Business analytics is a complicated field, both due to its naturally complex subject matter, but more so because the global industry landscape has seen major changes over the past few years in particular. The way we collect and analyze data has seen immense shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic and as such, business analysts have had to alter their data analysis practices to better understand the extent to which the pandemic has affected either their own business or their clients’ businesses.
Of course, for emerging business analysts, the ability to even identify changes or adaptations that need to be made may not be as easy, nor is the ability to actually facilitate those adaptations. So what is there to do? Mentoring has been the most effective teaching tool for many emerging business analytics professionals.
We’ve compiled some of the most persistent advice from established business analysts and economists for emerging or budding data analytics professionals.
1. Invest in an in-house data analytics team (if possible)
There is a difference between completing a data analysis course this is facilitated by industry professionals and simply learning how to use data analysis software. While most business owners can be content to familiarize themselves with their selected data analytics software and take control of their organization’s data, there is certainly some value in outsourcing your data analytics needs. data analytics to analytics agencies, or better yet, hire your own in-house data analytics specialists.
Having dedicated analytics specialists may not be viable for many SMBs, but organizations that have the budget to allocate to this asset may find that they will be able to take advantage of many more opportunities. business development, because your internal data team will be able to name appropriate strategies for even the smallest growth opportunities, enabling you to take a multidimensional and potentially even multidisciplinary approach to your business development processes.
2. Use a variety of data analysis software
Along with hiring in-house business analysts, you should also ensure that your in-house team is equipped with a variety of data analysis tools, just to ensure that any discrepancies in particular software can be explained by consulting another. Likewise, different data analysis software uses different approaches to data collection, analysis, and arguably most importantly, data presentation.
For example, there is business analytics software that uses AI as a way to identify effective solutions to shortcomings, such as a lack of audience engagement in specific aspects of your digital campaign. Artificial intelligence software can suggest personalizing email marketing campaigns based on user preferences using products that particular consumer has spent time exploring on your e-commerce website. This is just one of the ways business analytics software can help you increase customer acquisition and retention rates, among other organizational development positives.
Of course, larger companies also have the option of developing their own custom-designed data analytics tools to deliver and present data in a way that best meets their own organizational needs. SMBs also have the flexibility to adapt existing software to their needs, but naturally finding the perfect calibration for your applications and data tools will take a lot of time and many reassessments. regularly review your organizational development strategies and keeping your analytics software up-to-date is in your organization’s interest, as derived data may not always be able to reflect innovations in the world of web development or even things like updates from Google.
3. Carefully analyze patterns
Diagnostic analytic practices are only powerful if they are thorough in their approach, and it certainly pays to be thorough. Modern business analysts are constantly encouraged to take a holistic approach to data analysis, especially because there can be so many variables impacting your final data sets at any given time.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a fantastic example of this, as many e-commerce businesses have seen an influx of customers while traditional retailers have seen a significant decrease in customer interactions, even with the development of their own website. advanced e-commerce. Analyse of consumer behavior during the pandemic found that consumers felt safer using pre-pandemic e-commerce platforms compared to platforms developed specifically out of necessity.
What this data has revealed is the very importance of user experience for digital consumers. This discovery then became a field of study in its own right for analysts to follow both during the pandemic and in their post-pandemic economic landscape. Data analysts were encouraged to test different UX formats to gauge which options were most popular with online consumers. This is an ongoing process that will likely continue to provide business analysts with a wealth of professional opportunities both during this time of global digitization as well as beyond the digital age.
4. Monitor KPIs over the long term
It goes without saying that organizations that want to get the most accurate reading of the effectiveness of their business processes and maintain a solid understanding of their business performance naturally need to track their KPIs on an ongoing basis, and not just for the duration of a particular digital campaign.
Your KPIs should ideally merge across campaigns, just so you can keep an accurate picture of how a given strategy is impacting a particular metric. This can minimize your risk of blindly following a particular digital marketing strategy which may not produce the best possible results. The worst thing you can do for your business is to continue a practice or strategy simply because it’s “the way it’s always been done.” Monitoring your KPIs and reacting to any changes accordingly will ensure that your business will always have its own edge.
5. Maintain historical data records
In addition to tracking your KPIs consistently and continuously, modern business data analysts must also take steps to ensure that their organization’s historical data is well maintained and available at all times. As historical data has proven time and time again to accurately predict market trends and provide the perfect solutions to resolve potential pitfalls, the importance of historical data simply cannot be overstated.
Modern business owners have a responsibility to their internal data team to provide effective methods of data retention, as historical data can be quite cumbersome to maintain, especially if your business has a large website or offers many products. , or even if your organization has been operating for a long time and therefore has a fair amount of paper records that detail sales and expense history.
Hiring some employees specifically for data entry can help speed up the process of collecting and organizing historical data records, but the methods you use to store your data should ideally be developed in conjunction with data specialists. data because historical data records that can’t be fed into data analysis software.
6. Use SEO tools to assess search engine visibility
Finally, as site design and user experience continue to be very critical to the longevity and success of your business, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar store or purely an e-commerce business, it is undeniable that digital transformation has also made digital marketing a more than worthwhile investment for business owners everywhere. The art of SEO in particular is becoming increasingly critical to the success of any e-commerce or hybrid business.
The global web is a space of deceptive competition, and simply having social media followers does not guarantee customer conversion. You will need to ensure that the content on your site is conducive to increasing customer engagement and therefore converting customers. Along with this, you’ll also need to develop landing pages specifically designed to help your site visitors take the actions that positively affect your selected KPIs, whether it’s signing up for your mailing list or signing up. make a purchase.
All of this can be achieved by ensuring that your site content is well optimized and that your website is accessible to a large base of potential customers. And you can make sure your site copy and content on other pages are as effective as possible by analyzing the data presented in SEO tools. Business data analysts can use data derived from SEO tools in conjunction with internal or site data to determine exactly which pages on your site are most effective or engaging. This information can then be used to further develop these sites and build links that direct your online audience to this page. This is just one of many other potential SEO strategies that use data analytics practices.
Yes, business analytics is quite a broad topic on its own, and naturally there will be analytics professionals who specialize in particular areas within this field. This is exactly why modern business owners should definitely consider building their own team of in-house data scientists. After all, a multi-faceted approach to data analysis will always outperform a singular approach, simply because diversity in both interpretation and strategizing can be the best tool available to any modern organization. .