business intelligence

How Businesses Across Industries Are Making Big Data Digestible

Big data is intimidating. Quality data, on the other hand, can and should be a core decision factor in everything connected to your business. Data-based decision making, in fact, is starting to be a unifying factor among small and medium-sized businesses looking to survive and thrive in competitive environments. You might have heard about big data, the idea that the rise of digital technology has overwhelmed businesses with so many data points that they can be difficult to analyze. What should be an opportunity quickly becomes a problem, as your decision makers drown in analytics without the ability to differentiate and evaluate. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. Increasingly, thanks to new technologies and a better grasp of the depth of big data, businesses of all sizes are beginning to use it more effectively to their advantage. The Increased Usability of Big Data A recent survey by the Harvard Business Review returned a promising result: in 2017, 80 percent of businesses deem their big data and analytics investments to be successful. Used correctly, decision makers across industries state that it can decrease expenses, suggest new innovation technologies, helps in launching new products, and creates more revenue. In other words, as HBR points out: Big data is already being used to improve operational efficiency, and the ability to make informed decisions based on the very latest up-to-the-moment information is rapidly becoming the mainstream norm… About half of the executives (…) predict major disruption on the horizon, as big data continues to change how businesses operate and compete. Companies that fail to adapt do so at their own competitive and market risk. The same survey also saw a shift in the challenges facing big data adoption. Technologies that include the plethora of options to optimize data collection and analytics software are no longer the problem. Now, the biggest challenge is cultural, as companies run into road blocks looking to change their culture toward more data-based decision making. For businesses across industries, that shift is excellent news. The fact that the challenges are now qualitative means that implementation of a data-based strategy is no longer impeded by structural hurdles. Big data may still be intimidating, but a clear road map to success has been drawn. New Technologies that Build Big Data Capabilities When looking at companies’ priorities in data analytics, this shift can be seen in action. VentureBeat outlined five ways in which companies of all sizes are starting to utilize data analytics to their advantage: Predictive analytics, allowing your business to better understand what your customers need before they have to ask for it. Getting customers excited about their own data that can be relevant to their relationship with your company. Improving customer service efforts by providing quicker, more proactive, and more relevant assistance for any issues that inevitably come up. Identifying customer pain points through better audience analysis, allowing you to address underlying issues through core value propositions. In the healthcare industry, saving people’s lives through improved treatments. All of these […]

Read »

How Your Business Can Use Data to Find its Value Proposition

What makes your company and its product or service different from your competition? As any small or medium-sized business owner knows, the answer to that question is vital to long-term success. If you cannot differentiate yourself, your audience will eventually veer toward the lowest price point, making any business growth unsustainable. That’s what makes a value proposition such a crucial part of your marketing efforts. If you can concisely describe why your product is both valuable to your audience and different from its competition, you can build your entire business on that description. But how do you get there? Especially for startups and small businesses, coming up with the perfect value proposition can seem like a difficult endeavor. By gathering relevant data, you can make sure that the statement you end up with is not just relevant to your audience, but can also be used as the sustainable basis of your competitive advantage. First Step: Define the Problem quotes legendary inventor Charles Kettering in stating that “a problem well stated is a problem half solved.” Every product and business, at its core, should seek to solve an elementary problem that its audience solves. But how do you know what that problem is? This is where data first enters the equation. Through market research, even small businesses can define latent consumer and business needs that their products might solve. The process can be as simple as customer interviews and surveys, or as complex as in-depth evaluation of your audience’s daily behaviors. The key, on all ends of that spectrum, is the gathering and using of data to judge your results. If your audience wants to give you their feedback on latent or obvious problems they need a product to solve, you have to have a platform in which you can gather and evaluate that feedback. Survey tools connected to your CRM, for example, can help you organize your data in a single space. Second Step: Describe Your Solution Of course, a problem matters little if your business cannot fix it. Your product should promise to provide the solution to the problem(s) you found in the first step, helping to improve your audience’s lives in one way or the other. In this second step, it’s time to find out just how it might do this. At this point, don’t worry about your value proposition being a snappy marketing slogan or differentiating itself from your competition. The goal is purely to make sure that you can define exactly how your product would solve the problem defined in step 1. Third Step: Competitive Research Next, it’s time to understand exactly how your proposed solution fits into the competitive environment. Have other businesses also recognized the same problem as you, and are they trying to solve the problem? If so, is their solution different than yours, or similar? In the course of this step, data once again becomes crucial. Competitive research can go as far as understanding the keywords other businesses bid on in their search […]

