Data analytics have long been seen as a valuable way for businesses to refine their marketing and improve their communication. However, as we learn more about the ways that data can be applied to a business, we’re better understanding the many ways that it can improve business management.
Data plays an important role in both the public and private sectors. With the ever-evolving collection and analytics tools available, agencies and businesses can use data to streamline workflows, help identify fraud, and much more.
Data Analytics in the Private Sector
Businesses can use data analytics to improve management in many ways. By gathering data on customers and utilizing machine learning, businesses can analyze a customer’s interaction with the business’ website and past purchasing habits. The improvements that can be made to their website performance with this information will result in a better overall customer experience.
A business can use data to create a customized shopping experience for customers, prompting a website to suggest products that customers are likely to purchase. Businesses can analyze their competitors in real time, so they can adjust prices, make offers that are better than their competitors’ sales, and even analyze a competitor’s negative reviews to determine how they can out-perform that competitor.
Data can also help businesses to optimize their workflow and improve employee performance. By monitoring employee performance, human resources departments can better understand how employees spend much of their day, identifying areas in the workflow where efficiency is lost.
For financial businesses or businesses working with online transactions, careful data monitoring can improve security. Credit card companies are one example of how data can help eliminate fraud threats; by monitoring consumer behavior, these companies can detect suspicious transactions, flag accounts, and catch (or even prevent) fraud early on.
Data Analytics in the Public Sector
Public administrators and government agencies can also put data analytics to use to help them tackle major problems, make operations more efficient, and even save money. When an agency works with a controversial topic, such as abortion, a hard look at concrete data can help to remove some of the biases surrounding the topic. Data analysis can help agencies to shape public policies, then provides a black-and-white way to assess each policy’s success. By measuring and collecting data, agencies can revisit, revise, and improve policies and procedures.
But implementing data analytics in the public sector brings some unique challenges. Analyzing data and interpreting how it results to the success of a policy is a unique skillset, and agencies working within a tight budget may not have the funds available to hire employees or contractors to tackle this task. The sheer volume of data available can be difficult to manage, and some of the issues that public sector agencies are working on, such as hunger or homelessness, are so large that they appear insurmountable. Learning how to effectively use data to analyze the components of these problems can be time-consuming and complicated.
Like the private sector, though, public sector agencies can always use data to improve their communications with the public. Google Analytics can provide insights on potential issues with an agency’s site, helping to identify areas where visitors are falling off of the site or having trouble finding the information they need. Email tracking can measure the effectiveness of email communications, and social media analytics can help agencies to refine and improve their social media strategy for better overall communication with the public.
Data and Decision Making
Relying on data can help any operation to make better big decisions and improve overall management. From cognitive computing to applying data to streamline in-office processes, operations in both the public and private sectors can put data to use to improve management and inform business decisions.
The effectiveness of data in improving management means a shift in how businesses operate. With the continuous improvement of data technology, we’re likely to see an increased demand for educated business professionals who specialize in data analytics. As more businesses understand the importance and value of data collection and analysis, technology development firms will probably create more and better tools that businesses can use to collect, understand, and apply that data in their operations.