Without realizing it, almost all businesses are collecting data every day. The internet has opened up a universe of data that tells us more about consumers than ever before. We know when they open emails, which websites they visit, what they buy and, thanks to review platforms and social media, what they think and feel about a brand or product. If collected and analyzed correctly, this information can be a game-changer for the modern business. It can inform product development, sales, marketing, customer service and so much more. So, if your business is not using the data at your disposal, you are likely to be missing opportunities for growth.
Employee Performance and Efficiency Analysis
Statistics can tell a manager or business owner a huge amount about employee performance and efficiency. By collecting data about how many tasks an employee completes or products they produce, they can identify potential areas for improvement, whether that’s via employee training or improving internal processes. Streamlining a business’ efficiency can be one of the most effective ways to increase productivity and profitability. Many business people invest in Six Sigma training, which provides an advanced and focused approach to projects and statistical methods, the highest level being the Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
It’s also now common for business owners to gather data and feedback from their employees to gauge their level of engagement and satisfaction in their role, which has a direct impact on productivity.
Informing Key Business Decisions
Running a business involves making important decisions that can impact the future of the company significantly. By using statistics in the decision-making process, they can better evaluate all of the options and estimate the likely outcome of each. They may be able to analyze which products or services have been most successful for competitors, or which have brought in the most business in the past. For example, comparing marketing campaigns can tell a business which marketing platforms resulted in the most sales and where to invest more of their marketing budget.
Data Collection and Ethics
There are strict rules about data collection, and as a business owner you are legally obliged to ensure all customer data is managed securely and ethically. In most cases, the data is still just as useful to a business when it is anonymized so that no identifiable information is present. For example, if a company wants to determine the best-selling product, or when sales are at their lowest, they can do this without the need for the names or addresses of each customer. All data must be stored securely and in accordance with privacy and data protection legislation.
Research and Development
Market research is another key area where businesses might use statistics to inform their strategy, such as during new product development. For example, surveys and competitor analysis can be used to determine whether or not there is a demand for a new product and could even be used to inform the design, pricing, launch date, and marketing strategies.