Business Analytics has been one of the major buzzwords that has been reverberating through the corporate circles. With the advent of Web-2 in early 2000s and the businesses like google and yahoo establishing the importance of Customer Data, Data driven business analytics became more of a norm than an exception for businesses.
Customer Data that a business generates is an asset for a business. It is an asset that the business can leverage against its competition to get an edge over them. Methodical exploration of this Data is important for crucial business decision making.
What Exactly Is Business Analytics?
Business Analytics or BA as it is sometimes abbreviated, is the process of analyzing Business Data, Statistical Models and other graphical representations to analyze the overall health of a business, form strategies that are supported by Data and take informed decisions regarding the business.
Contrary to what the Internet Guru’s running ads on youtube would have you believe, Business Analytics is not really something you need to lose sleep over. In Fact many businesses have been using data generated by their customers to analyze their business for ages.
So what exactly has changed? Well, technology has just made it simpler and a much more rewarding task.
How To Go About Gathering the Data For Business Analytics
The quality of the data that you gather around your business and customer is very important for accurate Business analytics. Before you begin gathering data for your Business analytics, It is crucial you understand the premise of your analytics. Make sure you have concise answers for the following questions before you start Business analytics:
- Goal- What is the goal of this analytics? What do you wish to achieve with this Business analytics?
- Methodology- There are three major forms of analytics when it comes to a business i.e. descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics. We will talk about them in detail in the next section.
- Data- Gather the data around the frustrated goal. It is always advised to gather this data from many sources or platforms for a better overall idea.
- Clean the data and form a data bank/lake of the cumulative data you gather with the goal in mind.
As I stated earlier, technology and automation has made this process much simpler. With an AI based Business analytics solution like FRAGO you could have all your business data in one place and directly get graphical representation on various KPIs that resonate with your goal at a click of a button. So FRAGO reduces the 4 step labor intensive business analytics process into a one click solution.
Types of Business Analytics
While running a business, a business owner faces many different challenges. Each challenge requires looking at the business data in a specific way to arrive at actionable insights. Some of the most common Business analytics techniques are as follows:
- Descriptive analytics- It looks into what is happening in the business at present. Questions like ‘What happened’, ‘What is happening’ are asked when conducting a descriptive business analytics. Descriptive analytics is important when you want to track the response of a new product/service, track sales at a new store location etc.
- Predictive analytics- As the name suggests, predictive analytics is about predicting future market trends and aligning the business to best face the coming challenges. The data set used for predictive analytics is of a much longer duration (at least a business year), so clear market trends can be spotted.
- Prescriptive analytics- It is about using past situations to adapt the business to similar situations in future. It is especially crucial in forming informed inventory decisions based on what worked for the business last time. While Predictive analytics focuses more on future trends to come, prescriptive analytics looks at what worked in the past for the business and how can a business improve upon it.
In all the three types of Business analytics we can see that having the data in one place and having data for a long period of time is extremely important. Managing all the business data that you can pull from at any given point of time further highlights the need of a business solution like FRAGO where you can upload your data in real time and track the performance of your business for years on end.
Business Analytics Is Different From Business Intelligence
Business Analytics is often confused with Business Intelligence. While there does lie a shared periphery between BA and BI, the two serve contrastingly different purposes.
Business Intelligence focuses more on the day-to-day functioning of the business. It uses Descriptive Analytics to let you know what is working for your business currently and how to exploit that to your business’ benefit. Let’s understand the difference between the two with an example,
Say there is a mom and pop grocery store that sells local organic farm produce sourced ethically and also offers a wide selection of name brands like MDH, Nestle’ etc. The business owners study their sales data and find that the customer’s prefer local organic farm produce over the conventional name brands. This comprehensive study of sales data might encourage the business owner to introduce more locally sourced organic products and stock up on the existing ones. This day-to-day decision to incorporate more organic range into the store as it is performing well is an example of applied Business Intelligence on the store owner’s part.
Over a period of time, the store owner might start to feel that instead of branding their store as a conventional grocery store, it might be beneficial for the business if they rebrand their store as an outlet for local organic farm produce as it is the primary source of their revenue. The decision to rebrand the grocery store into an organic farm produce outlet would also attract more potential customers who are into the organic and wellness lifestyle. This application of predictive analytics to understand the growing trend in the market and optimize the business according to the long term market trends is an application of Business Analytics on the part of the store owner.
FRAGO has the unique ability to be a one-spot solution for both Business Intelligence and Business Analytics for your business. Frago will analyze your sales data, in real time to give you insights on the day-to-day functioning of your business to form informed Business Intelligence strategies and at the same time you can understand the growing trends over a longer period of time to conduct Business Analytics based long term decisions that future proof your business.
Why Is Business Analytics So Important?
Business Analytics gives you an all round impression of your business’ health. It amalgamates all different processes of a business, say marketing, production, management etc and presents the result of all your business efforts in a concise visual form in front of you. A product like FRAGO makes it easier than ever for a business owner to analyze their business on a day-to-day basis.
Business Analytics helps you to know your customer better. Through Descriptive Analytics and knowing what product moves at what pace, a business owner can identify the taste of their customer better and optimize the business accordingly. FRAGO can also segment your customer further based on their demographic segmentation for better and more personalized targeting in future. FRAGO goes a step ahead and lets you customize the customer segmentation based on what works for you. Want to segment all the customers who’ve bought a certain product, or customers who buy from your store often? Well with FRAGO you can do all that with ease.
Visualizing and seeing the data in understandable graphs helps a business owner make sense of the data better and form data driven decisions for their business’ future.
Some Common Challenges Of A Thorough Business Analytics
While forming strategies for your business through business analytics, one might come across a few challenges. Make sure your data can be easily stored and accessed- Businesses today generate huge pools of data. It is just not practical to have a physical stack of data in 2022 for a business of any size. You can keep your data virtually on FRAGO’s servers and access it at any time. Such digital data pools become even more important when a business looks into predictive and prescriptive business analytics as a method.
Your Business Analytics Solution must be able to pull data from many platforms. Business in today’s day and age has become very hybrid. A business might have a brick and mortar store while still selling online. Even an online only business today does not just sell on their personal site but also on more than one online shopping sites like amazon and flipkart. Increasingly businesses are selling on social media and on whatsapp as well. The Business Analytics solution you use must have the ability to pull data from many sources and give you a concise and understandable report.
A business owner today wears many hats. They have to manage the store front or the online store, keep a track of sales, manage the inventory, manage the shipping or delivery, look into marketing… well this list is never ending. A smart business owner should look into automating as many day-to-today tasks as they can. Book a demo with us and see how FRAGO seamlessly automates your Business Analytics for you.