5 Ways Big Data Gives Companies a Competitive Edge
Big data can provide valuable insight into a how a company can cut waste, boost productivity and gain a competitive edge. Here's how your company can use analytics to move ahead of market peers and increase its bottom line.
When it comes to standing out in competitive markets, knowledge can be a godsend. After surveying over 400 large businesses, Bain & Company found that organizations tend to pull ahead of their competitors when they invest in advanced analytic capabilities. According to survey results, analytic-reliant companies were five-times more likely to arrive at decisions faster than their market peers and twice as likely to rank in the industry's top quartile for financial performance.
There is virtually no end to how big data can improve a company's performance. That said, some of the most impactful benefits include:
Drive continuous performance improvements. Data can provide deep insight into how specific parts of your business are running. In addition to showing areas where management can improve, it can also make employees more aware of activities and habits that stall productivity. Instead of investing in one-time training sessions or seminars, more and more business owners are leveraging big data to reveal new pathways toward efficiency, which often evolve as a company grows.
Improve decision-making. Comprehensive data can back up key decisions with hard evidence. This can be especially important in situations where decisions are impacted by emotions, gut feelings and varying opinions. What's more, many analytic engines tend to get "smarter" over time, as they accumulate more and more of an organization's data. This allows managers to make quick, effective decisions that get results, without biases or short-sightedness.
Boost customer experiences. Many business owners spend countless hours coming up with ways to positively influence the customer experience. With the right metrics, these decisions become quick and easy. By analyzing refund requests and customer complaints, for instance, a business owner can make targeted changes, whether that means switching suppliers, altering its delivery method or investing in better customer support.
Improve marketing. Comprehensive data allows business owners to get definitive insight into what works best. Every advertisement can be A/B and even C split tested. Pop-ups, landing pages, mobile ads and even product images can be easily tested for effectiveness. Armed with clear insight, business owners can then make tweaks to ads that show promise, while doing away with marketing strategies that burn money. Best of all, everything can be handled quickly and decisively without wasted time or money.
Enhance employee accountability. When organizations imagine how they will leverage big data, most focus on external, customer-focused applications. While this is a big benefit of advanced analytics, it's not the only advantage. Countless organizations are utilizing internal analytics to see how employees interact with customers and coworkers. Not only does this provide business owners with insight into which employees are moving the needle in the right direction, it shows potential areas for company-wide improvement. It's also important to note that workers tend to be more productive and accountable, when they are being assessed for how they spend their time and how they interact with customers.