Sayan Biswas, Negosentro | Data has been in the media spotlight for a number of years now. In fact, it is one of the most important topics of our times, albeit one that we have only recently really begun to understand the power of. Since the inception of the computer, and certainly since the invention of the internet, “we” – as a civilization – have been generating large volumes of data and of various different data types, at a prodigious rate.
You probably heard about the recent scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and the company’s safeguarding of its users’ data. The entire episode embodies the great, the good, the bad, and the future. Certainly, it has once again proven just how powerful data is, especially when it can be gathered and analyzed on the kind of massive scales that Facebook et al are currently dealing with. While in this instance there was a lot of unethical behavior, the principle of the exercise – to collect large volumes of user data and provide a detailed analysis – could be put to an altruistic use.
We already know that data analytics can be put to some extraordinary uses, including fighting pandemics. But you are more likely to encounter it in a business context. In the business world, data analytics is now considered to be one of the most significant components of a well-rounded business strategy, especially for larger businesses.
The role of data in digital marketing has changed considerably in recent years. Since the turn of the millennium, internet speeds have been (relatively) fast, and storage has been cheap and plentiful (barring certain natural disasters). The combination of these two factors has made it easy for businesses, especially those that operate across multiple locations or markets, to collect and consolidate huge amounts of data.
These huge datasets can be analyzed using sophisticated tools and methods to give unprecedented insight into the demographics they represent. The more insight that businesses have into exactly who is using their products and services, the more they can tailor their marketing to appeal to the core audience.
The methods and tools available to data analysts today mean that they can take some truly huge datasets, sometimes consisting of tens of hundreds of millions of people (a number that is constantly on the rise), and ‘mine’ them for patterns. This approach relies upon increasingly sophisticated algorithms and AIs which can identify complex patterns that a human would miss. It is hard to overstate just how much power this process has for businesses.
Prepare For the Worst
Data analytics software comes in a variety of different forms. Some of these are intended for general use, while others are tailored for specific environments and scenarios, for example, Proof Business Impact Analysis Tool. This is a data analysis tool which is designed to allow businesses to prepare for a variety of scenarios. Having contingency plans in place is important but making these plans after a major event has occurred is no good. When businesses are complacent and don’t make any preparations for when emergencies strike, the result is often one where minor inconveniences end up grinding the business to a halt.
With the right business impact analysis tool, it is possible for businesses to run ‘simulations’ of a number of potential scenarios. The more data that is available to feed into these simulations, the more detailed and reliable the resulting impact analysis will be. With an impact analysis in hand, you will have a much easier time devising and implementing effective contingency plans for any of the most likely or most common disasters that befall businesses in your chosen industry.
A great deal of the data that a business generates will concern its day to day operations and routine tasks. It is often in these areas that businesses become complacent. We tend to just assume that the most basic things are being done properly because they’re so, well, basic. In actual fact, even the smallest inefficiency in a task that is carried out widely and/or often will quickly add up to a significant amount of lost time.
Now that it is so easy for businesses to collect and analyze large complex datasets, it seems absurd to think that any business would let the opportunity pass them by. There are now a variety of businesses who provide data analysis services to businesses, both large and small. In some cases, these businesses can also help with the collecting of data, after all – your data analysis will only be as useful as the data that you have collected. You cannot, for example, learn very much about your businesses paper usage by looking at how much money staff are spending in the canteen.
Understand Your Impact on the Market
When your business begins trading, unless you are in a very niche field, your business will be a tiny blip on most people’s radars, if they know you exist at all. It is the ambition of all entrepreneurs to grow their businesses until they are competing with the biggest players in their market. Measuring the success and fortunes of your own business is something that anyone can do. But, unless or until you have grown your business to a reasonable size, it will be difficult to measure what little impact you are having.
With the right software and datasets, and possibly the advice of a data scientist, it is possible to measure even the subtlest changes in the marketplace in response to your business’ activities. Of course, demonstrating correlation is one thing, demonstrating causation is another, but data analytics can help to push you in the right direction.
Data analytics is a relatively new science, but it is one that has already proven to be revolutionary. It is hard to overstate the power and potential that lies in the analysis of data. It is an elegant demonstration of just how numbers-driven our world really is. If your business isn’t yet making use of data analytics, this is something that you need to change! If you want to compete with the biggest players in your market, you will need data on your side.