The pandemic of 2020 created a record number of new companies. A rise in entrepreneurship accompanies every downturn in economic history. Technology is making it easier for businesses, big and small, to get started. What else does this mean? Often, there are also loads of competition in the marketplace, so you need a secret sauce to gain a competitive advantage. Sometimes founders and business owners neglect to manage their data, yet clean, accurate and timely information can deliver you a competitive edge.
Business consultants, Kearney write: “Analytics leads to relevant insights that can be applied to strategies that help organizations create and extract value.” Data patterns can predict consumer activities, increase productivity, and forecast sales, giving corporations increased ROI.
Here's how you can use data analytics to gain a competitive advantage.
Better consumer insights
Suppliers can use data to predict that sales will increase during certain times of the year and increase production or order accordingly. However, it's safe to say that these tactics are used by most businesses meaning they are not sufficient to ensure competitive advantage on their own. What many businesses are missing out on is the opportunity to prevent customer leakage through the use of data.
Business intelligence tools such as Phocas can be used to identify which of your customers are purchasing less of your products. Armed with this knowledge, you can have strategies in place to prevent a customer from leaving and purchasing from a competitor.
Information presented in a data analytics tool can make managers more efficient. Rather than spending time requesting reports or manipulating spreadsheets, managers can access data instantly via dashboards or self-service reporting. This access to consolidated data means decisions are made faster and customers are serviced more effectively with good advice about what products to buy.
By gathering a client’s ordering data, a business can predict when that client will place their next order and what they will order. This allows the manufacturer to create the supply to meet the demand, the sales representative the opportunity to up-sell by suggesting paired products, and the marketing team to advertise at appropriate times.
Using business data
Most business leaders believe analytics is important to business but are not harnessing data to their advantage. The authors of Analytics: Creating Actionable Insights Through Data report that “Enterprises that apply advanced analytics have 33% more revenue growth and 12 times more profit growth.”
If data has such great value, why aren’t more companies using it? Many believe it is because there is so much data that managers and their employees don’t know how to use it.
For organizations early in their data maturity journey, we recommend these actions to build capacity, gain competitive advantage and meet shifting customer expectations:
- Build a corporate culture that democatrizes data: Make data a part of you businesses daily activities. In this way, it becomes second nature to everyone and ensures that they know how to use data and turn to data for all decision-making.
- Define your goals for the data: Decide what you can do with the data. Set goals based on the information gathered and share those goals with your people so they can implement strategies to achieve those goals.
- Prioritize and reinforce data standards and processes: Set-up up rules around you data import and consider which data points are necessary to analyze and can lead your growth.
- Invest in data analytics software: Software, such as Phocas Software, provides data that can predict consumer activity, increase efficiency, and generate sales forecasts in a format that is easily accessible from any smartphone, laptop, or notebook. It presents your data in a reader friendly format, generating reports and graphs with a few simple touches on the dashboard.
For more information about transforming you business with data, download this ebook: Digital transformation 2.0