What Does Your Business Need to Do to Embrace Data Analytics?

by Staff Member

Small businesses that embrace data analytics see significant benefits like reduced costs.

Guest post by Alice Dawn

IMAGE: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/11/19/21/01/analysis-1841158_1280.jpg
Credit: Pixabay

It’s only in the last few years that data analytics have become relevant to businesses of all kinds. Before that, they were largely viewed as expensive luxuries that only larger corporations could afford (and which many had a limited understanding of to begin with). Now, however, even small- to medium-sized businesses are able to take advantage of these invaluable assessments. 

A university speaker’s take on data analytics’ impact on small businesses in 2019 did an excellent job of outlining how companies can expect to benefit from embracing data. The speaker asserted that SMBs can now use deep learning to enhance decision-making capabilities; shift marketing efforts based on machine learning; and gain unprecedented insight into internal operations. 

Each of those benefits could spawn an entire series of articles. Because the truth is that they’re very significant benefits that have the potential to completely transform modern businesses for the better! In this article though, we’re focusing less on what data analytics can do for your business, and more on how your business can implement analytics to begin with. 

Hire Analytics Experts

The first step is to recognize that you’re likely unable to properly implement data analytics entirely in house — at least at first — and to look toward outside hires accordingly. Thanks primarily to an explosion in online courses and degrees aimed at addressing gaps in the data market, there are now thousands upon thousands of people seeking education in this area. And this is one discipline for which this kind of proper education matters more than, say, age or general professional experience. A graduate from an online master’s in business data analytics program will understand how to efficiently gather data, how to make it easier to visualize and understand, and what to look for in studying it. All of this makes for an effective application of data analytics for virtually any business. 

Develop & Direct Strategies

While it’s a good idea to hire an analytics expert, it’s also important not to expect said expert to build up an entire analytics operation from scratch. When you consider how to drive growth with analytics, there is ultimately a lot of strategy that comes into play before and after the actual data analytics process. You need to set goals, identify target demographics to serve and questions that you want your analytics operation to answer, and so on. In other words, you still need to develop a plan for your data, and use it to direct an analytics professional and/or team as needed. You’ll want to rely on professionals for the more scientific side of the process, but the strategy from the beginning will still be your responsibility to develop.

Outsource IT Cost Management

Last but not least, it will also be wise for your business to outsource some of the cost management associated with adding data analytics efforts to your IT operations. Managed services for IT helps businesses to avoid lag time in addressing issues relating to operational costs. They can also help to break down those costs into regular payments rather than lump sums or delayed expenses that add up over time. These benefits can help the addition of a data analytics operation from becoming more burdensome than it needs to be for a business that’s new to this sort of effort. 

Through these practices and efforts, a business of any size can effectively embrace data analytics. It will be an adjustment at first, but once the benefits become apparent, the business will unquestionably be better for it. 

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