As a business owner, you’re going to have to deal with many new challenges that will arise as your business gets larger. Whether you’re a business that suits itself to do business more physically or digitally, you’ll build up a database of data over time that will include data about products sold, what times certain products were popular, and more. Many businesses will end up using the data they have to try to make estimates on what they should invest in, but then they end up failing when it seems like their move was going to be a big hit. Rather than simply using data any way you can, consider these ways that you can optimize your data more to have better outcomes.
When you build up a database of purchases over time, you’ll be getting data automatically that you can use to make decisions for your business. However, you won’t be getting the full story of every purchase as you won’t know why a customer came into your business and what did they think of the shopping experience at your store.
By offering surveys after purchases, you’ll be able to ask any questions that you want so that you can build out your future decisions. To create a survey program, you’ll want to make sure that you are offering incentives for customers to do them in the first place. You can offer incentives such as gift cards that they can use for any purchase inside your store or offer special coupons that provide a deep discount on certain popular products.
Additionally, make sure that you don’t make the surveys too long as customers will never finish them even if you have a reward since they don’t want to spend too much time providing information. As time goes by, you’ll be able to make sure that you have a survey program that not only customers are satisfied with, but you as you’ll be able to optimize all of the purchase data that you have already by building on top of it.
Once you’ve gathered data from sales and surveys, you may think that it’s enough to be optimized in making the right decisions. However, you may not be organized enough to be able to easily make decisions on what data to pair with others. You must start organizing your data better so that you can easily find what goes well which each other.
To start the process of getting your organization down, start by creating multiple spreadsheets. Depending on the type of business you have, you might want to do this by creating a spreadsheet for each store or every physical area that you are servicing online. From there, create multiple tabs on each spreadsheet for the categories that you think you’re going to be looking for in data such as brands or the type of product being sold.
Once you’ve filled out all of the tabs in your spreadsheets, you’ll be able to easily get to all of the information you need at any time. Additionally, think about setting up formulas in each spreadsheet so you are instantly able to do the math you need such as tallying up how much each brand sells in each store just by putting the relevant data in each field. Ensure that you’re great at organizing your data when you are looking to optimize how you use it.
Data ingestion is the first step in preparing data in which you’ll be gathering all of the data that you need to analyze automatically or manually.
To properly go through the process of data ingestion, you need to first identify the sources that you are looking to gather data from. For example, your business might be a retail chain that’s looking to analyze their sales regularly so you need to create a system where you can easily gather all of the data that you have from each of your store’s sales systems regularly.
Data ingestion systems can either be set up for data to be extracted either manually from a skilled team or through automatic services such as Google Cloud. No matter which way you do it, make sure that you have a method for data ingestion that you can use to gather all of your data.
As your data sets start to get larger, it might be near impossible to organize all of your data so you can make decisions easily without hiring a full-time staff to deal with it. Fortunately, you can find different solutions for dealing with large sets of data such as data blending. Through this process, you can have all of your data automatically sorted through to create different visualizations of the stats that you are looking for.
Analyst firms have started to recommend using this process as they have found that without using blending, most companies around the world are using up to 20% of their data only, meaning that they can be missing out on huge irregularities that could change what important decisions they make, costing them millions of dollars in the long run. If you decide to go through this process, make sure that you consult with professionals that can get you set up so you can blend your data successfully.
Consider going with blending your data if you still aren’t getting the results you are looking for when optimizing your data.
As automation and technology, in general, starts to advance more, you’ll start to see more ways that you can optimize your data. Make sure that you keep up with the industry around you to make sure that you aren’t missing out on something crucial that leaves you behind.
If you aren’t in a position where you can focus on making your data optimization better, see about hiring a dedicated team that can constantly look at all of your business data to make sure that you are using it properly.