How Understanding Your Data Can Give You A Competitive Edge

Understanding your data can give you a Competitive Edge

When it comes to running a business, everything is a competition and understanding your data can give you a competitive edge.

Every business decision is made with the competition in mind, from your products to the advertisements you run.  To attract customers to your business, you have to draw them away from another nearly identical business within your niche.  This is easier said than done, as it can be tough to stand out from the crowd with a dozen other businesses all selling the same thing you are.

One of the best ways to remain ahead of the competition is to collect and analyse data.  Business intelligence systems will collect data from internal IT systems and external sources. It will analyse it and give it back to you in the form of simple and actionable reports.  It’s not enough to collect data from your customers—you need to truly understand and act on this data if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

Here are some of the best ways that investing in understanding your data can give you a competitive edge:

Know Your Customers

To attract more customers and retain existing ones, you need to understand how your customers function.  What products are currently in demand?  The kind of devices your customers are using to make purchases?  What sites can you run advertisements on where you know your customers will most likely see it?

All of this information and more is available to you in the form of data. It must be collected and analysed to be properly used.  When you invest in a quality business intelligence platform, you’ll get the data analytics you need to understand your customers truly.  This can help you anticipate their demands, supply the products they need, and tailor the experience towards each customer.

Know Your Competition

In addition to knowing your customer, you have to know your competition.  What if your competitor offers the same product as you but at a much lower price?  This means your sales will plummet unless you find a way to show customers why your product is better.  This may mean lowering prices, offering additional incentives, or investing in a higher quality product to help differentiate yourself from the competition.  If you’re operating unaware of what your closest competitors are doing, don’t be surprised when your customers abandon ship.

The key to understanding your competitors is, again, data.  By investing in collecting and understanding data about what your competitors are doing, you can improve your decision making and help stay one step ahead.  By analysing what the competition is doing, you can also learn what’s working for them and what isn’t.  This can help you succeed where they fail and wind up ahead in the long run.

Find Gaps In The Market

Market trends are another important factor that data can help you understand.  If you know what’s currently in demand, then you can meet your customers where they’re at.  For example, if data shows that electronic products which incorporate voice technology are increasingly in demand. Then you can add voice technology capabilities to your upcoming products and stay ahead of the trend.  But to see this trend in the first place, you have to collect and understand the data about what products are currently selling in your niche.  This can help you spot gaps in the market to exploit.

Customer Segmentation

Personalised content is one of the biggest trends of recent years, as more and more customers begin to depend on a personalised shopping experience than ever before.  The more you analyse customer data, the more you begin to see specific types of customers emerge.  Some customers respond well to email marketing and off-site advertisements, while others are receptive to push notifications offering last-minute discounts.  By collecting and analysing the data, you can segment customers into different categories and provide each category with precisely tailored products or services.

Minimise Risk

To grow your business, you have to branch out into new endeavours.  This means developing new products, expanding your advertising strategy, and more decisions that can help you reach new customers.  Anytime you invest in a new product or marketing strategy, you’re taking on a certain amount of risk.  Nothing is guaranteed, which is why it’s essential to make decisions driven largely by existing data.

If you can back up your decision with precise data points that indicate whether your move will be successful or not, then you’re much less likely to fail.  A business intelligence system that interprets the data clearly and concisely will help you mitigate much of your risk when making these decisions.  This makes it easier to make changes with confidence, knowing that what you’re about to do is more likely than not to succeed.

Develop New Products

Product analysis can provide companies with some of the most valuable insights they need to develop new products.  When you collect and analyse product data, you can discover which features work the best and which are the most popular and what your customers are using your products for and more.  These insights can help you determine how well a new product would perform in the current market, aiding the development of new products and services.  The more you understand what your customers like and don’t like about your current products, the higher you can make the quality of your next product.

Investing in a quality business intelligence system will provide you with many ways to give your business a competitive edge. Armed with actionable and easy-to-understand data, you’ll be able to make informed business decisions with minimal risk and maximum results. If you don’t know your customers and competition, you won’t differentiate yourself and provide customers with an attractive alternative.