Data Science & Analytics for Small Medium Enterprises
As the world is getting more connected digitally, the amount of data getting accumulated worldwide is rising in an astronomical manner. This phenomenon is making Data Science and Big data Analytics a highly evolved and beneficial stream of specialization and expertise for entire humankind in general and the business world in general. Small & Medium Enterprises or SMEs form the backbone of any successful economy, whether it is already developed or still lies in the developing stage.
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Not only do the SMEs maintain the vital competitive spirit in an economy and keep it healthy, they also ensure no business hegemony of a chosen few creeps in the economical and financial atmosphere of a nation. Nowadays, data science & big data analytics is playing a very important role in the growth of SMEs, and it will be worthwhile to look at a few ways in which this is being done.
1. Boosting Data Driven Decision Making
The business related issues, challenges, and workflows of SMEs are peculiarly different from the huge enterprises in a number of ways. For example, their financial planning and marketing strategies of a medium sports goods manufacturing unit are going to lie in stark contrast with the same of Adidas or Yonex. Also, the resources available with an SME are usually very limited in volume; and extremely low capital or ventures are there to serve as a fallback option, hence the risk factors in their business decisions turn considerably high.
A newly launched online food delivery enterprise, for instance, needs to have a clear idea as to what quantity of perishable raw materials does it require every day in order to mitigate material losses in the event of a bad day at business; while a nearby Domino’s outlet would be able to face even a bleak month at sales relatively smoothly. But if the online food delivery SME uses an efficient data visualization and analytics solution, it can successfully arrive at more accurate, reliable and business-sensible decisions on the basis of its sales patterns and order volume datasets, thereby minimizing its risks and maximizing its revenues.
2. Understanding Customer Behavior
The art of understanding customer behavior more precisely and sensitively serves as a very strong pillar for any sound business activity, of any size or nature. For an SME that aspires to achieve highest growths at fastest speeds possible, in the least time durations, it is imperative to carry out an in-depth customer behavior analysis regularly.
For instance, a small garment manufacturing unit that is vying hard to make it big in its arena, must be incredibly aware about not only the new fashion trends and fabric varieties available in the market, but also leverage its entire customer related data such as their purchasing patterns, trends, habits, regularity, buying cycles and purchasing capacity with the help of a powerful data visualization and analytics tool.
While it will enable the aforementioned SME in using its purchase capital in an optimal manner buying exactly the cloth materials and accessories that are going to have a rapid sales cycle, it will also keep it ahead of its peers in terms of catering to the requirements of its customer base in a much personalized and targeted manner.
3. Creating Immense Opportunities
Apart from the two aspects discussed above, data science and analytics can also help an SME grow its business, streamline its operations and increase its profits by generating immense growth opportunities in innumerable ways.
For instance, a medium sized book shop might wish to analyze its customer data with the help of a data visualization & analytics tool, and map out individual sales preferences on the basis of their age groups, reading interests, most preferable purchasing dates and usual purchase volumes etc. Now, with deeply analyzed business insights within their access, they may integrate mass SMS software solutions with these inferences to send them automated and customized SMS’ on arrival of a relevant book matching their preferences in the inventory stocks.
Similarly, the marketing department of a medium shoe manufacturing unit can carry out a deep analysis of its broadcast marketing campaigns, along with the number of audio or video ad spots booked, timings of broadcast, overall costs involved, and the contextual benefit in terms of increased customer attraction or sales volume, with the help of a data visualization & analytics solution. It might be of great help for the marketing team of the organization to restructure its marketing campaigns, smart assignment of the ad spots and optimal expenditure incurred to realize better revenues at relatively lower costs.
About the Author:
Shantanu Chaturvedi is director of technology at Stepout Solutions. Visualr, a data visualization tool by Stepout Solutions helps in exploring business insights by converting data into information. Connect with him on LinkedIn to know more about his work.