Let’s talk about big data and why it matters to your business. There’s a common misconception that only large corporations that hire researchers and data analysts understand how to incorporate big data into their day-to-day operations. However, Home Improvement Retailers also have opportunities to use big data as a tool to improve bottom line profits and achieve modern-day business success.
What Is Big Data?
For years, thought leaders and influential organizations have struggled to coin a definition for the term big data. While everyone agrees the concept is revolutionizing business in the 21st century, many definitions are complex and confusing. However,
I think Microsoft’s definition is one of the easiest to grasp. According to Microsoft, “Big data is the term increasingly used to describe the process of applying serious computing power—the latest in machine learning and artificial intelligence—to seriously massive and often highly complex sets of information.”
How Big Companies Use Big Data
Simply put, big data helps organizations improve operations, react faster and make smarter business decisions. Massive amounts of data are collected from a number of sources such as social media campaigns, mobile devices, databases and servers. The data is then analyzed, restructured, stored, and retrieved when the company needs to use it. This consolidated information is then used to develop insights that increase profits and assist the company in understanding factors that influence purchasing behavior or other key decisions. Big data is also crucial for companies who plan to:
- Improve the customer experience by enhancing the products that are
introduced to the marketplace
- Gather more robust consumer intelligence to better understand individual preferences
How You Can Use Big Data
You may be wondering how big data relates to your business and what it means in terms of the future. Surprisingly, your operation is already equipped to use some form of big data. If your business accepts credit cards, has a website, engages in social media or offers a loyalty program, you currently have the ability to collect and analyze data. The question is whether you have a strategy in place to leverage existing information for your own purposes. Big data enables you to:
- Get an objective view of your customers
- Determine how your marketing performs
- Assess how customers responded to products or services
- Streamline your everyday operations to save money
- Facilitate employee training in a timely manner
Gather Big Data with Google Analytics
If you have a website, you can use Google Analytics to collect your site’s data. This big data solution is free-of-charge and gives small businesses access to the resources they need in one place. Google Analytics makes it simple to tap into historical data related to trends and offers other relevant information that is beneficial. By monitoring and analyzing visitor behavior, you’ll know where traffic for the site originates, how long visitors stay, and see shopper’s purchasing habits. Understanding these functions empowers you to make better decisions related to the goals of your website.
I’ll conclude by saying, big data offers you an opportunity to understand and provide service to your customers on a more sophisticated and in-depth level. The technology used to collect and analyze data is being transformed every day and will profoundly impacts the operations of every business. Now is the time to be pro-active and learn more about using big data to improve your business and prepare for the future.