6 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
Big data as a concept is thrown around a lot. It's often used as a catchphrase to sound tech savvy and on the ball – but how much do you really know about it? In truth, it has been around for decades. Companies have long been analyzing the actions and behaviors of their customers and using them to make their business decisions. It's the marker of a strong entrepreneur. The difference today is that we now have the tools and technology to ingest and analyze larger amounts of data faster. Enter big data.
Related: The Central Role of Big Data in E-Commerce
You don't have to be a tech genius or a data scientist to make big data work for you and your business. You can use big data to optimize and optimize your existing data in the following seven areas. Here you will find important examples and actionable tips to get you started.
1. Website design
To prove that big data isn't just for the world's scientists, let's start with a more creative example. A well-designed website shouldn't just look good, it should be part of a subtle conversation between you and your customers and leads.
One way to collect useful big data from your website is through heat maps. You can see exactly where the eyes and cursors of your website visitors spent the most of their time. If these heat dots aren't on your CTA button, contact form, or any other place where they're supposed to be used the most, you know what needs to be changed. With traffic analysis, you can achieve similar results – in terms of page views, unique visitors, visit duration and more. Many traffic analysis tools also allow you to compare against your competitor's websites for a more complete picture of the general landscape.
2. Campaign timing
Have you ever put together a five star marketing campaign that meets all of your customer personality criteria, looks great, and has an expressive CTA – only to see it go wrong? The biggest campaigns in the world won't get you anywhere if you don't publish them at the right time.
Whether you post to social media, email, or any other digital platform, there are tools (like Growbots for email or Sprout Social for social media) that you can use to collect data on when your target audience is is most active and when she is most susceptible to engaging and ultimately when is the best time to reach her. With big data, you don't have to think in the dark about when to launch a successful campaign.
3. Conversion optimization
There are many variables when it comes to on-site content. While this may seem daunting to some, it just means there is plenty of room for tweaking so that your company can do even better than it does now. From the headline copy to the page color scheme, everything can be tweaked and enhanced to get the highest number of conversions possible.
With big data analytics, we can better understand how leads get through our sales funnels, where they might get lost, and when many potential customers drop out. Data-driven optimization is the fastest, most efficient way to get it right. Also, while experimenting, collect as much data as possible and analyze it in large quantities for the most accurate and informative results.
Related: 5 Things That Make Sane Consumers Abandon Their Shopping Carts
4. Personalized communication
No matter what your business is, at the end of the day it comes down to people making a decision. Big data seems like a huge and faceless tool, but it can also be used to add personality and individuality to your marketing and customer interaction.
Fashion brand H&M used big data to do just that when they built it into their chatbot. As it offered options to potential customers and asked them if they liked the product choices, it learned more and more about what clothing options they liked. In order for marketers to make personalized decisions that will have a real impact on leads and customers, we need to get to know them first. Big data is an effective way to do this.
5. Customer loyalty
A good businessman knows how to attract and win customers. A good businessman knows how to keep loyal customers. Once again, big data can make this process much easier.
Checking in with your existing customers through quick polls and polls is a way to keep in touch with how they perceive your business and what they think of your product or service. Depending on the industry, it is five to 25 times more expensive to find a new customer than to keep an existing one. Use big data to regularly ensure that you are doing exactly what your existing customers want you to do.
6. Inform risk management
Risk is a fact for every company. Wouldn't it be great if we could find a way to make smarter strategic decisions with key data to support our riskier endeavors? With big data this could become a reality.
UOB Bank in Singapore did it. As a financial institution, a misstep in risk assessment and management can be catastrophic. The bank used big data to develop a risk management system that cut the time it takes to analyze risk from 18 hours to minutes. The ability to conduct extensive risk analyzes in real time was a cornerstone.
Obviously, not every company has the ability or the resources to build their own risk management solution from scratch, but there are tools that companies can use to accurately quantify the risks they take on a daily basis to shed light on one of the toughest parts of the business Business decisions.
Related Topics: Cybersecurity Practices That Will Protect Your Small Business
7. Smart business growth and innovation
Think of the most successful companies in the world – Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, to name a few. They didn't get to where they are today by holding onto their first idea and running with it. They have diversified, innovated and kept pace with other demands of their customers. Often it was big data that showed them the way.
Let's look at Amazon's newest company, Amazon Fresh. To kickstart its entire grocery service, Amazon focused on big data analytics to understand not only how customers buy groceries, but how suppliers interact with grocers. Big data helped them understand the entire supply chain and find a solution that would streamline every aspect of the supply chain, providing an innovative and helpful service.
For any business, big data can shed the bigger picture when expanding, launching a new product, or evaluating your current services. When it comes to business growth, use big data to make it smarter.