Small is Beautiful,Small is the Revolution

Small Business is Beautiful

Small Business is Beautiful

November is the big month for America. All businesses hope to score big on sales. Each business gears up to beat the competition .Great price points, highest value, home delivery, free surprise gifts- strategies and ideas- all very attractive and targeted to November-sale-onlookers.Good news for some and not so good for  others.

Limited resources and opportunities often have small and medium scale businesses,trampled and shelved in this race to sell .That’s a fact but not affordable. For a growing economy that’s trying to catch up to its old glory, with almost 75% of the working class as self-employed and owners of small business , it’s no more wise to leave behind the small scale industry.  

The national backbone is just as strong as the limbs of these micro and small sized businesses

Not that we accuse the more powerful businesses. It’s not a zero sum game, and does not mean, if one wins another cannot. Consumers too share a responsibility. They need to be more overt in their support for small business. Consumers can choose  where  to buy their  items  from and whom to benefit.  Backing   movements  like Small business Saturday and engaging in a whole hearted  shopping fling just for  one  day with small business can make much difference.   And why just one day.  Market trends show Black Friday  shopping extravaganza actually stretch weeks after and before the Friday so that businesses can make the most of the buying enthusiasm. As per Google’s report

–    Some shoppers (29%) will start holiday shopping before Halloween.

–   Most will wait to begin buying gifts until the holiday shopping period: 19% will start shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and 48% will do so in early December.

–   Not only was consumer interest in Black Friday up 27% YoY from 2012, but queries relating to the topic also started about a week earlier (Google Data) (Chart 1).

With lesser rush on these leading and trailing weeks, the small businesses stand a higher chance of being noticed. Well positioned, promotions advertisements, innovative offers deals coupled with a reasonably good infrastructure in terms of websites, ecommerce and social presence, can take a long way.  Coming up a list of tests to help you know where the problem is  and  then fix  them. Stay tuned!

About Hedgehog Insights–  We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations,  cash flows, website data or ones from  social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients  set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation .

Data to Dollars this Season.

Data to Dollars

Data to Dollars this Season”- ‘Tis the season and  all predictions states it will be bigger than ever before . But how can you tell you will have a bigger sales than before or beat your competition.

Join this event tomorrow 6 PM EST .And  know if you are just as  ready as  you want to be to make  it  big this sales season.

Please click on the link below to check the details of  this event on Hangouts on Air: http://bit.ly/1re14jt

Data to Dollars this season by Hedgehog Insights

Data to Dollars this season by Hedgehog Insights

How can you tell that mobile version of your website is ready for November Sales ?


Analytics to optimize mobile apps
Is it required? Let us consider this.

  • During Q4 2013, mobile accounted for almost 35% of online traffic, up 40% YoY (IBM Digital Analytics Benchmarks, 2014).

 
  • December sales on smartphones and tablets were up threefold from 2011 to 19.1% (IBM Experience One, 2014).

 
  • 52% of online smartphone shoppers used their phones throughout the shopping process during the 2013 holidays (Google and Ipsos MediaCT, 2014).

It is preferred for several reasons, but the one that matters to us is that – it is used on the go with a level of urgency.  People mostly want something and want it immediately when they are searching on mobile and more than 90% make a purchase. Doesn’t that sound like your perfect target group? Sure! Consumers are easier to get a message across when they are searching for one. And here they are receptive to it. Just one basic question here- Is your website mobile optimized? Do visitors have a good experience navigating your website on their phones? How can you tell that? How to start your analysis?

Our answer- start with testing simple elements. Test two areas- one,the technicalities/platforms and two, user acceptance. This will give you ideas  to grab the low hanging fruits immediately. Here is a way-Just copy and  paste your website address in one of these tools like Google PageSpeed Insights ,  GTMetrics or Tools.Ping.  And almost instantly you get a full report. It talks about site speed  ,user experience (size of font and tap targets). The report tells what to fix and  how to fix with in depth technicalities. So unless you are coding your website, pass this info on to the one  who does for you. A  coder can make sense of it .

That was the  technical side .But what does it mean to your business.  Well you can easily see  that if  you have  your website  linked with Google  Analytics or  a similar  web  analytics and  tracking  tool. The tools are  free and easy to use.  From our experience , Google analytics seem to produce  the most insightful analytical and actionable information. Once it is  set up to track your mobiles(we suggest hire a  vendor)  you can start  getting a set a very vital information.

  1. Who uses  your apps now, on what devices, and where they come from- Traffic Sources reports and Google Play integration

  2. Real-time reporting to show you who’s using your app, as they use it. Behavioral features show you the exact screens where users take action, pause… or disappear.

