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Here’s why companies need to invest in data analytics in 2021

SOURCE: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP
The use of analytics is projected to grow in importance in the coming years.


By U2B Staff 

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The use of data analytics is projected to grow in importance in the coming years.

Deloitte report notes that the field of data analytics is growing in acceptance and importance in today’s complex business environment. It plays a critical role as a decision-making resource for executives, especially those managing large companies.

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Their survey found that 96% of respondents feel that analytics will become more important to their organisations in the next three years. “Two reasons there is plenty of room to grow: a great deal of data is still not used for decision-making; and many organisations have only rudimentary analytical technology,” it said.

Almost half of all respondents say the greatest benefit of using analytics is that it is a key factor in better decision-making capabilities; 16% believe that its greatest benefit is better enabling key strategic initiatives while nearly two-thirds of respondents say that analytics play an important role in driving business strategy.

Businesses collect data for various reasons, ranging from understanding how customers use a company’s website or mobile app, to drawing insights from purchase histories and how to increase this behaviour, to name a few.

The McKinsey Institute projects that the US will face a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million managers and data analysts who can interpret and implement data. Business analytics can help businesses unlock insights that bolsters their competitive edge and improve their business strategies, making them more efficient, robust and successful.

Despite that, deriving insights from data and converting that knowledge into action, is a skill that requires trained experts.

Capitalise on data analytics

For small business owners who are ready to capitalise on analytical tools to help their businesses grow, here are some tools worth considering:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free analytics platform that gives you the free tools you need to analyse data for your business in one place.

It can help you understand your site and app users to better evaluate the performance of your marketing, content, products, among others.

Google Analytics Academy offers courses to get you up to speed with Google Analytics. This includes Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics, to name a few.

Microsoft Excel

Excel is a popular data analysis tool that’s useful for small businesses that don’t have large amounts of data.

Excel has many features that can bring data to life, including graphs and pivot tables.

HubSpot, for instance, notes that “data visualisations allow you to convey the results of any data analysis you’ve conducted succinctly, accessibly, and compellingly. Excel sports several different visualisation options to make borderline incomprehensible pages of raw data visually appealing and easy to make sense of.”

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edX offers Introduction to Data Analysis using Excel, which teaches students the basics of Excel, one of the most popular data analysis tools, to help visualise and gain insights from your data.

Udemy offers several advanced courses in Excel, including Data Analysis with Excel Pivot Tables, which teaches you how to use pivot tables and pivot charts, among others. “Pivots allow you to quickly explore and analyse raw data in Excel, revealing powerful insights and trends otherwise buried in the noise,” it said.

At the end of the day, data analytics and data science tools can prove to be incredibly useful for businesses and improve their competitiveness, making it a useful area for small business owners to upskill in.