Data makes the difference between businesses that succeed and those that fail. But not everyone knows how to work with data straight out of the gate. It takes time and persistence to learn the ins and outs of business metrics! Stick around for a helpful overview of data analytics basics.
What Is Data Analytics?
Data analytics means studying business metrics in a way that informs your marketing strategies and boosts your odds for growth. It’s not enough to merely collect data! You’ll want to use it to make important decisions.
For example, you may know that an average of 350 people like your Instagram posts every week. That number means very little until you leverage some data analytics basics. You may create a goal to double that figure over the next year. Dig deeper to discover where your followers come from and where you can get more.
Data analytics basics can answer the questions: what’s happening to my business and how can I make it better? No matter how successful you’ve been (with or without data analytics) in the past, improving your data literacy is the best way to move forward.
Why Are Data Analytics Basics Important?
Picture driving a car with no dashboard. You know the car is moving, but you can’t be sure of how fast you’re going, if your turn signal’s on, or how much fuel is in your tank.
Data analytics basics are just like the dashboard figures on a car. Your business may cruise forward without data analytics in your sights, but for how long? How soon until you run out of gas?
You’ll Know Your Audience Better
One key advantage to keeping in tune with data analytics basics is that it can help you steer business towards your target audience. No matter how spot-on your marketing ideas are, they mean nothing unless they appear in front of the right sets of eyes!
Data that reveals where your clients are coming from can inform your advertising decisions (and tell you where to go next). When you’re best able to understand your audience, you can anticipate their every move and satisfy their needs.
Going Back to Data Analytics Basics Can Help You Refocus Your Decision-Making Process
A collection of basic data sheds light on how your brand is doing compared to others in the industry. It can also illuminate exactly when (or if) you’ve achieved your most important business goals.
Failing to track or acknowledge data markers is a huge error in data analytics basics! It’s like running your business blindfolded. But working a data analytics check into your regular routine can help you make big decisions… like when your next innovative launch should be, where your money should be spent, and which teammates deserve recognition.
Sometimes the Most Innovation Comes From the Simplest Data
Seeing through the noise of extra data will help you understand what’s really happening with your business. That–the data analytics basics—is where the coolest innovation and needle-pushing ideas come from!
While some business teams don’t leverage data enough, others get lost in it far too often. It’s best to streamline your focus on just a few figures that directly impact your goals.
For example, if your goal is to reach 5,000 followers on Instagram this summer, it doesn’t do you a whole lot of good to fret over a billboard ad or subsequent data. Stay focused!
4 Data Analytics Basics You Need to Know
Whether you’re knee-deep in data or have completely lost track of your metrics over the last year, getting back to data analytics basics may be the answer to your troubles. Here are the rules you need to remember.
Know Your Goals and Objectives
Your most urgent business goals derive from your biggest issues. It might be tempting to build on your areas of success, but it’s important to repair a broken foundation (cue data analytics basics) before you take things too high.
For example, a good goal for a B2B service-providing business might be to improve your potential client pool. An objective like this one secures your ability to grow! On the other hand, if you bypass filling the client pool to launch a new service package, you’re likely to miss out on some key business opportunities.
Pick Which KPIs You’ll Track
Data analytics provide the key to understanding what your KPIs (key performance indicators) should be and how to attain them. The basic metrics you follow can differ slightly from one type of business to the next, but most niches can agree on a few!
Your business should probably pay close attention to:
- Client volume
- Traffic patterns
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Bottom line is, if you’re too bogged down with other menial issues inside your business, you’re liable to miss unfortunate dips and curves with the most important numbers.
Learn how to select and measure the appropriate KPIs with Measure & Maximize so you can get the highest ROI possible—no second-guessing!
Collect the Right Types of Data
Even though we’re talking about data analytics basics, you’re still liable to make mistakes in collection and execution. (Hey, we all do!) It’s crucial you take the time to understand which numbers you’re working with.
Perform your due diligence by comparing your metrics (first-party data) with your competitors (second-party data) to identify when your figures are about average or wildly off.
Be wary of comparative data collected by other businesses entirely! This (third-party) data is pooled and polished, but often riddled with areas of gray. The best data to work with is the kind you collect yourself—keeping a close eye for error.
Make Sure Your Data Is Clean Before Analyzing It
Most business leaders have family and friends who support their efforts—sometimes a bit too frequently. (Hi, Mom!) Inauthentic interactions through your business website from your inner circle of supporters just passing through, or your team members and their supporters, has the potential to cloud traffic data.
What’s more, months get skipped, data gets mistranslated, and misrepresented all the time! It helps to comb through and fix any oddities from week to week, like missing data fields or random spaces in formatting.
Perhaps the most important of all data analytics basics is to check and recheck that your data is clean and correct before relying on it. You want the numbers you’re working with to tell the truth (and nothing less).
No matter how you feel about business metrics, it helps to get back to data analytics basics! Your foundational knowledge and skills will always yield the greatest results for your business.
Be sure to follow along on Instagram for tips, resources, and insights into all things metrics and business data.