Most of the time small business owners have a lot on their plates due to a lack of resources. Likewise, they are forced to wear many hats, and apart from being successful entrepreneurs, they also have to be industry experts, excellent marketers, and outstanding managers. Small businesses who don’t have such jack-of-all-trade owners suffer as a result. Naturally, there’s a remedy to all this, and large corporations have already tapped into this ‘fountain of youth’ appropriately named business intelligence. Until recently, BI was mainly used by wealthy corporations who could afford expensive IT specialists and high-tech data centers, but with the mass commercialization of this technology this is no longer the case. With BI small business owners can stop chasing ghosts and focus on concrete strategies that will improve their business’s efficiency, allowing them to take a well-deserved break as a result. So, what exactly are the benefits of using business intelligence for small businesses? Let’s find out.
Better customer experience
Statistics tell us that as much as 86% of customers are willing to pay extra for a better user experience. Moreover, 66% of leaving customers state that they’ve swapped brands as a result of poor customer service. Therefore, judging by the data, small businesses need to double their efforts on providing a more personalized experience for their users if they’re to retain their old customers and attract new ones. Luckily for them, business intelligence can do just that by creating ideal customer profiles based on the data collected through various public and in-house databases, to better understand consumer behavior and their shopping patterns. This way, small businesses can pinpoint their specific customer demographics and thus funnel all of their marketing efforts to that particular group instead of wasting valuable resources elsewhere.
Efficient recruitment and team management
The cost of recruiting the wrong person is enormous. Bad decision making in the HR department can have a significant impact on the productivity of employees and their overall morale due to incompatibility between co-workers. For this reason, BI is used to remove the ‘human factor’ out of the recruitment process in order to create a more objective analysis of candidates. Additionally, BI can scout for the best recruitment channels that will provide the most successful candidates with data from various sources such as recruitment sites, social media and so on. Furthermore, outside the recruitment process, BI can measure worker satisfaction levels by monitoring worker productivity, absentee figures, personal reviews and worker feedback. This data helps small business owners determine who their top workers are and how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with their current workloads.
The main culprit behind the failure of so many businesses in their attempts at expansion is the poor allocation of resources. Small businesses simply don’t have the luxury of wasting precious resources on inefficient strategies and elaborate marketing campaigns as established corporations can. It can be crucial for a smaller company to invest in necessities like business phone systems, not to mention more tech-based solutions. This is why the use of smart business intelligence software is beneficial to small businesses, as it can help them ascertain what’s working well for them and which places could use some improvement. Such raw data helps remove the guesswork from the equation and provides a lot of insightful metrics which pinpoint the trends that will yield the best results. Likewise, by implementing proven, data-driven strategies, a surplus of resources is created which can then be funneled into development and growth accordingly. As a result, small businesses will be able to focus on proper expansion and not mere survival.
Provides the necessary expertise
In the past, if small business owners lacked the experience themselves, they were forced to recruit industry veterans in order to get the necessary expertise on matters specific for that business. This, however, is no longer the case, as BI can provide small business owners with all the insight and knowledge they need to run their business at peak efficiency. Hence, small businesses can now focus exclusively on recruiting young and passionate talent, which brings new and exciting ideas into the fold, and becomes the driving force behind the business. Apart from providing insightful knowledge, BI is also an expert in utilizing predictive analysis for determining the most optimal product prices. This, in turn, increases the business’s profit margins by a fair bit while also keeping the customers happy.
Increases security measures
Last but not the least, there’s a steady application of BI in the domain of cyber security as of late. Now you’re probably wondering: how could data collection and analysis possibly be useful for this sector? Well, business intelligence is capable of going through immeasurable amounts of data gathered from firewall logs, intrusion detection system events, advanced site tracking features and so on, to determine where potential gaps in cyber security that require immediate patching are. Additionally, it can trace the most popular and most commonly used safety trends available to keep small businesses up-to-date. Likewise, it identifies suspicious patterns in online user activity that could pose a threat to small businesses which are a growing target of the ever-increasing cyberattacks.
To sum up, BI has a plethora of uses which can be of immense help to under-staffed businesses in need of some expert assistance. Small business owners will be able to focus on actually running their own business while leaving the decision-making, the marketeering and the management to BI instead.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.