How Data Gives A Clear Picture of Business Operations
Managers make dozens of decisions that can have a huge impact on the growth of the business. To make informed decisions, you need useful data. Given the sheer volume of data available, finding the right information can be difficult. Use these tips to find the data you need and make better business decisions.
Getting your data in one place
One challenge with data is that your information may be stored in many different software systems. This complicates your efforts to find data quickly to make good decisions. Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) may be a solution to this problem.
An ERP system allows you to store data from all of your business processes in one integrated database. This common ERP functionality means that you can log into one system to store, manage and interpret data. This technology can help you make smarter business decisions in less time.
Two departments, one system
Say, for example, that you want to analyze the discounts you offer customers. On each invoice, you offer a 10% discount if the client pays within 10 days of receiving your shipment of goods.
To analyze this issue, you’d like shipping reports from the warehouse manager and invoice payment details from your accounting department. An ERP system lets you log into one system to find all the data that you need. You can pull the warehouse data and the accounting information from a single system.
Without an ERP system, you may have to log in and search for data in several places. This slows down your data collection and delays decision-making.
Evaluating online marketing
Another good example is your marketing department. Every large business uses data to assess their marketing efforts. A growing number of companies generate customer interest through online marketing. Tools such as Google Analytics provide detailed feedback on website statistics and social media.
Here are some data points that help a business evaluate their online marketing activities:
- Page views after visit to home page: The majority of website users leave a site after visiting just the home page. If you can get attention on your home page, people may be more likely to stay on your site and view other pages. If you can increase the number of users who visit other pages, you can develop a relationship with potential clients.
- Conversion rate: Companies such as LeadPages provide tools that can help you convert website viewers into prospects and customers. You may, for example, create opt-in buttons that give the viewer the chance to download helpful content. Your content may be a Top 10 list of tips, or a white paper. You can track the number of people who click your opt-in button, and the number that provide their email address and download your content.
- How often do viewers return to your site? To build a relationship with potential customers, you want them to return to your website. If you provide useful content, for example, viewers may come back to your site to read your new content. If you can increase the percentage of viewers who return, you can build relationships with more potential customers.
These measurements help you assess the effectiveness of your marketing department.
The larger your organization grows, the more data you have to manage. Consider an ERP system to centralize your data storage and access. You may be able to find the right data sooner and make faster business decisions.