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The Role Of Data In Business

– Contributed content –

7 July 2017. Do you know when business works best? When it can be predicted. We can forecast cash flow, make decisions based on future events and prepare. All of these things are invaluable and could quite possibly lead a business to success. A business needs to always make educated guesses instead of crazed leaps of faith – as it could be those leaps that end up bankrupting even the most successful of businesses.

Fortune teller

(Jamie, Flickr)

If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be excellent to have a fortune teller in your employ? Someone who could help you make the right decisions at all times – someone who can predict the future? Wouldn’t that be great? It’d allow you to make those educated guesses with more conviction, and it’d give greater weight to your planning.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. However, you can still find plenty of ways of projecting and predicting the future – you just need to look in the right places, consult the right people and use the right technology.

Now, if you’re looking for the key to running a successful business, and something that will guarantee you enormous profits, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Not much can be predicted in business, but the things we can predict hold a lot of weight. With the right tools and analysis, we might be able to predict our cash flow and customer base, we might be able to predict Government policy that affects business – and we might be able to predict the future security of our business ventures. This is certainly more than good enough and especially for businesses new to using analysis.

spreadsheet sample

(Wikimedia.org)

How do you do this? Through one thing – data. Numbers tell us everything we need to know. -1 for example, means a loss – while 1, means a profit. These numbers tell us if a business is doing well, or if it needs to make changes to ensure a profitable future – that’s invaluable knowledge. The science of data in business can get a lot more complicated than that as well, but even at basic levels, it has great weight and is a great ally.

What is data? It’s the facts, numbers, figures, and analysis that goes through a company every day – it’s payroll, staff numbers, income and expenditure. It’s large-scale figures that matter. However, without any context – data is almost useless. A profit on Wednesday and a loss on Thursday doesn’t tell us much without context – was Wednesday a public holiday? Was it raining on Thursday? We do need this accompanying information in order to accurately process data and transform it into a useful tool for our business. The highlight of data is the potential emergence of trends and patterns – which can help a business make some incredibly informed decisions that could potentially save a lot of money.

For example, If a store sells more milkshakes on a Tuesday than a Wednesday – maybe it will ramp up orders from its suppliers to accommodate the Tuesday, while ensuring less product goes to waste on Wednesday. This could potentially be a business saver in the long run.

The internet is where data really thrives – as every action on the net has a guarantee of generating useable data – it means you’ll have more information on hand than ever before. Each of your movements on the net should come as a result of data analysis. Search engine optimization and lead generation depend on data – and the goal is data if not sales, it’s a circle. It can also get pretty complex as well. It’s good to know that agencies like http://www.chatmeter.com/ are around to provide complex breakdowns of this data – so if you don’t understand anything – you may want to outsource this work to ensure it gets done right! The internet is one of the biggest arenas to generate data, so make sure you do so.

What else could you predict? In the case of political events that could affect a business – while we cannot predict the outcome, we all should be aware that there are usually only two people, or parties, who can win an election. Planning for all circumstances is one-hundred percent necessary – and all the data you need is in a manifesto. It will tell you if your taxes rise, or fall – it will tell you about the commitments you might need to cover financially. The data of elections is interesting, while polls are good – they cannot predict an outcome to a point. Data comes in all shapes and sizes, so it pays to keep a close eye on things.

A business really does live and die by its ability to process and act on the data and information available to it. Why? Because competitors to a business who use data to make informed decisions are operating on a higher plane and acting with authority, while a business that doesn’t use data might just be flying blind. Data allows businesses to act incredibly fast in business, which is important as business is always changing and the demands of a business might transform overnight.

Building cartoon

(Lachmann-Anke, Pixabay)

It’s not hearsay either. Big gains are to be made by small improvements in a business and the way it uses data. If a business uses data well, and ensures that it is constantly generating quality data to use, it can increase its sales and its understanding of its customer base, and target market. If you want your business to be more modern, more useful and more productive, you should certainly look into the use of data across all aspects of your business.

The goal of data? It’s not necessarily to succeed, but to ensure you’re targeting the right people, making better seasons and being more productive across the board. A big criticism of businesses is that they fail to understand – but with data, you have every chance of better understanding every aspect of your business. Why would you not indulge in the opportunities that data and analytics provide to your business?

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