3 Ways Data Analysis Can Improve Your Business Plan

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Running a business can be challenging. In addition to the daily grind, making sure your employees are satisfied, and operations are running smoothly, there is also making sure your customers are satisfied. If your company is struggling to effectively communicate with consumers, this could negatively affect all aspects of your business plan, from financial planning to product development. To avoid this from happening, the majority of companies today have turned to data analysis to revitalize their business models, focusing on optimizing customer communication as a way to encourage overall growth.

data analysis for business plan

Here are a few ways that you can capitalize on big data that will ultimately improve your business plan.

1. Predictive data analytics helps you plan for the future

Understanding consumer behavior is a key element of creating a profitable business plan. Before big data, businesses were limited in their ability to reach customers and had to essentially guess what would attract users based rudimentary marketing and advertising tactics. Today, data gives businesses the opportunity to directly target their consumers based on their online activity. Predictive data analytics can help companies better manage their finances in the following ways:

  • Sales forecasting allows your company to track when a customer has made a purchase and when they will most likely make that purchase again. With this information, you can organize targeted advertisements to encourage more sales
  • Understanding consumer purchasing patterns will help you allocate funds based on predicted times of prosperity as well as stagnation
  • Historical data analysis can be used to identify trends and fluctuations within your industry that will help you minimize risk in addition to helping your business identify lucrative investment opportunities

Sales forecasting and predictive analysis is an effective way to create a sustainable financial model. Consumer behavior can provide valuable insight into when and how purchases are made and what you can do to veritably improve your overall sales activity.

2. Exploratory data analysis helps you expand your consumer base

Data analysis has been a major revelation for companies that have been stuck in the past. In order to stay relevant, businesses today need to view their business model as a constant work in progress. Tapping into data analysis delivers real-time information based on consumer activity, which can potentially highlight additional target markets that may have gone unnoticed in the past. There are several factors to consider when attempting to reach new demographics.

  • Identify potential users by exploring what aspects of your services or product are best received and focus on these when reaching out to potential consumers
  • Keep a close watch on direct competition and pinpoint in what ways your business can better serve their customers
  • Locate similar patterns between demographics, whether that’s based on age, gender or location and tweak your offer to encompass these varying factors

It’s imperative that your business first understands your target market before you plan to expand your reach. Utilizing data, you can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses within your business model based on user activity, which will reinforce your ability to engage new consumers.

3. Data helps you build trust

With the rise of social networks, businesses have been forced to recognize the power of word of mouth. Customer feedback and forums have made it so even the biggest corporations in the world are subject to customer reviews. By employing consumer data analysis, businesses today can model their business plan based on customer expectations in the following ways:

  • By targeting consumers with personalized messages, companies can show that they are attentive, which builds trust and respectively leads to a more loyal customer base
  • Data allows you to communicate with consumers based on events taking place in their own lives, such as seasonal events, holidays and significant events, which engages consumers in more meaningful communication
  • Recognizing negative feedback is an effective way to improve your business model and let your consumers know you are paying attention to their concerns, which encourages them to become returning customers

Investing in your customer takes time, but with big data on your side, it’s easier than ever to track consumer needs and adjust your business model accordingly.

Whether you’re working in retail, travel, and hospitality, or even for a government entity, big data has allowed professionals in any industry to gather in-depth information regarding consumer needs, which can be used to bolster confidence in their product, affecting everything from sales to consumer awareness.

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Ellie Martin is founding trainer/coordinator for Startup Change Group. Her works have been featured on Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Girls in Tech, among others. You may connect with her on Twitter.