Carrollton Dermatology Associates
Dr. Thomas H. Lamb, MD.
Brighter Image, Inc.
RA-Lin and Associates
North Georgia Turf, Inc.
Many small businesses, even when they are an established company doing well, can encounter problems and run into a wall, blocking progress. Profits can level off and growth or sales can start to level out. This creates stagnation which can be a difficult challenge to overcome, especially to those who are risk averse. One way companies might overcome these issues is by analyzing existing data in the organization and looking for patterns.
In order to move your business forward and grow, you should analyze and try to interpret the data in your organization. This includes everything from previous financial statements, year-on-year sales figures and numbers, and even KPIs or estimated Vs actual figures. By looking into this data, you will eventually begin to find patterns which can be useful in not only helping you figure out the current state of your company, but in identifying where it is going.
One option many businesses explore is utilizing Business Intelligence software, which allows businesses to easily track data and identify patterns, among other uses. There are a wide variety of programs, so if you are looking to begin tracking data and analyzing patterns, try contacting us today to see what solutions we have for you.
There’s no shortage of data for the small business owner. Whether you hire a professional industry analyst to look at your business information, or do it yourself, statistics and reports can reveal valuable information. But making sure that information is enriched with knowledge is the difference between having numbers to hand and having vital data that could transform your business.
Many small businesses depend on their IT personnel to provide data that will enhance their business. However, there’s a difference between mere data and enriched information that improves performance. For instance, you might be surprised to find that page views are largely useless. This figure tells very little about how people are actually using your site, which is the most important information you can have. Data that leads to improvements is more than just information. It’s intelligence. There are many types of information which can help businesses become more intelligent.
Visitor flow Visitor flow follows how users navigate your website. The most important point is to learn about where your customers enter your site, and where they leave. Simple numbers of visitors is not as useful. Let’s say that you are running an online store and that 350 visitors left your site on the 'confirm order' page. This might suggest there’s some type of sticking point related to this page. It might be that the wrong orders are loading. It might be that a sudden tax add-on that wasn’t fully clarified caused users to cancel the purchase. Regardless of the reason, this type of business intelligence may help you make positive changes in the online experience you create.
Traffic sources Traffic sources tell you where your customers are coming from and therefore what’s driving people to your site. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know the type of sites which are leading to yours? With that information, you might step up advertising and marketing within those sites, and bring even more business your way. Traffic sources are also a great way to measure the effectiveness of advertising.
Keywords When you know what keywords people use to find your business online, you can begin tailoring your pages to contain more of them. You can also begin applying those keywords in advertisements, banners, and promotional efforts you invest in online. By better meeting user desire and expectation you can raise your profile above that of competitors.
Conversion rates Your business makes money when people buy your product or services. Conversion rates can help track users through the entire sales experience. By finding out key data about where users spend time online, where they enter the sales experience, and when they leave, you are better able to adjust your product or service, your presentation, and perhaps your website design. By finding peak points of purchase, you can pinpoint successful pages or links too. By finding weak points of purchase, such as abandoned online shopping carts, you might be alerted to tech problems or layout aspects that interfere with more robust conversion rates.
Bounce rates Bounce rates reflect the number of users who visit your site but leave without looking at any other pages. In a best case scenario, it means they find what they are looking for on your site fast. In the worst case scenario, it means that your users lose interest immediately, and big changes on your site have to be made. A high bounce rate can be changed through rich content development that engages users to remain within your site, exploring what your business has to offer in terms of products and services, and more.
Bounce rates are a great example of the difference between metrics and information. IT might present stats that show 3,000 people are visiting a site each day. This might seem like good news, until it's revealed that the bounce rate is 2,999. This is the difference between information and intelligence.
Business intelligence creates a better opportunity to maximize your production and profits. We can help in that process, so get in touch today.
The path to running a successful business starts with making the right decisions. This can be a challenge for many business owners, largely because nobody can see what the future holds. This is why Business Intelligence (BI) has become so popular; it helps us make better decisions. One form of BI is visualization - taking data and turning it into something visual we can use. While this can be useful, there is a chance that it can lead to data being misrepresented and the wrong decisions being made.
Here are four tips on how to make successful data visualizations - e.g., charts, graphs, flowcharts, etc.
