelligence or BI tools while understanding data and making decisive moves to improve overall customer experience around your brand. It also gives you an idea of what the customer might demand tomorrow, so that you can be ready with the solution and gain a competitive first mover advantage.
Section 2: Discussing the significance of right data analytics while executing various business processes and operations.
Now that we know what how the right approach to data mining helps businesses, lets now look at how getting the data analytics right improves the overall bottom-lines of your company. Here’s a look at some ways departments within an organization benefit with a streamlined data flow –
Decisions regarding Marketing and sales
Result-driven and customer-oriented approaches happen to be the prime requisites for business today. Additionally, it has also become imperative for business owners to gauge the changing market trends and sense consumer demands proactively. These processes are crucial because they affect sales and customer service. Three key factors comes under marketing and sales. They are:
- Demand forecasting
- Marketing optimization
- Optimal pricing
Proper data flow helps in data extraction service and analytics will help you execute all these processes.
Assists in taking supply-chain-management decisions
Supply chain is one of the crucial aspects of business operations and is determined largely by consumer demands. And as customer demands are highly uncertain in nature, the process of supply chain management is quite dynamic. Developing a streamlined data analytics strategy proves to be highly beneficial in alleviating this pain point. Data analytics will help entrepreneurs or business managers model the structure of supply chain as well as product flow.
Handling business operations
Apart from sales, marketing, and supply chain, operations are another crucial segment of businesses. Business operations involve quite a few vital processes such as production scheduling, asset management, site design, and risk prediction.
You simply cannot deny the importance of streamlined data flow while executing all these processes. Also, right data analytics helps you assess business risks and anticipate failures. That surely proves to be a major help while making strategic decisions. What entrepreneurs achieve is the opportunity of lowering chances of failure, thus improving returns on their business.
Decisions regarding product distribution
Optimal and most efficient channel of distribution of products is perhaps the most important function for your enterprise. Without distribution, your products are not going to reach target customers in the right way at the right time, thus preventing revenue generation. Correct data analysis will help you take powerful and effective decisions in this regard. Access to streamlined data will give you the opportunity for devising proper transport routing and loading.
As an entrepreneur, you will have the perfect opportunity of deciding the loading setups based on customer requirements and specific orders. Data analytics will help you develop an idea of the loads that are transportable together and the ones that are not.
Helping in procurement
Big data analytics help in timely and optimized procurement process. Getting this aspect right through BI and analytics will help prevent over-stocking or under-stocking. As an outcome, it will take your business objectives towards fulfillment, thus keeping your bottom line stable.
Helping entrepreneurs make insight backed decisive moves while executing necessary business operations, is the key value proposition of getting the right data analytics done on the right type of data. A streamlined data flow helps drive right data analytics. Keep the above crucial pointers in mind at the time of data harvesting and you will be on the right path to gain an unbeatable competitive edge built on the foundation of data analytics and BI. With a good data backup, you too can build your association with experts in data harvesting and gain from insightful data analytics to drive your business fortunes.