Read »

10 Ways Your Sales Effort Can Benefit From a CRM

If the ultimate goal of your business is to earn revenue and grow, looking for ways to improve both your business processes and sales efforts should be a constant effort. As we’ve detailed in this space, a CRM can help you in accomplishing both. At the same time, simply stating that ‘Customer Relationship Management software will benefit your business’ is vague. So allow us to go one step further, with ten very specific reasons your sales efforts can benefit from a CRM, based on an awesome infographic by Cloudswave.  After reviewing this list, hopefully you will have a better idea of the types of tangible benefits CRM can provide to your small or medium-sized business. 10 Reasons Why CRM Systems Are Popular in Sales In this infographic, Cloudswave cites numerous studies in coming up with data-based reasons to implement a CRM system. These statistics are particularly compelling in understanding the benefits of this software solution: When asked why they use a CRM, 61% of sales distributors responded that it allows for key access to customer information and data. In addition, 75% of sales managers say that using a CRM helps to drive and increase sales. On average, a CRM provides a $5.60 return for every $1.00 spent, an ROI of more than 50%. A CRM helps nurture leads that are not ready to become customers yet, but 75% of companies have no lead nurturing process in place.  This means that simply nurturing your leads can often catapult your company above your competitors. Customers of companies who use CRMs to engage with them spend between 20% and 40% more compared with those customers who only experience manual sales outreach. That’s because CRMs generate a positive customer experience — and as it turns out, 70% of customers with positive brand experiences will refer your product or service to their peers. Your sales representatives love the software because it helps them reach their goals: CRMs increase revenue per sales rep by 41%. Similarly, sales conversion rates for your sales efforts will rise by up to 300%. Customer retention also matters, as CRMs have led to retention rates of more than 25%. Given all of these reasons, it’s no surprise that implementing a CRM will increase your profit margin by more than 2%. Change is difficult, so you may encounter initial resistance in your sales department to changing ‘the way we’ve always done things.’ That’s where these statistics can be so beneficial. Not only do the above reasons provide leadership with a clear view of the potential of a CRM, but they can also help convince your individual sales representatives that after an initial transition period, they will be set up for success. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts: because your sales team knows about these statistics, they will be more motivated (and more likely) to accomplish them. Thinking Beyond Your Sales Department toward BPA Of course, one thing that the above infographic does not highlight is the ability of CRM software to benefit your business beyond sales processes. […]

Read »