1. They need to be easy to understand When visualizing data, it can be very easy to make the outcome incredibly confusing. By having too many sets of data, trying to compare and visualize too much, or by simply laying information out in a confusing way, you could actually decrease the effectiveness of the message you are trying to convey or lose it altogether.
When creating visualizations, try to get someone who is part of your target audience to look over it and make sure they can understand what the visualization is representing and that it is easy to comprehend. If they can't, you need to go back to the drawing board and try to come up with a way to present the data where the intended audience can understand and follow it easily.
2. They need to cater to the audience The main reason most managers or owners visualize data is to present it to an audience. 99% of the time, this audience is a decision maker and you are trying to get them to decide on whatever the data visualization is representing.
Therefore, when setting out to visualize your data you should first define an end goal - what you want the audience to do with the data. In order to do this, and to develop a successful visualization, try considering these three questions:
Above all - They need to tell a story The most successful visualizations tell a story about the data. Unlike TV or movies, you aren't telling a story for pure entertainment. The story should be related to how the audience will be affected or can be helped by the data represented in the visuals. If you are struggling to find a way to tell a story, try actually explaining the data. By knowing it inside and out, you will likely be better able to come up with an explanation that you may be able to weave into a fluid story for your audience.
If you are looking into visualizing your data, or improving how you present it, why not contact us to see how our systems can help.
A popular trend related to data is the increasing use of infographics and visualization. While it is true that a visual representation of data can be helpful, it doesn't mean that every bit of data collected needs to be represented visually or turned into an infographic. So, when exactly should data be visualized?
In order to know when data visualization should be used, it's a good idea to start with why we even use it at all, and what makes it work.
Why visualize data The whole point of taking data and turning it into more understandable information is so that we can utilize it to make a decision or take action from what we learn. Data visualization is just another way of turning data that we can't read or understand and turning it into something that we can see and use. In other words, creating information with visible insights.
In general there are three reasons why you might want to visualize data:
If you would like to know more about how you can visualize data, or how you can harness the data in your organization, contact us today to see how we can help.
The amount of data available to a business is exponentially increasing, and many are starting to realize that they can harness this for help making decisions, predicting trends and outcomes of other business initiatives. This capture and analysis of data is commonly referred to as Business Intelligence (BI) can be incredibly useful, however it isn't easy, many businesses make mistakes that could be costly.
Here are four of the most common mistakes businesses make with their Business Intelligence efforts.
1. Not involving all stakeholders When developing BI initiatives, companies will often forget to talk to all of the stakeholders who are involved in, or affected by, the initiative. You should take steps to consult with the parties and end users involved. Get to know their problems, desires, and what they plan to do with the data and information gained.
Once you know what the users need, you can look into developing and implementing the tools that will get the desired result. It is especially important to involve the people who will be implementing BI tools as they may have insight into what is needed, or how existing systems will fit/work with the intended systems.
2. Unclear goals As with almost everything else in business, you need to have a set goal as to what you want to achieve with the project, tool, initiative you are implementing. If you don't know what you want your BI to do, how it is to be presented or even why, you will likely run into problems that could lead to the wrong decisions being made, or even lost profits.
It would therefore be a good idea to sit down with the teams and stakeholders to see what they want, and set goals as a group. Then look for a solution that will meet these needs and goals.
3. Using the wrong tools Just because other companies have implemented BI, or a specific tool, and have had success, doesn't mean you will. Some companies have done excellent work getting buy-in from all teams and user needs and goals are clearly defined, but when they start looking for tools, settle for something that is merely good enough.
This will hurt them because the tool may be missing key features that parties want. Also, like everything else in business, BI will change over time and if your company's goals change and the tools can't keep up with it or support it, you could be looking at costly changes, or inefficient decision making support.
4. Team members lack skills Technology is always changing and companies are always implementing new systems. Because BI is tool based, you will have to add new technology, and guaranteed the users won't know all of the ins and outs. Therefore, they will need to be trained on how to use them.
If the users don't know how to use the tools, data could be collected inefficiently, the wrong data may be collected and analyzed or the wrong outputs could be produced. What this means is ultimately lost profits for you.
These are the common mistakes made by business in regards to their BI. If you are looking for a solution that will help ensure that you avoid these mistakes and get the data and answers you need, contact us today to see if we have the right one for you.
When it comes to making important business decisions, often the most successful ones tend to be those made utilizing solid knowledge, sound experience and reliable data. Much of this valuable information is now gathered and stored in computers, and the use of this has given rise to Business Intelligence (BI). One new form of BI that is fast gaining popularity is Big Data.
