Business trends & research roundup: Real-world analytics

August 17, 2017

Think big data is just for the big guys? Think again. Check out our monthly roundup of research as we explore real-world ways small business merchants can use big data analytics to run their business better.

This post will define big data, show you why small businesses are shying away from it, and introduce you to a few compelling reasons why they shouldn’t. More importantly, we’ll tell you just how easy it is to unlock the insights in your current data with a Clover solution.

We hear the term “big data” a lot, but what does it really mean? Simply stated, big data refers to the trend of using insights from your existing sales information to make smarter business decisions. The “big” also refers to size. Data is expected to grow to 40 zettabytes by 2020, or roughly 50-fold growth since 2010. SalesForceIQ

Not only will the amount of data grow exponentially, but its importance to your success will as well. Without a doubt, small businesses don’t rely on big data analytics as much as they should. And why? In looking at responses from a recent Nielsen poll of 2,000 small businesses in the U.S., 41 percent think conducting market research is too costly, and 42 percent say they just don’t have the time. And even more surprisingly, 35 percent went so far as to say they’ve never even considered it.

However, the numbers also show they tend to overestimate the potential challenges of adopting new technology — with 80% indicating that technological deployment was easier than they anticipated, and 70% responding that technological investments exceeded their expectations. AdAge

With Clover Insights, you get powerful, easy-to-use sales analysis for small business that turns your transaction data into exciting new opportunities to grow. From sales numbers that help you understand the impact of your marketing efforts to trends in what your customers are buying, Clover Insights shows that knowledge really is power.

How great is the opportunity ahead when it comes to data analysis? According to Forrester Research, most companies are only analyzing 12% of the data they have. Given the large amount of unstructured data (data defined as not being organized in a predetermined manner) companies have, this isn’t a surprise. By taking the time to analyze the data you’re already generating, Insights gives you the confidence to tackle some of your business’ biggest problems head on.

Here are a few key data points you should watch closely in your Clover POS that’ll help you run your business more effectively: total sales, transaction amounts, labor costs, and purchase history for VIP customers. With Clover’s easy-to-use dashboard, each of these crucial data points are clearly accessible and keep you updated at a glance. Clover Insights even gives you the ability to have snapshots sent directly to you—ensuring you’re always in the know.

Not only do small businesses benefit from the precision offered by customer data, but that exposure to data encourages owner-managers to share insights with employees and get them involved in companies’ competitive thinking. Insights can help with this initiative by allowing you to compare sales and consumer spending trends at similar businesses to see how you stack up. Harvard Business Review

Companies in the top third of their industry in the use of data-driven decision making were, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors. With Clover Insights, it’s easy to see how you’re performing and understand the impact of your marketing efforts and improve future efforts. Harvard Business Review

One family-owned realty leveraged big data to increase their inventory by more than 10 percent over the past three years while cutting costs by 15 percent. The net result of their $40,000 investment? Those savings alone amounted to $50,000, helping their investment pay for itself within the first year. With Clover Insights, you have a much smaller investment that delivers a much larger ROI. How much smaller? Insights requires no additional hardware or software and is available wherever you work, on your computer or your phone.

In addition to all of the above, Clover Insights also offers heat maps that show where your customers live and shop so you can better target your marketing. Plus, you can easily see your customers’ spending patterns, helping you bring in new business and find more customers like them. You can even access weather breakdowns that track how your business performs in different conditions so you know how to staff up or down and so much more.
With today’s ultra competitive market, you need to equip yourself with tools that let you crack the code of your business’ data, ultimately giving you a competitive advantage. With a Clover POS and Insights, you get just that.

[image: warm data by beachmobjellies on flickr]

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