How Businesses Benefit from Real-Time Data
Real-time data collection helps businesses gather a big picture look at how different processes work within their company. Since many businesses now keep their information in the cloud, using artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to analyze the details can take your business to the next level.
How Businesses Collect Real-Time Data
Data as a Service (DaaS) is a growing market sector used by small businesses everywhere. Experts predict the industry will hit $10.7 billion in 2023. DaaS isn’t new and you’ve likely used it when streaming music and getting suggestions from services such as Pandora.
What is new is how businesses across all niches are jumping into the arena. Here are three ways businesses collect real-time data:
1. Surveys and Conversations
One of the most personal ways businesses can collect real-time, direct data from customers is by asking them for their input. Surveys and polls are a great place to start with a few specific questions to better understand your user. However, having one-on-one conversations via customer service calls or by talking to top customers can give you even more detail to add to your databases.
2. Indirect Tracking
Another source of real-time data happens when you track your customers and their habits in secondary ways. For example, you might track where the customer comes from and what they do while on your page. You might also figure out where the person is from based on their connected device’s IP and then advertising to that demographic on social media.
3. Comparing Other Sources to Your Own
You can also tap into the power of big data and pull info from public databases in the cloud. You might tap into behaviors of a particular demographic on social media. Comparing your typical site visitor or buyer with what people do on other sites can give you some powerful tools to reach new buyers.
Once you’ve collected the data you need to run some reports and figure out your next step, what are the benefits you’ll reap from your efforts?
1. Increase Speed of Decision-Making
Indecisiveness can cost your company customers. When you need to make a decision quickly about a new product or how to change a process, seeing data in real-time can help you decide which changes work best for your target audience. Surveys are an excellent use of your resources and give you detailed statistics to help you make changes that your customers appreciate rather than deplore.
2. Track Number of Shoppers
Using people counters helps you get a handle on traffic patterns and ensure you have enough workers to create a positive user experience every time.
In some areas, keeping businesses at occupancy limits is a must, especially during times when COVID-19 or other illnesses are spreading rapidly. Real-time data on who is in your store saves you and your customers’ frustration and keeps everyone safe.
3. Understand Your Shoppers
If you want to improve your small business, you have to know who your visitors are and what they like or dislike about your stores. Real-time analytics help you see if people respond well to changes you implement or if you need a different approach.
Tapping into real-time data for your users as they visit your online store puts the power in your hands to increase revenue. If you offer a certain discount, how do they respond? If you place your CTA button higher or lower on the page, does it make a difference in how many people share their information? Get to know your shoppers and how they respond to changes and your business will grow.
4. Enhanced Customer Experience
Customer experience (CX) technology hit around $641 billion last year. Making sure your customers are happy helps you retain them and gain word-of-mouth marketing. Use real-time data to create a CX map.
Once you know the touchpoints your customer goes through, you’ll have a better chance of winning their loyalty.
Knowledge Is Power
The more you know, the better you can run your business. Real-time data gives you a set of tools you wouldn’t otherwise have. You can spot any potential problems in your business and fix them before they become catastrophes.Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.