I am sure by now all business owners have heard the term; Data is the new oil. What am I not sure is how many have understood and start exploiting the new oil. We have heard countless stories of how companies like Amazon, Noon, Uber, AirBnB are analysing the data they collect and buy. We know how these companies know our next move and how they follow us not just on the internet but also when we move in and out of countries.
Small and medium businesses have wrongly assumed that Big Data is for Big Companies, but this is not true. There is a cost involved in mining data, but the benefits can easily outstrip the cost if the right questions are sought to be answered.
You don’t have to look far to find the data that lies within your organization. The potential data set is available in your:
- Sales Invoices
- Enquiries and Leads
The sales invoices in your ERP are the single-most source for growing your business. Some very simple analysis can help identify trends in terms of product mix, customer habits and sales effort. Data analytics help in looking at data through different lenses and at times help unearth hidden relationships between products and sales effort.
Spotting high and low potential customers is possible by understanding their product mix and the bills ageing analysis. It also allows you to anticipate customer churn and seasonal spends.
Enquiry and lead data helps analysing customer behaviour and your sales responses. Lead sources combined with lead ageing can give you insights on future sales revenues. Closing ratio across different products and salesperson can help issues with pitches and effort., while conversion rates and source potential help direct future marketing trends.
This analysis can be done easily using popular tool like Microsoft’s Power BI. It does require a little bit of effort to learn the ropes, but once you have been able to get your data into a proper spreadsheet or allow data connections to your database, you are pretty much ready. A consulting company, like ours, can help you set up the data environment and create a few reports to start you off.
Stand up and take a look at the data that you have been sitting on for a long time. The good news is that it is by now large enough to make better the predictions. Start today.
Mohammed Sutarwala, Managing Director, emQube.
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