How to use the power of data science in small business

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Data science can add some much-needed value to small business. In our tech-driven world, there are massive amounts of data – both online and offline – waiting to be found, analysed and put to good use. Small businesses can leverage data science tools and processes (that don’t cost the earth) to help grow their business.

Here are a few tips to put your small business on the path to a thriving future using data science:

Hire a Data Scientist

It’s common knowledge these days that many businesses are drowning in data. A data scientist can crunch large amounts of data for you and offer ways to improve your analytics. If you don’t have the budget to hire a data scientist, consider upskilling one of your employees or working with a consultant who can point you in the right direction.

Use data-insights to make better decisions

Understanding the data you have collected can help you to make better decisions for the future of your company, based on hard evidence and statistics. By analysing data, you can pinpoint trends and use them to help define the best goals for your small business.

Find – and use – the right software

There are a lot of options in the market when it comes to data gathering and analysis software. Google Analytics is free to use for your website and is a great place to start. ClearStory Data offers advanced data mining and analytics tools in an easy-to-read interface. Are you after a tool to keep track of your marketing ROI as well? Kissmetrics gives you access to detailed data on visitors to your site and offers better segmentation, and that means more conversions. Most software out there will set you back a monthly fee, but when your data starts working for you, the profits will outweigh the cost.

Identify and refine target audiences

Regardless of whether you use the most expensive data gathering software or prefer to stick to Google Analytics, the information you collect can help you understand the kind of customer you are trying to reach. Classifying demographics and understanding who your audience really is will feed into every aspect of your small business, from products to customer service and marketing.

Discover new opportunities

Analysing existing data can also be useful for reassessing current processes in your small business. This can yield new opportunities for improving the way you do things on a daily basis. A data scientist can come into your business and thoroughly assess your workflow, to give you an insight into what’s working, what’s not working and suggest new ideas. Again, if you don’t have the ability to hire a data scientist, you can work with your staff and customers to evaluate your processes through a simple survey.

Find the right talent for your small business

Data science can help you sift through the piles of resumes that arrive for a new hire. Corporate databases, social media and job search websites have so much information about prospective talent that finding your dream hire is an achievable reality. Similarly, recruiters no longer have to spend hours working through the applications of the wrong candidates to find the best fit for the roles they’re looking to fill. Data science saves everyone time and money, and can be used to propel small businesses forward into a successful future

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Cec is the managing editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, CULT, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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