A business can learn a lot from data. Business intelligence is a methodology that takes data and derives actionable results from it. When a company utilizes those suggestions, it can lead to higher efficiency and productivity. However, there has been a reluctance in some businesses to give data-driven results a chance. Many feel as though data can’t provide the ‘human element’ that leads to positive change.
Despite this, other entrepreneurs have brought data-driven decision-making to the foreground, and below, seven members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their best advice and stories about how data has allowed them to make smarter decisions and drive their business success.
1. Creating Client Memberships
We’ve used our team time management data to completely overhaul our product offerings and transform our transactional project work into client memberships. This has driven repeat business and helped create less stress for our teams. We’ve also built deeper relationships with clients, in addition to qualifying new prospects right out of the gate. We’d have never been able to offer our services as products had we not had the internal data to back it up. – Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
2. Predicting Trends
We use quantitative and qualitative information to drive product decisions. We are constantly optimizing what we sell using feedback on size, fabric and general comfort. Data tells us which products people buy together, how products perform in our customers’ homes and which styles and colors attract them. We also use data to minimize waste as our planners and allocators work with historical sales information to determine what is likely to sell and when. By leveraging data, we are able to focus on making only what is needed, avoiding the fast fashion cycle, targeting the right customer with the right product and more importantly, making fewer but better items that enable people to feel like their best self. – Ashley Merrill, Lunya
3. Deciding Business Location
I’m a huge fan of using Google Trends, the free online tool that allows you to compare different search terms over different periods of time and filter by location. When deciding between two locations to open for my next business, I used Google Trends data and quickly realized that our services were much more needed in one area vs. the other. This kind of data is so powerful as a small business, and helps me make decisions all the time. – Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
4. Learning Product Correlations
One way we’ve used data that’s been particularly beneficial to our bottom line has been studying products that are related and products that are frequently purchased together or purchased within a short time frame. It has allowed us to create specific emails upselling the product to more customers while knowing that the conversion rate will be higher. – Darby Cox, Smoke Cartel Inc
5. Creating Customer Profiles And Narratives
As an agency that specializes in analytics, we use our data to create very specific customer profiles for different products and services, as well as to help put together narratives of those customer profiles. Once we have developed our customer profiles and narratives, we then either optimize our sales funnels or create new products and services based on those customers’ wants and needs. Google Analytics provides all of the information we need to optimize our sales cycle and create a new pipeline of products and services. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
6. Tracking Website Traffic And Purchases
I regularly monitor our website’s analytics to keep track of who’s visiting our website, when, what they’re purchasing and much more. Looking into this data tells me what I need to pay more attention to. More than that, it tells me what’s working for my business and what isn’t. It helps eliminate processes and strategies that don’t increase our numbers so we can focus on a different plan that takes us where we want to be. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
7. Backing Up Our Narrative
As a business-to-business software-as-a-service PR agency, metrics matter. Historically, we’ve been able to report top-line data and results to our clients with anecdotal commentary around whether campaigns were particularly successful or not compared to competitors and industry averages. These results and commentary were discussed in the sales process with potential prospects, but there wasn’t any hard data to back it up. Thanks to advances in marketing technology and industry-specific SaaS solutions, we now have a wealth of data to support our commentary to current and potential clients. We can now provide analysis and transparency into pitch performance, agency-wide client averages, competitor news, benchmark data and more. This has helped us retain clients longer and close bigger deals. – Lindsey Groepper, BLASTmedia