How Data Can Improve Your Business

Proper and efficient use of data can improve your business in many ways. Here are just a few examples of data playing an important role in business success.
Improving Marketing Strategies: Based on the types of data collected, it can be easier to find attractive and innovative marketing strategies. If a company knows how customers are reacting to current marketing techniques, it will allow them to make changes that will fall in line with trends and expectations of their customers.
Identifying Pain Points: If a business is driven by predetermined processes or patterns, data can help identify points of deviation. Small deviations from the norm can be the reason behind increased customer complaints, decreased sales, or a decrease in productivity. By collecting and analyzing data regularly, you will be able to catch a mishap early enough to prevent irreversible damages.
Detecting Fraud: In the absence of proper data management, fraud can run rampant and seriously affect business success. With access to sales numbers in hand, it will be easy to detect when and where fraud may be occurring. For instance, if you have a purchase invoice for 100 units, but your sales reports only show that 90 units have been sold, you know that ten units are missing from inventory and you will know where to look. Many companies are silent victims of fraud because they fail to utilize the data to realize that fraud is even occurring.
Identifying Data Breaches: With the availability of data streams ever- increasing, it creates another problem when it comes to fraudulent practices. Although comprehensive yet subtle, the impacts of data breaches can negatively affect accounting, payroll, retail, and other company systems. Data hackers are becoming more sneaky and devious in their attacks on data systems. Data analytics will allow a company to see a possible data breach and prevent further data compromises which might completely cripple the business. Tools for data analytics can help a company to develop and implement data tests that will detect early signs of fraudulent activity. Sometimes standard fraud testing is not possible for certain circumstances, and tailored tests may be a necessity for detecting fraud in specific systems.
In the past, it was common for companies to wait to investigate possible

fraudulent activity and implement breach safeguards until the financial impacts became too large to ignore. With the amount of data available today this is no longer a wise – or necessary – method to prevent data breaches. The speed at which data is dispersed throughout the world can mean a breach could happen from one point to the next, crippling a company from the inside out on a worldwide scale. Data analytics testing can prevent data destruction by revealing certain characteristics or parameters that may indicate fraud has entered the system. Regular testing can give companies the insight they need to protect the data they are entrusted to keep secure.
Improving Customer Experience: Data can also be gathered from customers in the form of feedback about certain business aspects. This information will allow a company to alter business practices, services, or products to better satisfy the customer. By maintaining a bank of customer feedback and continually asking for feedback you are better able to customize your product or service as the customers’ needs change. Some companies send customised emails to their customers, creating the feeling that they genuinely care about their customers. They do this most likely because of effective data management.
Making Decisions: Many important decisions about a business require data about market trends, customer bases, and prices offered by competitors for the same or similar products or services. If data does not influence the decision- making process, it could cost the company immensely. For example, launching a new product in the market without considering the price of a competitor’s product might cause your product to be overpriced – therefore creating problems when trying to increase sales. Data should not only apply to decisions about products or services, but also to other areas of business management. Certain datasets will provide information on how many employees it will take to foster the efficient functioning of a department. This will allow you determine where you are understaffed or overstaffed.