You've likely seen or heard the term Big Data, but do you know what it is? Here is a simple definition, along with some examples and ways businesses can use it.
Define: Big Data If you search for definitions of Big Data, you will likely come across something along the lines of: Big Data is data that focuses on harnessing and using new forms of unstructured data that move into or through a business with high volume, velocity and complexity.
But what exactly does this mean? Well, many find this definition vague, at best. We found a definition, an equation in fact, that better explains Big Data: Big Data = Transactions + Interactions + Observations
Transactions This is highly structured data related to events. It always includes: Time, a numerical value and refers to an objective, or objectives. Examples of this include, invoices, travel plans, activity records, payments, etc. The vast majority of this information is stored in databases and can be accessed quickly and easily, usually through SQL (Structured Query Language).
Interactions This covers how people interact with one another, or with your business. This includes interactions such as Facebook posts and Likes, social feeds, generated content and even blogs. Basically, this encompasses any data you can collect through any type of interaction that this isn't limited to business transactions. Many experts expect this part of Big Data to really take off and become more valuable as social networks become ever more integrated with our lives and the corporate world.
Observations This is information gathered from the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is associated with unique, individual things that have a virtual component that can be observed, and are connected in an Internet-like structure. Some examples of this include GPS coordinates from a person that visits your website on their mobile phone, or RFID chips in ATM cards. This data can be stored and potentially used to make better, more informed decisions.
When you combine these three things together, along with the data associated with it, you get Big Data.
Some sources of Big Data Here are just a few of sources of Big Data:
One of the most important things to the success of any business is data. Data comes in many forms and can be used to help businesses make decisions or gauge the success of their operations. Because the amount of data available is increasing, many businesses are starting to look into Business Intelligence (BI). If you are considering adopting some form of BI, there are some important types of BI you should know about.
Business Intelligence is generally divided into four different categories which are comprised of different types of BI that businesses working with data should be aware of.
Reporting Reporting focuses on developing documents with valuable information, telling the reader what happened. They usually cover a time span that is determined by the writer of the report and can provide information on the whole company's activities, or be as simple as a weekly report which looks at your Facebook campaign.
Many BI professionals will call the reports generated from BI efforts Standard Reports - a record of past activities and data.
Analysis Analysis looks at why something happened. This is an important part of BI, because data by itself is useless. It only become useful when it has been analyzed and turned into something that we can interpret and understand. There are three common types of analysis:
In an increasingly interconnected world, it's becoming harder and harder for business owners and managers to decide between choices. That's why many have started to implement Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, in the hopes that it will help them make better, more informed decisions. An increasingly popular component of BI is social data. The question is though, what is it and can small businesses benefit from it?
Here's an overview of social data and three ways small business owners and managers can use it to make decisions.
What is social data? Social data is any data or information collected from the various social media sites available. The easiest way to define social data is to differentiate it from social media. Social media is content that a user has created, copied or linked with the idea of sharing it with other people using a platform i.e., Facebook. Social data is the information that is linked to this content, such as shares, likes, location, time posted, etc.
It is social data that powers analytics and social media monitoring, (how popular your content, profile, etc. is), and if utilized efficiently could go a long way in helping you make better business decisions and a more focused marketing strategy.
Because there is so much data relating to and generated by social media activities, it can be nearly impossible to track and analyze it all. But, it is quickly becoming an important part of Business Intelligence, and will continue to become even more so as the number of social media sites and users continues to expand. That's why many BI solutions are starting to integrate social data gathering and analysis tools. While you may be able to track and analyze this data, do you know what you can do with it?
Three uses of social data
If you would like to learn more about social data and how your company can use it effectively, call us today for a chat.
It's safe to say that every business has goals, some are more clearly defined than others, but there is always something managers and owners strive for. During operations, you need a way to figure out how and if you are reaching your goals, this is usually done through the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The question many ask though, is what exactly are KPIs?
Below is an overview of KPIs for business.
Define: KPI The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a tool used to measure performance of a business or employees. Many businesses use this tool to look at either the overall performance and success of all or specific operations. To many, the terms performance and success are synonyms.
How do KPIs work? Most modern versions of this tool come in the form of software applications that track specific data and criteria set by managers or owners. The software allows them to compare these criteria, commonly referred to as Score Cards, with the established goals and gauge overall performance or success.
