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Data analytics: the new challenge for small business

18 July 2017

Small business owners are keenly aware of the difficulties they face across all facets of their company, as well as any new movements in the marketplace. Of late, this has meant becoming adept in an increasingly important area – data analytics.

It may seem like an intimidating forum to delve into, but its benefits make the additional time and energy spent worthwhile for any small business owner.

So, what is data analytics and why is it important?

As the name suggests, data analytics is the process of collecting and examining data to ultimately form a more comprehensive view of operations. This more informed standpoint helps businesses to take the right steps towards positively influencing profit margins.

More specifically, data analysis allows small business owners to make better decisions, understand customer needs more deeply and gain much more value from current marketing strategies.

Putting data analytics into action

While it’s hard to deny the benefits of data analytics, many small business owners believe it’s equally difficult to find the time or resources to invest in such ventures. There are, however, a few steps that don’t require another 40 hours of work per week or the expertise of a professional analyst.

Firstly, identify what type of data is most relevant to your business. With so many forms of data available, chasing down every angle is not only exhausting, it’s unnecessary.

You must establish which data points will be the most valuable for improving your business’ overall operations. This will also put you in good stead for taking the second step - implementing a data strategy.

Essentially, this answers the ‘how’ part of the equation, by mapping out a plan for the collection, analysis, change implementation and storage of data. There are more third-party software programs specifically designed to assist with small businesses data analysis needs than ever before. Investing a bit of time in finding the right program for you will make a huge difference to the strength of your data analytics.

And finally, the third step – creating a sense of accountability. Change is never an easy sell, but if you’re taking the time to collect and analyse data, there’s likely to be some modifications on the horizon.

It’s important from day one to communicate the potential benefits of any changes your findings may bring. Get your team on board from the start, so they can help you carry the excitement and rewarding challenges that can come from effective data analytics.

Undertaking a Masters degree in IT management will stand you in good stead, not only to understand how to examine the data but to manage the projects and people that play a critical part in your business.

To find out more, contact a Student Enrolment Advisor on 1300 589 882.