  3. Mobile App Analytics help you set and track the goal conversions you want most: purchases, clicks, or simply time spent on your app

If you implement the insights and tips from these  two  areas you will ideally be  addressing Usability and design . That is one important mobile element and  probably the quickest and surest path to conversion hikes(Forrester)

About Hedgehog Insights–  We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations,  cash flows, website data or ones from  social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients  set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation .

Isn’t this analytics building artificial intelligence

When is the last time you fed them what they love?

Good newsletter feed-Newsletter analytics

How you know you have fed them well

When is the last time you fed them what they love? Newsletter analytics is a little more than clicks and opens. In case you are getting just that from your e-mailing vendor, you are missing out on a bigger and more important chunk of information. Here is a guide to how you can make the most of newsletters yourself ..

Type newsletter analytics on your search engine. Some 4.5 million records show up in 0.22 seconds. Bravo! Now try checking the links until your hand goes numb and you will see they speak about tracking your newsletter. Your search page is filled with vendors offering tools to track your newsletter. May be you already have one or maybe you will go with one like our clients. It’s trilling to see the count who received your little electronic pack of ‘big –bang-theories’, count who opened to glance through, count who clicked to read more and count who (alas) missed your newsletter.  You will get over this soon and realize it’s all too bogus and often dumb. Like our clients, who almost felt tortured with this recurring dump of counts, matching lumps of recurring expenditure? Why? Because those counts never tell you how much sales you got, cost you could reduce, or social rewards (likes & shares) you’ve earned.  Well I will not repeat ‘How great a king is content’ or ‘how awesome are calls to action’. I will instead draw your attention to 3 steps to compare your current feeds Vs what you should .Just 3 Steps.

    1. Segment topics you have used so far- categorize those to as basic levels as possible. Let’s explain with an example.  Take any story. Say it’s on ‘The Importance of Newsletter Analytics’. At a higher level it’s about marketing. But as you dissect more, you will know it’s about online marketing, direct email communication, analytics etc. It’s like placing it exactly where it belongs, in the right folder.  Now take each issue and repeat this for each of the topics. By the time you are done for all issues you will have a small database with great info in store? Why? Read on ..

   2, Map your counts of opens and clicks. The counts of opens and clicks you’ve had so far will come to  a real use now. You will know what ‘exactly/precisely’ have been accepted, what was dumped and what did not matter to your audience. So it may reveal something you had  been working  hard for long , really  does not  interest them , but a piece of story that’s been  lying  on your desk , was better. Isn’t that a goldmine of information? Sure it is. It indicates popularity of one topic over another, and their trends over months and years.

 You may also be using calls to action, which is obviously different from just feeding in   stories. It requires the reader to take an action and therefore there is a little more than just mapping topics to clicks. Read on this http://bit.ly/1msuzwn

  3.     Check with the market:  You have got a data base . You know how each topic performed now  check with the market. Research. Rummage the internet , dive into books/journals ,get hands on  trends and syndicated  studies that tells what your target  audience  actually prefer. Compare it with what you have  been feeding  and  know  where  you stand. Are you at par with their area of  interest or  falling out.  Customize your newsletter  strategy. Align it  to your business goals . And…all set to start afresh.

With such comparisons over a period , you will have a good  knowledge about  what works and  what does not .Thereby you’ve  have  put  yourself and  your  business in a very advantageous position to make  the most of  your newsletter and  all the  time money and effort you have  invested.

About Hedgehog Insights We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations,  cash flows, website data or ones from  social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients  set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation .

Data , Data Everywhere Not a drop of Insight

Imagine yourself waking up one morning   in a rocking bed of sorts, with a chill breezing over your body and lots of light dazzling on your eyes. Squinting uneasily from within the lids, you realize you are out in the open, beneath the deep blue, crammed in a small boat that somehow has kept you afloat on an endless mass of scary blue waters. That’s Mr. Pi, you must be exclaiming. A direct lift from his book of ‘Life’.  It may be amusingly shocking to think of yourself as Mr. Pi, but if you were a modern day business manager and woke up to a sea of data with all the pressure to behave like an analyst- it sure would have been a pain.

As modern day business  manager you probably have one or all  of  those  typical traits  that shows you’ve never got a chance to use data .  Your vendors have gotten you to spend big on tools producing great looking, pretty reports. While deep down, you actually felt they are dumb, at times even funny, but never really insightful.  A disproportionately higher portion of your budget is spend on tools and gadgets. But talk about spending on a hire, on great analytical minds, who actually do the analysis- well that’s something you never heard before, right? If these were not enough, here’s one more- “So what?” – A question that’s been clouding your thoughts, whenever you saw those numbers from websites and social media. They never make sense, and worse, they generate confusion.

Relax, you are not alone. These are common traits and like every other danger posing mankind, this too can be won.  There is obviously a method to it and few step to get it right.

