Every time you browse, post on various social media platforms, shop on e-commerce sites, order food online, chat with close-ones, large chunks of data become available to the businesses. Those businesses use your data to find the target audience, correct pricing, understand the customer sentiments, competitor positions, market trends, etc.
In the social domain, we use big data technologies extensively. For example, in the current pandemic situation, the authorities are trying to predict the peak of the infection, its spread, vaccine efficiency in the trial stage, etc. Environmentalists need it in determining the sustainability of our activities. The police department uses big data models for tracing crimes and culprits. Sportspeople and their coaches make strategies and determine the chances of winning based on data-prediction and analysis. Thus, both commercial and service sector-based companies must leverage data-driven technologies.
Industry giants often have in-house data science teams. Now, even small companies need to rely on data to be competitive and successful. Let’s look at 7 of the best data solutions suitable for startups and SMBs.
Kissmetrics is an excellent marketing analytics tool. It helps you determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns by identifying who the valuable customers are, where they are coming from, the average time they take for interactions, when and how they first connect with you, etc. It is people-based and brings businesses close to their customers in the present online world. The data collection process, like the number of customer visits to the site, conversion rates is automatic.
You also have a customer analytics platform called Analyze that gives the impact of campaigns, the product, app, and site features that attract customers.
There is another tool called Engage, which is a conversion rate optimization tool and lets you interact with customers and respond to their queries.
Funnel reports, cohort reports, customer profiles, and segmentation details are readily available.
Kiss Metrics is mainly for B2C businesses and comes at an affordable price of $299 -$499. For website management, the pricing is as low as $12 per month.
2. Google analytics
Google Analytics is an excellent web analytics platform that drives you to make better business decisions. It is easy to integrate with your website and is a free tool. Content management systems like WordPress have free plugins for automatically adding Google analytics code for web pages.
Various details like the number of users per week, bounce rate, well-performing, and underperforming pages, and AdWords campaign performance are available on the home page. You could also create custom segments based on user location, the device used, or products bought/viewed. For e-commerce businesses, you get a separate product performance report.
You can add event-based goals such as the number of visits to a thank you page, and it, in turn, could track your conversions.
3. IBM Watson Analytics
Business owners often require up-to-date info on various parameters like sales revenue from a particular branch, the reason for supply issues, price prediction for the festive season, etc. They get delayed answers due to data processing work done by IT and other teams involved.
The IBM Watson Analytics application understands the language that you speak and creates reports and visualizations, offering a possible solution for your queries. It utilizes NLP (natural language processing) technology, and using it is like having a conversation with a reporting staff.
It is cloud-based and is accessible from a mobile phone or a tab. Thus, it is highly useful for small businesses that do not have an analytics team and are not in a position to invest in infrastructure for big data applications. Both freemium and paid plans starting at $30 per month are available. It can also cluster user queries, and utilizing this facility, businesses have managed 24/7 help desk & IT support services
The main advantage is its highly automated operation mode. You do not require advanced statistical knowledge or programming skills to use the tool. Moreover, you could opt for customized apps based on vertical industries such as retail, telecom, banking, health care, travel, etc.
InsightSquared is a business suite that offers a variety of services like CRM automation, sales analytics, staffing support, customer service, and automated coaching. You could integrate data from various tools used, such as Salesforce, QuickBooks, and Google Apps with the InsightSquared API. Thus, it is possible to automate the data collection, and also you could maintain record changes.
You have real-time dashboards for sales, marketing, performance metrics, etc. Automatic segmentation based on region, product, time is quick and easy. Also, you could drill down the analysis and performance to the individual sales rep level. It provides a staffing analytics platform where you could set employee goals, monitor productivity, and spot the best ones. It also offers an AI-enabled virtual coaching assistant that guides people based on their learning and grasping ability.
5. Zoho People
When the number of employees is less, it is sufficient to use Google Sheets and Calendar for maintaining employee details, salaries, leave records, and sales metrics. But, as their number grows, you will need separate systems for tracking and monitoring purposes. You need to have a quick report on the workforce for your key competencies, performance management, and recruitment needs.
Zoho People offers a complete HR solution. It is a single platform for collecting and analyzing all data about the employees. With it, you could make data-driven decisions for recruitment, onboarding, evaluations, and appraisals. All HR tasks such as timesheet management, employee roaster, LMS, and payroll are integrated into the software. Moreover, it is a one-stop platform where your staff could get their queries clarified. The pricing is affordable and starts at $1 per employee.
Amplitude is a product analytics platform that helps you determine the key features of a product that users like and the areas that require improvement or remodeling. You have extensive user reports to get insights into their behavior like, what makes them buy or sign up, what engages them.
There are provisions for building digital product portfolios, and you could set individual product strategies for launch campaigns and long term retention. You could find out the friction points in the conversions and onboarding of users.
It also offers a product growth engine that predicts how the future products should be, based on user behavior metrics. You could use SQL for querying data and the software with various platforms like AWS (Amazon web services), Appsflyer, Google Play, Adobe, iTunes, Optimizely, etc.
Brist is a cloud-based business intelligence platform that lets you make data-driven business predictions and could also preprocess raw data and make it suitable for analysis. It has a 2-tier approach which takes data from backend sources, refines it.
You can integrate it with data tools like Excel, Tableau, and R. It is possible to connect to OLAP platforms and SQL database layers. You can also create user-friendly interactive dashboards. These reports have the provision for customization and data exploration.
Moreover, being web-based, you can have remote users without fear of security breaches. Pricing is quote-based, and they also customize packages to suit small businesses.
By mid-2019, around 56 percent of the world population had an internet connection. In January 2020, we had 40 trillion gigabytes of data. And, our reliance on technology keeps increasing steeply. Thus, in the present scenario, businesses that ignore data analytics could end up taking huge risks.
One of the main advantages of big data processing is cost reduction. One could predict demand, and with real-time data readily available, you could streamline your inventory.
Marketing becomes scientific and efficient. You strategize the campaigns based on the location and consumer segment. It is possible to tweak the campaigns based on the responses gathered. You could also provide personalized experiences to customers. At the same time, you could study and evaluate employee satisfaction levels along with their performance. Thus, big data leads the way for a stable and rewarding path in the business world.
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