If you are new to owning a business, you may be feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information you need to learn about running a business. You’re learning about production, processes, marketing, and analytics. Each piece of the puzzle may feel like the most important, so your attention is constantly pulled in different directions. Business analytics is intended to make things easier for you, not harder. First, analytics are created through a software program, so you don’t have to do anything to get them. Second, they are there to help you make decisions and get an honest view of your business data. Here is a simple overview of business analytics for beginners.
What exactly is business analytics?
Business analytics are insights into your business derived from data about your business. For example, you can collect data on where people are on the internet when they find your website. This data can be compiled into business analytics, showing you if people find you through social media, Google searches, or your email list. Another example is data can be collected on what country people are in when they visit your business website. This raw data can be sorted and organized into data analytics, so you can see where your customers are coming from. Analytics are created by software programs that collect and store all of the raw data before presenting it in an easy-to-read format.
How are they used to improve your business?
Knowing what analytics are may lead you to questions about how they can be used to improve your business. When deciding on your website or marketing, it is best to first look at the analytics to see what the most logical move will be for your business. Looking at the examples provided in the previous section, if you know how customers are finding your website, you can direct your marketing to those areas, or you may use the information to strengthen your weak spots. Say 80% of your customers are coming from social media. You can use this information to improve your SEO practices, getting more people coming from online searches. Likewise, if you know most of your customers are coming from a specific country, you can target your marketing for those people.
Are they more trouble than they are worth?
Business analytics can start feeling like a black hole as you collect more and more information about your business. Analytics are there for you to utilize to improve your business. However, when is it too much? If you are spending most of your time exploring the data about your business, you may be using it as a distraction from actually making changes to your business based on the data. It’s critical not to get lost in the information. In business, there is a separation between what is referred to as “people work” and “paperwork.” The paperwork is the mundane business tasks that need to be done but do not directly impact your profitability daily. People work are the tasks that directly impact your business, including product development, marketing, networking, and customer care. Most of your time should be spent on the tasks that directly impact your daily profitability.
Part of being a business owner is recognizing that you are only one person, time is limited, and your time is valuable. Fully committing to those three truths will help you understand and accept the importance of delegating work. It is critical to focus on the significant tasks and delegate the rest to your long-term success. You can delegate analytics to a software system and delegate the task of compiling reports and suggestions to someone well versed in those business areas. Instead of spending hours focused on the data, you can have someone else do that and make suggestions based on the information.