Unless you’re a business owner, collecting data is something we just don’t take part of. Sure, we may record our daily goings on in a journal or a blog, but we don’t go into too much detail. There’s no reason to. But for a business data is incredibly important – some feel that if your business isn’t collecting data, then you’re missing so many opportunities.
Why Does Your Business Need to Collect Data?
For a business to be able to continue to evolve and stay relevant, it needs to collect and organize data. This data is going to tell you what your consumers want, their buying habits, and so much more. Not only is data important regarding keeping your customers happy, but it’s important to have the talent of finding the right technologies for them to solve problems that come along the way, according to McKinsey Analytics.
Also, it should go without saying, but data that you collect and analyze can help keep you ahead of your competitors. Let’s say you are an owner of a social media platform and your competitor has rolled out a new feature that is catching on like wildfire. You want to implement a similar feature, but for your specific audience, that feature isn’t widely accepted. The data you collect will tell you how to optimize the feature to satisfy what works for your business, but also makes your customers happy.
Where To Store Your Data?
A problem many small companies will have is where should the data they collect be stored because a single SD card or external hard drive is not going to satisfy those storage needs – not by a long shot. Companies don't just collect data; consumers and government agencies receive and use data. So where do they put all that luscious data? Data centers.
New Jersey Institute of Technology reports that there will be an estimated 44 trillion gigabytes of data by 2020 and the need for data centers are growing at an alarming rate. There are currently 3 million data centers currently in the United States, which means there is 1 data center for every 100 people.
These data centers are usually found in small to medium-sized businesses, but for those large corporations that collect massive amounts of data, their data is stored on the cloud, which accounts for less than 10% of the current server market. This is expected to change by 2021, which estimates cloud usage is expected to be double the size of the data center market.
Why Is Analyzing Data Important?
The idea of analyzing data that your business collects isn’t anything new. Companies have been analyzing the data that comes into their businesses for ages. With basic analytics from yesteryear, the data is given a numerical value, and it is entered into a spreadsheet. From there, someone would go over the data and look for insights and trends.
However, in today’s world, analyzing data is much more involved in that. Companies now use high-performance analytics to go through the data for a variety of reasons, including evaluating assets and even testing how valuable social media is for leveraging different initiatives.
These systems can give you the insights to make quick decisions, so you don’t miss an incredible opportunity. They can give you detailed answers to those hard-to-solve questions, and can even reveal new opportunities for growth and expansion.
Data Analysis Can Improve Workplace Safety
Processing the data your business collects can significantly impact your business in all the best ways. Even the smallest businesses will generate data! As outlined by Forbes, data is an asset to all business, and that data is generated through a business website, social media, credit transactions, and so much more. A business can track information about how their consumer's shop, their user experience on the company’s website or even social media interaction.
Since data is so valuable, it is crucial for even those tiny Ma and Pa shops to have some strategy for protecting that data. Because there is such a demand for the collection and protection of all that precious data, there are businesses that specialize in all types of data services!
Data isn’t just important for keeping track of consumers; it can also be used to track workplace safety.
In 2014 alone, 4,821 workers were killed while they were working – that means 13 people died every day while on the job. Why, between 1980 and 1994, a total of 88,672 fatalities were reported as being related to the workplace. Those are some scary numbers.
By keeping data in regards to workplace safety, businesses can put programs in place that would help employees who suffer from untreated mental illnesses or drug or alcohol addiction.
As a business owner, it is crucial that you protect the data your business gathers so that you can stay ahead of the curve and anticipate the needs of your consumers, but also changes within the industry, and how to keep your employees safe while in the workplace.
Everywhere you go, data is being collected, analyzed, and organized. Every action you do in a store, every purchase you make, and every website you visit is tracked, and businesses use this information to their advantage in one way or another.