Imagine if you could predict product demand and price changes, understand how the changing seasons would affect your business and model possible scenarios that could benefit or threaten your business. That is exactly what big businesses are doing, and it’s something that smaller companies should be working on too.
Preventing Fraud and Understanding Customers
Advanced analytics can help to prevent fraud, and also help you to understand your customer behaviour. The more information you have about your customers, the easier it is for you to provide value-added services, tailored offers and more enticing discounts. Big brands such as Amazon use this in their marketing, cross-selling and up-selling to customers each time they return to the website. Given the amount of data storage and computer power that is freely available today, there is no reason why smaller companies should not be able to take advantage of the same tools.
If you already have a database of information about your customers, and information about your stock, why not use those databases to learn as much as you can about the position your business is in today, and where it could go in the future? You can combine this data with information from open data projects to model a wide range of scenarios.
Acting on the Information
Of course, analytics are only of value of you act on the information that you collect. Do not make the mistake of bogging yourself down with paperwork and collecting information for its own sake. Reports and charts are not what will improve your business - it is what you do with the information that matters.
Think of questions that you would like to know the answers to, and problems that you would like to solve. Is your business dependent on the weather? If so, open weather forecasting projects could help you. If your business is dependent on passing traffic, news about major conferences taking place nearby could be important. Take a moment to brainstorm today, and you will profit tomorrow.