Customer Relationship: Infographics Tell All

A chain of events has occurred over the last few years that has changed the world of business. Advancements in technology increased the pace of globalization. This, in turn, allowed businesses to gain consumer bases in far away places and allowed startups to have increased access to funding. More businesses began to pop up, and with this growth came a growth in consumer expectations. Customers expect more of the organizations they purchase from. When companies fail to deliver, customers leave. One of these customer expectations is a better relationship with brands. They want to be able to have access to the companies they buy from whenever they want, wherever they are. They want businesses to be more engaging and to provide more value to them. Due to this, the practice of improving the customer experience has become key. Revenue Without profits, businesses fail. There’s no way around it. And one solid truth that has emerged over the last few years is that when customer experience is focused on, revenue goes up. This has become widely accepted, with 41% of senior marketers saying that in terms of its impact on revenue, customer experience is second only to the product. Nearly three-quarters of consumers spend more when they experience good customer service. And even more consumers, 86% to be exact, openly express that they are willing to spend more for a better experience. But it’s not just about increasing revenue, it’s also about maintaining it. Without providing a positive customer experience, businesses are seeing severe drops in sales. 78% of consumers have opted out of making a purchase purely because they experienced poor service.  The brands that lead in customer experience, see their revenue grow up to 8% above the rest of their competitors. One of the reasons for this above average growth is due to how companies, that put effort into the customer experience, respond when a customer isn’t pleased. When companies respond effectively and efficiently to bad customer experiences, they see customer spending increase by 30%. When they respond poorly, customer spending can decrease by up to 63%. Another reason for the additional revenue growth is because companies that see the value of investing in improving customer experience are concentrating efforts online–and they’re succeeding. 97% of consumers’ purchases are influenced by their online experience and 65% of consumers’ opinions about a brand have been changed by their online experience. Retention It’s expensive to bring in new customers. A company first needs to develop a marketing campaign. Then they need to identify leads, pursue them, and bring them through the customer journey. This takes time and money. In fact, when compared to keeping an existing customer, attracting a new one can cost seven times more. But it’s not just about holding onto customers, it’s also about keeping them happy. Strongly loyal customers have between six and 14 times more lifetime value than others. These figures should immediately shock organizations into maintaining current customers. And the best way to do that is […]

Read »

6 Reasons Dundas is the BI Platform You’ve Been Looking For

Your choice of business intelligence platform is a major factor that affects the efficiency with which your data is analyzed and used in order to make better business decisions. The proliferation of business related technology and data solutions is at an all-time high, so finding the platform that meets your needs and budget can admittedly be challenging. Small and medium-sized businesses are especially at odds with the BI (business intelligence) market, since their needs are not quite as complex as major enterprises. While companies of all sizes make better decisions when they can see and understand their data, smaller businesses generally don’t have the staff or resources to afford the complex data environments and in-house data expertise that enterprise solutions often require. Instead, they need smaller-scale, specialized platforms that can offer personalized user-experiences without requiring data scientists, database administrators, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of server hardware. Basically, these businesses want platforms that are effective while being priced for a smaller budget — investments in BI should enable the company to increase revenues and profits, not become a new cost center. Pricing, experience, and flexibility are just some of the factors that make it difficult for smaller businesses to find data solutions that present a truly effective business tool. With an overwhelming number of options available and very few BI providers offering trials long enough to make a lasting impression, some businesses may be settling for subpar or overly complicated products. INTELLAM delivers BI solutions for companies of all sizes by always maintaining the same high quality deliverables, regardless of the size of the client. Part of the way we are able to do this is by selecting the appropriate platform for the client — especially in the area of BI, one size does not fit all. For small and medium sized businesses, we typically recommend a tool offered by Dundas Data Visualization, as its analytics platform ranks very high on the Business Analytics Leaderboard of 2016 and its product is one of the most customizable platforms on the market without becoming unnecessarily technical. Here are the top six reasons we’d recommend considering Dundas Data for your business: 1. Reputable and Experienced Dundas has been a leading business intelligence provider for over twenty years. Since its beginning in 1992 it has accumulated an impressive roster of clients across many industries, including major enterprises such as Citibank and Microsoft, as well as tech startups and smaller organizations that benefit from their flexible platform design. Dundas Data Visualization has a long, successful history with a range of products that work well on their own and seamlessly when used together. Dundas has been an innovator in business intelligence and data visualization, providing deeper insights with greater speed and accuracy than most BI platforms can claim. 2. Adaptability One of Dundas’ greatest strengths is the flexibility of its platform. Full customization allows you to extend the platform beyond your Dundas programming and integrate as much support as you need. The programmable platform supports data preparation, reporting, analytics, and dashboards according to your needs. There is no reason to be stuck with features that you have no use for. With Dundas you control […]

Read »