Can you remember the last time you visited the website of your favorite e-commerce retailer? Perhaps you wanted to buy the latest shiny smartphone that had caught your fancy. Once there, you may have seen personalized product recommendations and even related ads on your other devices even after you left the website – an experience that left you thinking, “Woah, how are they doing that!”. The technology powering this comprehensive tracking of online user behavior is advanced data analytics.
Today, pick any business entity from varied industries such as travel, health care, retail and government that requires agile decision making in order to be competitive, and you will find it is using data analytics to give you what you want and when you want it. Armed with analytics tools, organizations can study vast amounts of data to discover hidden patterns and their interdependency. These patterns help them better understand and predict the behavior of customers such as you and I. While this approach has been around for a long time, modern technology has made it possible to find these patterns immediately.
No matter what industry one operates in, data is king. And for making sense of the gigabytes of data and finding answers and patterns within them, analytics is essential. Effective analytics removes the possibility of guesswork in decision making for businesses. It empowers them to predict business outcomes on the basis of insights, rather than simply make forecasts based on intuition that may never see the light of day. Analytics, thus, gives businesses a degree of competitive advantage they never had before.
Advanced analytics also help companies measure the performance of their business efforts on a lead-by-lead basis. The insights derived about customer identity, habits and preferences can be utilized to improve functions such as marketing, sales, IT development and customer acquisition. After all, a company that knows what drives your purchases better, can compel you to buy their product or service more effectively. Advanced data analytics, hence, enables enterprises to understand the efficacy of their various activities, and capitalize on the impact of the same on the customer journey.
Today, any slight contact made with a present or future customer is an interaction that leaves behind a trail of intelligence – where did they come from, what prompted them to click or purchase, and how can the customer journey be improved. For e-commerce companies in particular, this information is a goldmine as it can help them accurately predict what their customers want and present them with the right product at the right time. In effect, analytics enables companies to study what happened in the past, in order to make better predictions for the future.
While business analytics have historically covered a wide range of topics including warehouse effectiveness, sales pipeline, marketing performance and more, a lot of these functions have now moved online post the advent of next-generation technologies. As such, it has become infinitely easier to access and analyze in-depth information from assorted departments such as marketing, sales, customer service, R&D, finance, shipping and accounting – all to know one’s customers better and serve them better.
Another major advantage of advanced analytics is the possibility for companies to identify new business opportunities. As customer needs keep changing constantly, companies can meet these by spotting the right opportunity with the help of analytics and capitalizing on it with smarter decision making. The end result? Increased profitability and superior customer satisfaction.
With the help of data analytics and high-performance marketing, companies can now take on projects they could never even dream of handling earlier because data volumes were just too large and complex. By discovering patterns within every customer action, the most compelling benefits that data analytics offers are speed and efficiency. The ability to quickly gather information from disparate sources, run analytics and unearth patterns that can be used for better decision making can give organizations an unbeatable edge in today’s hyper-competitive world and endear them to customers.