Web business intelligence is an area that no SMB can afford to ignore. Miss out on this rich data source, and you could be hurting your competitive position. Consider the facts: according to Pew Internet, 81 percent of adults in the U.S. use the web regularly and 73% of web users use social networking sites. So if you want to do better business you need to keep track of what’s happening online. That’s why it’s essential to integrate web data into your business analytics solution. IT administrators play an important part in helping business leaders to harvest the data.
Getting Started With Business Intelligence
With web data, a good starting point is identifying which web channels your customers use most, but online data alone is not enough for true business intelligence. To get the most from your solution, it is essential for your IT administrator to integrate it with the operational data you generate internally. That will give you a holistic view of what’s happening with your business.
Business Analytics—What SMBs Can Learn
Recommended for YouWebcast: Build a Powerful Network and Accelerate your Growth
So what can SMBs learn from a web business intelligence solution? Beyond which networks their customers are using, their social actions say a lot about how they engage with your business. Maybe your Twitter followers have questions for members of your marketing team. Or perhaps pictures of your products on Pinterest are driving sales. This is useful information that can help you refine your online business strategy and drive your content marketing efforts. Instead of mailing out a multipage customer survey, you can collect information that your customers make available online and use this data to improve your business.
Business Intelligence and Customer Service
Business intelligence solutions also help you to provide better customer service. Your potential customers are becoming more used to instant responses from the businesses they deal with. They will expect that from your company, too. If you enable real-time monitoring of online interactions then you can respond quickly to issues and feedback, whether positive or negative. In this way, web business intelligence can help customers to see your company as engaged and responsive – and that has to be good for business.
IT, Analytics and Your Strategy
Your first step in making this happen is to talk to your IT administrator about integrating web data into your analytics solution. Administrators can quickly find the right business intelligence solution and help users to extract the strategic information they need to do better business. The better you know your customers and what is happening with your business online, the more you can refine your future business strategy. Integrating this into a wider analytics solution leads to better planning and decision-making which, in turn, has a positive effect on competitiveness and revenue.
Image by Hey Paul Studios via Flickr