Know, there are only 4 areas to look into- Your business, your business goals, your customers and your competitors. Notice how we stretched our perspective from an idea born in mind to a business entity in the market place. That really is the journey of all businesses on the planet. All our business issues pertains to one or some of these areas combined. Tying data insights back to these four areas will keep it relevant but more importantly will help you use them to solve issues. Already overwhelming? Here’s another way to look at it. Try answering these questions.

  1.    What is  the idea, what is  the acceptability, what does the click stream data say about your website and  social media.

  2.     How are your goals met, to what extent? What are your micro conversions?

  3. Why does  this  happen- understanding customer behavior , their reaction to your offering , your messages and advertisement

 4.     What else- how does it relate to your completion where do you stand in the market place against your defending competitors?

And as you look  into each question , you will find  yourself untangling the muddled up  knot and comprehending  each area ,  gleaning  out  insights and using it to know and manage your business better.

Always Know…..

If  data to you is  sea, insights will obviously be salt laden , unusable sea water, but if  you’ve segmented it  successfully , observed them linking back to  areas of  concern , data  will really look like that beautiful  lake with sweet water for  life.

 Now Smile J you are no more in deep sea.

The 20:20:60 rule to make analytics work for your business

2.2.6 rules

 

The moment anyone asks you to use some data analytics  in your business what is it that clouds your mind? Typically – What’s is in it  for me , how will it  affect my business? Yes,  it is not just money or  effort or  time invested , it is  about returns. While we all know that returns have paved path for a business to grow from good to great, we still doubt. Its natural and its precisely the first stumbling block  in using analytics for business. There are two more , this post talks about. You need to work on these and  invest a certain amount of  your resources (effort, time, money)  to make analytics work for  you.This  break up based on all resources used- money and monetized effort and  time spent . So here is the mantra:

Two parts to believing in it 2 parts to buying a tool , 6 parts to a real analysts who’ll not make you fool.

That’s right! It’s the 20:20:60 rule.

 20% of your Efforts  in trusting analytics will help.  It’s about a mentality of the decision makers , and manager of business that insights  from data are a crucial component of choosing the right plan and  strategy for  business .  Within small and midsized businesses , so far, they’ve relied on best guess, experience and gut  feeling .While  there is  nothing wrong about it, its certainly not  the  only path for growth hungry businesses. When up against other competitors   on a  bigger platform, there needs  to be some numerical basis  to that  decision you make or opportunities you pursue to stay ahead of competition.   Almost 60% of  managers across the globe strongly agree analytics is important for  business growth .The  small and midzed businesses obviously share a  much lesser pie. A manager can easily  know if or  not he is making the most with his business data. A lot of this can be won with a shift in culture – the culture of using  insights from analytics in daily decision making.

20%  of  your resources in  Buying a tool: Its  not  just about money but some effort  as well in choosing  the right tool to use. The market offers a long list , varying in  range of features and cost- but few are great. Even fewer offer a complete analytics of  your business data. Some collect  website  data ,others  concentrate on market insights and  competitor analysis. For  small  business, who look for  flexibility with frequently changing  game plan, it is  best to invest less . A shortlist of most recommended analytics tools can be  found  in our  previous post.  Over time , even if you are ready to invest a  pot of money in tools, its  important you act wise. Go through a know-how to choose  the  right tool and  vendors.

Last and least unimportant…

60% of  your resources in the Analyst.  At the end of  the day analytics is  about analysts. Machines and  tools can help you collect data . And, that’s just the  starting point of analytics.  To have insights to act on , you need human  analysts with planet  size  brains , to dig out great informative tips. Choose an analyst, wisely and invest liberally. A tool mostly gives only one approach to gauge your  business performance and  that too with few basic matrices. Please understand- it’s after all a tool.  Google Analytics can only offer  analysis of  website/app  data , while Compete give yours and competitors. Nothings  wrong about  that, in fact it is  good to have a targeted tool. But often questions remain unanswered – the  whys and what s , and  what else keep growing endlessly. And that’s when a analyst comes  to rescue– combines all  different  silos of data and helps make sense of  it  together so that  you can get a complete picture . The importance of an analyst to make analytics work can never be overestimated and  there it makes one inseparable component of   Hedgehog insights  four-fold  value proposition.

Few words before closing – 20:20:60 rule is tested and proved for success. Expert analysts within Hedgehog Insights, researched and  designed it  for the benefit of   all those who care to take our services seriously. Like a great recipe, that is best prepared with  right ingredients in right quantity, data analytics too, demands a combination of analysis , attitudes and investment and  the rule proves it  has all. 

About Hedgehog Insights–  We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations,  cash flows, website data or ones from  social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients  set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation .