The data that matters for your business’s future

Running a successful business takes time and patience, and certainly doesn’t happen overnight. But one thing that all thriving companies have in common is how they prioritize the collection and analysis of data.

Data comes in all shapes and sizes and can be used in a variety of ways to help a business succeed. By helping to improve decision making, providing a better understanding of customers, and advancing operations, data collection can be a critical part of the growth of your organization.

Here are some examples of the data types that should matter the most to you and your business.

Analyzing and Comparing Markets

It doesn’t matter how great the product or service you’re selling is — if the market isn’t primed for you to be successful, or you aren’t following trends the right way, you’ll find the road to business success will be much more challenging than you had hoped. This is where the benefit of analyzing and comparing market data comes in.

Take the real estate market, for example. In commercial real estate, the value of a property is not decided merely based on how much the buildings cost to construct. There are several variables involved with real estate values, including vacancy rates, the price per square feet, transit walking scores, and local economies in the area. Ignoring these data sets can lead developers and business owners into making poor decisions on the properties they acquire and the locations they choose to be in. On the other hand, real estate owners who intelligently collect and analyze this data ahead of time are typically much more successful long-term.

Competitive Research

Once you’ve researched your target market and have done the necessary work to conceptualize a new product design, bringing it to life for your customer base can be both an exciting and stressful time. However, before you begin the manufacturing process and start distributing new products to your partner base, it’s vital that you clearly understand design patent laws and ensure you aren’t infringing on another person’s design.

Doing adequate competitor research isn’t just about learning the price points of the products or services they offer. Thorough competitor analysis — especially when your competition has similar products — can help you ensure you’re meeting all legal requirements when bringing your product to market and will keep your business safe from any legal action down the road.

Understanding Your Key Stakeholders

Understanding the external factors that affect your business is an essential aspect of growing your organization successfully. However, there are other considerations where data collection can help you develop your business internally by focusing on stakeholder approval and buy-in. Stakeholders are an important part of every business, but many times they can be viewed as potential roadblocks to newer investments and expansions. By analyzing your stakeholders and understanding the critical steps necessary to get their buy-in, you’ll be able to gather their critical input while also building trust in the future decisions you make.

Preferred Payment Types

Creating positive user experiences has become an essential part of building a brand that customers keep returning to. From start to finish, business owners need to develop a strong understanding of the things that matter most for their customer base and subsequently work to implement them effectively. One of those considerations is how difficult or easy it is for customers to purchase your products and services.

Easy access to smartphones and tablets has completely changed how modern-day consumers source and purchase their products. Businesses should be actively monitoring their e-commerce platforms to get a better understanding of how their customers prefer to shop and make changes to their operations to support as needed. As this data is collected, strategic decisions can be made regarding the best third-party solutions and integrations to use in support of seamless mobile shopping experience and smart checkout services.

Revenue and Profitability

Of course, one of the most important types of data you should be collecting and analyzing regularly is your revenue streams and how they respond to changing conditions. However, every successful business needs to balance both revenue and profitability when investing in new avenues of growth while ensuring long-term sustainability.

It’s essential to collect and monitor the revenue and profitability of your business separately. While gross revenue by itself may be an identifier that your business is moving in the right direction, without measuring profitability, you could be putting yourself and your business in a compromising position. This is especially the case if you don’t take into consideration all of the necessary operating costs, as well as business tax requirements, security expenses, and other annual investments. Actively measuring both the revenue and profitability of your business and creating key performance indicators around the data sets will ensure you’re seeing the right amount of growth over time with sustainable margins to support it.

Regardless of the investments you make to grow your business, without data insights, you have no way of knowing if the decisions you make are moving your company forward or setting you back. But by taking the time to analyze essential market conditions and how they can impact your revenue and profitability, you’ll improve your business’s chance for success now and in the future.

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