This data, usually collected from spreadsheets, databases or even manual data entry, is displayed to the user in an easy to read format called a dashboard. The dashboard is typically a graph or similar visual display.
A common dashboard is the traffic light. Let's say for example that a company is measuring the success of their latest marketing campaign. A green light indicates that the expected number of conversions is being met or exceeded, yellow means actual conversions are slightly below normal and red means actual are well below expected.
Benefits of KPIs The biggest benefit of these tools is that they allow users to easily gauge the performance of a business. Beyond that you can set many KPIs with triggers that will alert you when the measurements are poor. This will allow the company to figure out ways to fix issues before they can cause bigger problems.
Effective KPIs For many businesses, effective KPIs are tailored to the needs of the business. For the majority of businesses, KPIs need to be: Measurable, achievable, specific and result-oriented. The best way for a business to figure out the which will be the most effective is for the manager or owner to look at the aspects that are most important to a business.
This can be hard to figure out, especially for business owners who often think that everything related to their business is important. A business intelligence expert or IT partner can help define what really matters most and help to implement the tools needed.
If you are looking for a better way to measure the success or performance of your business, please contact us today.
Data can be defined as a set of values that belong to a set of items. If you were to look at a series of numbers stored in a spreadsheet, without any labels, you would have a hard time guessing what it is. Only through analysis will it become useful to us. Because there is often so much data around us, it can be tough to actually analyze it and turn it into useful information. It doesn't have to be so hard though.
Here's a brief overview of five data analysis tools that you could use in your business.
One of the more common uses of data is to help a business manager make predictions. We all know predictions are among the hardest things to do. Enterprises hire staff and invest in systems solely with the aim of making predictions. If you're a small business, you likely don't need expensive software that is hard to use.
Enter BigML. How it works is you define and upload a set of data and format it. BigML will then take that data, help you to create a prediction model which you then can apply 'what-if' variables to and have it generate predictions. The site runs on credits; you pay for a set amount of credits and each part of the process - dataset, model and prediction - is worth a certain amount of credits. Prices start at around USD$6.50 for credits, which gives you 10MB of data, 5MB worth of models and 10K predictions based on this data.
Wolfram|Alpha's Facebook Reports
WolframAlpha is a search engine that collects data and uses algorithms to interpret it. One feature of this site is that you can develop reports, one of the more useful being Facebook Reports. You can access the report feature by clicking here. Alternatively, you can go to the WolframAlpha website and search for Facebook.
This report provides users with a glimpse into their Facebook Page's information. It provides you with information on who are the most active posters, how many shares/likes, etc. you get and other useful information in easy to read charts and graphs. The key here is that the report can show you how customers access your Page and where they come from. You could use this information to see what posts users liked and didn't like, and provide more engaging content.
The basic version of the report is free. More advanced controls and data analysis is available for USD$4.99 a month.
Many Eyes is a data analysis and visualization tool developed by IBM Research. If you already have data sets then you can upload them to the website and use one of the many different visualization tools to create charts, graphs, etc.
A cool feature of this site is that it has the ability to analyze written documents. Say for example you are writing new content for your website, you can copy and paste the content and get a visual representation of the words you use, how you connect words, etc. If you have a set of keywords you would like to use for SEO and search purposes, you can manually compare them with the visualization. If you notice that an important keyword is missing, or not represented enough, you can go through and re-write the copy a bit.
Best of all, it's free.
If you have an idea about Business Intelligence, or have worked with data on a regular basis and have sets that are structured, Tableau Public is probably the most powerful free analysis tool available for small businesses.
While powerful, it isn't the most user-friendly of options. To get the most out of this program you are going to need to know the basics behind data analysis. If you feel comfortable with the basics, you'll be creating dashboards, charts, interactive graphs, maps, etc. that look great and can be embedded on your blog or website. Oh yes, did we mention it's free?
Big data is all the rage these days, it's hard not to hear techies and data specialists talk about it. While it is an important part of many large businesses' data analysis practices, the truth is many small businesses don't need big data just yet. If you have simple data you need to analyze e.g., how many hours have your five employees worked this month? Why not stick with simple spreadsheets like Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
As long as you have data entered in a logical way, you can easily create graphs and charts that can help you visualize and analyze your data.If you would like help establishing a system that can help you track and analyze your data, please contact us today, we may have a solution that works for you.