Businesses now operate in a digital ecosystem generating a massive amount of data. And making sense of this information is key to ensure the success of your business.
So, it is not surprising 67% of small businesses are spending more than $10K a year on analytics. Even more revealing is the fact that 100% of the respondents in the survey are using a data analytics solution.
The information comes from a survey carried out by Onepath to better understand data analytics trends by SMBs. Managers and executives in small and medium-size businesses took part in the survey on the topic of data analytics.
The biggest takeaway for small business owners is data analytics is no longer the domain of just large enterprises. Businesses of all sizes now generate large amounts of data. Analytics allows you to use the data to make more informed decisions.
The Volume of Data
All organizations are data-driven. According to an analysis of big data carried out by IDG, the amount of data small and medium-size businesses manage is 47.81 Terabytes. And the data is expected to grow by more than 50% in 12 to 18 months’ time.
The data comes from customers, markets, and business processes. How you analyze and use this information will greatly differentiate you from your competition.
However, not all businesses are even aware they have so much data at their disposal. Even if they do, transforming the data to make it analytics-ready is challenging. Finding a cost-effective data transformation solution that is easy, fast and scalable is key to make use of the information.
The good news is the market now has many service providers for companies of all sizes. Whether you have Terabytes or Petabytes, you can find a solution to make sense of your data.
Data Analytics Trends
In addition to the $10K the businesses in the survey spend on data analytics, 75% also say they are spending at least 132 hours every year on maintenance and systems. While this is impressive, 86.2% of the respondents say managers/execs can make better use of the solution.
As the emailed press release said, companies are spending excessively on data analytics tools, but they are not getting the full bang for their buck. And the prevailing issues seems to be the complexity of the solutions they have in place.
In the release, Brian Kirsch, Senior Vice President of Sales at Onepath, explains the problem. Kirsch says there seems to be very little debate about the need for data analytics tools. All the respondents agree it delivers tremendous value, but it can deliver more.
Kirsch adds, “The issue is that the tools can be hard to set up, overly complicated, and a pain to maintain. We tell SMBs all the time: One way or another, you’re going to need help if you want to get the most value out of your data analytics technologies.”
Fifty-nine percent of the respondents say without the data from analytics solutions it will take longer to deliver products. Another 56% say it will take longer to service customers and 54% add they will make decisions that can harm them if they didn’t have the data.
- 57% say they don’t have the right people to manage the process of implementing the solutions
- 62% say they can make better use of the tools with more training
- 60% are using a web or cloud-based data analytics system, with only 9% still using an offline tool
- They use the tools for decisions on how to grow the business (66%), budgets (59%) and staffing (40%)
How Small Businesses Can Use Data
This survey reveals the managers and executives agree data analytics delivers tremendous value. If a business can find a good solution that is easy to implement and use, there wouldn’t be a downside. With some due diligence, you can find the right solution for your business. And once you do, here is what you can use the data for.
It all starts by categorizing, storing, and analyzing the data to make sense out of it and gain valuable insights from it. With the right set of data and analysis you can:
Understand your customers even more by getting a full picture. You can find out how they prefer to shop, why they buy, and what they will buy next. Depending on the data, you can even find out why they recommend your business to others.
With the information from the buying habits of your customers, you can recognize emerging trends. This will let you see the demand for your products or service before they happen. You can then predict changes overtime as well as what is going to be responsible for the change.
Keep Track of Your Competition
The available information on any given company these days is incredible. Without leaving your desk you can find out about your competition through search engines, social media pages, websites, blogs, ecommerce sites and much more. You can then compare this information with your brand and see where you stand.
Additionally, you can improve your operations, recruit quality talent, fine-tune your business model and much more. All you have to do is get started right away and let the data you already have work for you.