Are you thinking about using data and analytics in your business, but not sure you’re capturing enough data?  You may be surprised how little data is required to get value out of your data!  A common objective we heard when starting Simplified Analytics is most businesses aren’t capturing the necessary data they need to get value out of investing in analytics.  While this is sometimes true, it isn’t always true.  There are a number of systems capturing data that you may not even be thinking about.  We’ll briefly outline a few of them below.

Point of Sale (POS)

If you are in retail, the point of sale (POS) system is likely where most things within your business run through.  Regardless of the specific system, your POS system is capturing and storing information that goes through it.  However, are you getting value out of this data?

Most POS systems will have some reporting capabilities, however these reporting capabilities often lack insights.  From the software developer’s perspective, they’re trying to create features that everyone purchasing their product can use.  The issue with this for you becomes the lack of insights specific to your business.  This means there is an opportunity to expand beyond the software’s reporting capabilities to get more value out of your data.

Whether you hire an employee, learn yourself, or hire an outside company, the opportunity to take the data from your POS system and turn it into actionable insights is immense.  Most POS systems will allow you to extract the majority of your data from it.  This can be an overwhelming amount of data.  However, you don’t necessarily need all of this data.  It is best to start with some of the challenges or opportunities within your business then determine what data from your POS system can help answer this question.

POS systems can have a ton of features, so you may not currently be utilizing all of its capabilities.  As you dig further into your data and are able to start answering questions, other questions may pop up that you want additional data for.  While you may not have the data you need to answer all your questions today, you can then update your internal processes to start collecting the additional information, allowing you to answer the questions in the future.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

If your business is heavy on the sales and account management, its likely your business has some type of customer relationship management (CRM) system.  While you may not think this is an opportunity to use data and analytics, it actually has a number of opportunities to! 

If you’re tracking sales success within the CRM, this is likely an area the software has built in metrics for (this is also probably more apparent where data can be used).  However, there is also another category of analytics that CRM data can be used get value from: Relational/Network Analytics.  There are techniques that can identify communication and network patterns, allowing you to understand the patterns in a more digestible way.  This can then be used to identify more successful habits and communication patterns to train your sales force on.

Same as with the POS systems, as you start diving into the data and answering questions you will likely find additional information you’d like to capture.

Website/Google Analytics

A popular analytics with small businesses right now is Google Analytics, which is used to track activity on your website.  There are a number of reporting options available within Google Analytics.  However as with any data, leveraging the data is an important step to getting value out of the data.

Bringing It Together (Literally)

There are 3 common systems used within businesses that capture data.  Once you’ve made the effort to understand the data, an extremely valuable and powerful next step is to find ways to connect the various data sources within your business.  When you’re able to do this, its likely you’ll begin to find patterns you had no clue existed.

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