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What is Business Analytics and How it Benefits Your Organization

Chris Porteous
Chris Porteous
Co-founder and CEO at Framestr

Fulfilling the consumers' needs is the basis of any successful company, and with fierce competition, there's no place for guesswork.

Over the last 30 odd years, society as a whole has become more reliant on technology, data and business analysis. 

Unlike before, businesses now need to compete globally. Thus having a thorough understanding of their past performance is vital in preparing for the future. Yet, information on its own is useless and doesn't provide any decision-making power.

Therefore, it's vital to learn how to process this data and ensure that it's accurate and consistent. For these reasons, it makes sense to obtain a master's diploma in this field or employ someone with the expertise to implement analytics data to yield intelligent and effective business decisions.

According to Bloomberg, as much as 97% of respondents confirmed that their companies had adopted this technology. They also showed that the sought-after primary goals were to:

  • Increase profitability

  • Reduce costs

  • Improve risk management

So, let's take a look at what business analytics is and how your venture can profit from it.

What is business analytics?

Business analytics is defined as:

  • The process of comprehending accumulated data, estimating performance, and producing useful conclusions. 

Organizations use these deductions to make educated decisions on the company's future using various statistical strategies and techniques.

However, this shouldn't be confused with business intelligence. Trade information is used to answer the "what" of the situation. In contrast, analytics explains the "why," connecting the company's technical aspect with the decision-making or managerial side.

There are three essential techniques for analysis:

  • Predictive: Predicting future outcomes through the use of statistics

  • Descriptive: Identifying trends and patterns by interpreting historical data

  • Prescriptive: Controlling the best possible outcome for a given scenario through the application of various techniques

The situation at hand will ultimately determine which method to use.

Why is business analytics essential?

A business analyst's role is to use his expertise and information sources to decide which direction your company needs to take to ensure future success. Their specialties typically include:

  • Determining which strategy would be most beneficial for the enterprise

  • Choosing opportunities with the highest possibility of success

  • Preparing your venture for upcoming changes

Although the need for analytics isn't new, its broad spectrum of applications is. The data-revolution has forever changed the way we do business. In many ways, it made companies more lucrative. Be that as it may, it also brought with it various kinds of risks that companies from all industries now face. 

Fortunately, you can avoid this by using relevant and up-to-date data. Yet, for this information to be functional, it must be:

  • Processed 

  • Presented in an understandable form

  • Made actionable

Thus, it's essential to employ an expert that can manipulate statistics to draw useful and practical conclusions. These deductions enable management to:

  • Understand the environment in which the business operates

  • Enhance the venture's productivity

  • Determine how the company can become more competitive

  • Streamline the decision-making process by making it fast and precise

  • Maximizing the corporation's profit margin 

What are the benefits of introducing analytics to your business?

There are many benefits associated with business analytics. It has the potential to:

  • Boost revenue

  • Increase profits

  • Improve customer satisfaction and retention. 

The key is to put in place the conclusions derived from the data effectively. Here are some ways of how this is made possible.

Identifying business opportunities through analyzed data

Business opportunities, such as untapped customer segments, are often overlooked. Analyzing data helps to identify these possibilities. This allows for a near-endless potential for growth and profitability. 

Experts are excellent at discerning short-term trends. Yet, they lack the proficiency to accurately predict long-term problems, which might hinder the business down the road. Data analytics helps companies see shifts in consumer preference through computer models, highlighting which products to update or replace.

Boosting your company's revenue

By employing data and analytics initiatives, you provide your company with the potential to gain significant financial returns. According to McKinsey's research, ventures that invest in business analytics show an average annual increase of 6% in profits. Furthermore, investments that span five years gained nine percent.

A study done by BARC has also found that ventures capable of evaluating their gains through analyzing data reported an average increase of 8% in revenues and 10% in cost reduction. Thus, it's clear from these findings that a robust business analysis strategy will ensure financial payoff.

Empowering your company to make an impact

Business analytics provides you with:

  • An understanding of both your venture and the industry in which it operates. This ensures growth by enabling you to make the right choices for your business.

  • The ability to compete. Analyzing the vast amounts of data a company is exposed to is vital to staying competitive. A failure to do so might end up drowning you in the information. 

  • The know-how to set timelines. Intelligible insight into every aspect of your business allows for easy and quick decision making that yields positive results.

  • Clarity. The expertise necessary to enable you to place your company in a better position in the future by developing efficient strategies is gained from the knowledge of where your business currently stands in the industry or particular niche.

  • The power to increase efficiency. Analysis grants you the ability to pinpoint operational inefficiencies. It also gives you the knowledge of how to respond to them accordingly.

Keeping you up-to-date in a changing environment

You require constant change and growth to maintain your company's ability to compete in the modern market. It's vital to stay informed on the latest best practices and industry trends.

Analytics provides your venture with the information needed to survive in today's economy. It also enables your enterprise to grow and improve. This is done by providing you with an analysis of various opportunities and challenges that your venture may face on a day-to-day basis.

Building healthier customer relationships

Through analysis, your company has an insight into consumers' needs, behavior, and points of concern. It also enables you to:

  • Understand the public's opinion of your brand 

  • Follow the results of various marketing strategies.

  • Develop a lucrative marketing campaign aimed at building long and prosperous relationships with your clients

Empowering you to plan for growth

Business analytics gives your company the ability to forecast. This makes it more agile and prepared for potential risks. As a result, you're enabled to make vital decisions confidently, knowing that your venture can endure the threats and adjust to their consequences.

Improved customer targeting

Derived from an analysis done by McKinsey & Company, it's clear that using data to make informed marketing decisions can potentially increase the productivity of your venture by 15-20%. 

The retail giant Target's "pregnancy prediction score" is an excellent example of this. Specific items are typically associated with pregnancy. The company monitors the consumers' purchases and assigns a score based on the sale of these products. The retailer then uses this data to determine which special discounts and coupons to email the client.

Predictive analytics, implemented correctly, has the potential of streamlining your customer's experience, effectively embedding your brand into people's minds. Your company gets a vast amount of information daily that can be used for this purpose. 

The key lies in finding the correct tools to examine your client's buying and internet browsing habits and implementing this data to provide dependable and practical strategies. 

In the modern marketplace, one can no longer avoid the necessity of using business analytics. In a continually changing business environment, the broad spectrum of benefits provided by analysis will ensure your venture's profitability and growth and help you identify new opportunities. 

Building healthy customer relations is within your grasp. Take action and secure the future of your investment.

Image Credit: ipopba/Getty Images
Chris Porteous
Chris Porteous
business.com Member
See Chris Porteous's Profile
I'm a serial entrepreneur and owner of three internet ventures, including My SEO Sucks. A contributor to ZeroHedge, Entrepreneur.com, Forbes, Inc.com, and dozens of other media outlets, I believe in SEO as a product. I developed a proprietary technology fueling the #1 rankings of My SEO Sucks clients. In guest speaking ventures across North American, I advocate for organic search traffic as the backbone of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy.