Data Data Everywhere… not a drop of Insight

This is a post about how confusing data can get for businesses and how to find a way out. It starts with a visual sketch of typical businesses caught in a sea of data – moves on to describe what it might look like in daily life and then offers a simple, step-wise, actionable solution .

Data , Data Everywhere Not a drop of Insight

Is that you .. out there? Then its time you found a way to sail through!

Imagine yourself waking up 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 , you realize you are out in the open, beneath the deep blue sky, crammed in a small boat that somehow has kept you afloat on an endless mass of scary waters. That’s Mr. Pi, a direct lift from his book of ‘Life’, as you might be knowing. Amusing, it might be to imagine yourself as him, but if you were a modern day business manager /entrepreneur 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 these typical traits that show you’ve never got a chance to use data . So may be your vendors have gotten you to spend big on tools that produce great looking, pretty reports . But deep down, you feel they are dumb, at times funny, but never really insightful. May be,you’ve always felt like asking ‘SO What’ to all those metrics and numbers but never found a direct ,straightforward answer. And worst you have never paid much attention to hiring a good analyst for your business.

Relax, you are not alone.These are common traits and like every other danger posing mankind, these too can be won. Obviously, it involves a method and few steps to get all right.

Know, there are only 4 areas to look into- Your Business, Your Business Goals, Your Customers and Your Competitors. Notice how this stretches your perspective from your business to yourself to your business as entity in the market place. That really is the journey of all businesses on planet. All our business issues pertain to one or some of these areas combined. Tying data insights back to these four areas will keep it relevant but more importantly you will get to see through some problems. Already overwhelming? Try another way.Try finding answers to these:

1. What is the basic business idea, how far is it acceptable to your audience? Is your idea sale-able? Does the clicks,visits or time spent on website tell anything?

2. How far are your goals achieved? What is the conversion rate in terms of increasing sales,lowering cost and increased customer loyalty?

3. Why does this happen? Why are targets met- if at all they are? Why do customers behave or react the way they do? What’s on with your messages , communication, product lineup or customer service?

4.What else? How is your competition performing ? Which areas do you lead and which areas do others? Where do you stand in the market place ?

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 be salt laden, wasteful 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 🙂 you are no more in deep sea.

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

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Big Data Integration for Small Business

> What do you think you can learn about your customers from inventory data or your cash register log?

> Or do you think responses from social media  can any way foretell your products stockpile  for this month? How such varied information relate? How do you even start off the analysis?

Big data for small business

Big Data for small business by Hedgehog Insights

We  will talk about it in a minute. Assuming your  business has an amount of sales  each month ,a record of  the finances and a somewhat good  social and  web presence. If you have at least two of these you are  actually  good to start.

Basically these are  small data  sets. We’ll call them sales data,financial data and web data. You might be  using Quickbooks or Spreadsheet to record the  first two while you are  not  so sure of the  later .Well if your business has a website and social media account, the web data is also there. Ever heard of  Google Analytics? We shall keep the details for a later date but know that tools  like  this can be used to track visitor behavior on your website, around products and  contents up there as well as their response to your posts on social.

Data  in these  different  silos do definitely make sense individually but they become critically important  when information is linked-customer data  to inventory requirements, web data to prospective sales , and financial data to customer loyalty.

Yes, I am mainly talking about big data and that it is no more out of reach for small businesses. Small business although late adopters technology stand a  higher  chance to see results soon after implementation. That’s  because they are small, decision is in just few hands and volume of data to work with is  also small.

Here are some important steps you could use  to adopt the latest technology call Big Data.

  1. Have all in one place- define  one platform where  you literally have  all data – stored and accessed. So this  could  be a tool like Microsoft Access or FileMaker that act as a data unifying platform .You can feed /import  all data  from  all areas of  business like web , sales /marketing and  finances ,link  them up some how so that they all seem like one  business data. This is  basically the  first step to incorporating big data  for  small business.

  1. Quickly test if Big Data is actually giving big insights-Take any two databases that you think you have completely imported and linked up. Now  start analysis. What do you see? I’ll explain with our experience with one of our other clients.

The  client had to revise his  website but was not sure  what to do how it go about that. Taking a look at his web data and  linking it  up to their social media log we got  clues on visitor preference. What content they were looking for based on what they talks  about and  pages they visit most. Bounce  rates, goal conversions and  time spent on page were greatly insightful metrics, giving definite  directive on areas to work on.

  1. Last but not  least- Know about Big data. This is basically a  continuous process and starts from even before you conceive big data into your business. The updates and new entries in this field might just be  great ways to upgrade your system internally and benefit  the most out of  this technology.

 

To say big data guarantees success would be overrating it a bit too much, but sure its an important  tool that increases  the chances of success. Actionable  insights  from time to time  can help you decide what content to put up, what resources to hire, which customer  to value and reward more  than other what products lying at the back of your store is actually high in demand.

Of course , we  help you through each of  this steps. We have a great team of technical experts and business opportunity diggers and we will work with you throughout the life of your business.

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 put them all together, draw connections and correlations, derive trends and patterns understand causes and offer our clients a set of easily actionable insights. Tools are 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 .

DIY-Social Media Assessment for Your Businesss

Social Media Assessment for your business this Black Friday

Social Media Assessment-Do it Yourself-It is Costless and simple-Hedgehog Insights

Enough said and done to boost your business on social media. Enough materials you have read and enough hours did you put in. Take a moment out and try to assess how all been going- right, somewhat right, all the same or is it a major blunder.

With the holiday season, peeping from the corner, you can hardly afford to start anything all over again so it’s good to check for quick fixes if at all you need one.

How about you just filled in table and knew the performance. Not 100% error proof but to a great extent you get the real picture of your business on social media. SO be it!

Social Network Platform

# of Followers

# of followers for competitors

Sentiment of Post Positive/Neutral/Negative

# of  Mentions

# of  Competitor’s Mentions

Leads Generated / Purchase

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

Pinterest

After you have the numbers, for each of these blocks do just three things: Compare Compare and Compare. Yes, that really is the basis of all data analysis. Compare your customers, partners and brand image against those of your competitors. Compare their responses, their engagement and involvement with your business vs others. That really is the key in one statement.

And just while you do that, don’t forget to avoid the classic mistakes of assessment, any assessment

1.    Never lose sight of the overall goals of your assessment- why are you doing it? What do you look to achieve and how does it compare with your previous assessment (if)?

2.    Tying each your assessment to business goals. Know what are the final outcomes, how does it help your business grow and increases chances of profitability.

3.    Understanding how you maintain your data- If you use a tool like access or spreadsheets, then you should be knowing the features and technicalities of it. This will help you know how to look into data, import or export them and integrate data for analysis.

4.    Having enough knowledge about customer buying process that is set up for your business. What are the customer touch point and what does customer feel about it all.

Yes, we are there by your side in all these services. Our experience and knowledge will have you look into a reliable and actionable assessment.

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 put them all together, draw connections and correlations, derive trends and patterns understand causes and offer our clients a set of easily actionable insights. Tools are 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 .

Prep up your website for Holiday Sales

Website prep-up tips for Nov sales 2014

With the growing necessity of a formidable web presence for every business these days, little do we doubt that those websites are an important sales channel .Don’t we?  The pages of content are not just beautiful information for mankind but a way to generate leads, attract conversion and grow business.

And why not? If you notice, this season, will need it more than ever. So says the forecasts.

total holiday sales to climb to between $981 and $986 billion, representing a 4 to 4.5 percent increase in November through January holiday sales (excluding motor vehicles and gasoline) over last season…. digital interactions will influence 50 percent, or $345 billion, of retail stores sales this holiday season. This figure reflects the extent to which consumers’ use of desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones influence brick-and-mortar store sales. Deloitte

Website prep-up tips for Nov sales 2014

Useful Tips to prep up for November Sales

With numerous offer shout outs from every channel and every media, customers will want to dig out the best deal with least struggle and therefore will take to online platforms more wholeheartedly, than ever before. By the way- most of those searches actually convert to sales in physical stores (pickup) or online. Hence it is just too practical to step to it and get your websites all set for the holiday sales.

Get On-Site Optimizations ready- Analytics and research show all online searches during this season are combination of few keywords (plus your product specifications) used specially during this season. Keywords like deals, offers, discounts, best discount are just some of the handful few. You can easily get an exhaustive list and include them in your content, URLs, Meta descriptions and titles.  Use images that are SEO friendly. Pick buzz words related to your current offer description and use them selectively in   ALT text, image file names and title tags.

Build Link- inbound and outbound- If you want to avoid changing the   content completely there is a, actually two way out. Include a small patch/ widget within your product pages with offers and calls to action. 2 – Use blogs. That’s your territory– make use of it. Wright about products or your service offering, profusely hyperlink words and litter keywords wisely.

Make Sure Site Architecture Holds Up. The holidays often result in new products, categories, and gift shops. Are these added to your sitemap ? Do they create duplicate content? How are they linked throughout navigation? This may sound trivial, but it greatly affects rankings and correct page indexing.

Prevent outages – Consult with an IT consultant, if time permits. Based on the traffic you can or want to support check if there are cloud based services to hire. Google has started cost effective cloud based data handling to avoid site crashes. Gear up site security if it involves transactions. If you are into a network Freeze, do try requesting for an emergency change window to avoid downtime.

Test and Review- It goes without saying that if you are doing it do it right or don’t. Having promo codes that do not work, page full of images that do not load, or websites that crash with heavy traffic, will put off even the possibility of sales you had before all this gearing up.  Link it up with web analytics tool. One great is Google Analytics. It will help you track your traffic, test versions of your pages, review changes, analyze the keywords report and know how traffic flows within your website. Get some quick insights using CrazyEgg, Google PageSpeed or Compete. Just punch in your website URL and get quick tips on site speed, online competition, site heat maps etc. Of course we are always there to help you with this. But, whether you hire an analysts or not, do have your website tracked. It’s important you know you are doing it right.

Wrapping your head around these great ideas and then putting up some great, hard work to have a dazzling online business you may be  sure  to attract the most cynical of November-sale-onlookers , but actually you are not  yet done. All this goes down the drain , if you  don’t have  the  right  buzz. Make a noise, shout out. More on this from our Social Media Tips specially tuned to maximize November sales.

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 put them all together, draw connections and correlations, derive trends and patterns understand causes and offer our clients a set of easily actionable insights. Tools are 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 .

How to make analytics well within reach for Small, Micro and Medium scale Business- Our Idea

A popular belief is –analytics and data research is actually for large businesses. Truth is , large  businesses would  have never got that far had they not started analytics as small businesses.”

Scottish writer and poet , in 1910 Andrew Lang said , he uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts—for support rather than illumination. Decades later, businesses still use data primarily as a support to decision making. That is  perhaps  the most important and high return functional of  data.

In the words of Max Shron , the analysis of  data really unfolds like a story-similar to a story, a project will always include description on the situation, a rigorous analysis of the need , a motivated drive to conquer the need, hopefully, a happily-ever-after ending (the outcome).

Analytics and business research is a part and parcel of  every business. Standing at crossroads of  decisions and  determined  to make  no  mistake  an entrepreneur always will look into some  insights, tips, research online and consult experts before the  next  step.

A popular belief is –analytics and data research is actually for large businesses. Truth is , large  businesses would  have never got that far had they not started analytics as small businesses.We and our team of data analyst are here to help your small business grow.

Our Idea – Going back to the story-analogy- a data analytics project,  as we  propose at Hedgehog Insights is taking our clients through understanding data , defining what it means to business and executing a process  to see outcomes .

Our Idea

Data Definition  is essentially understanding..

The Need: What specific needs could be addressed by intelligently using data? What will this project accomplish that was impossible before?

Data Sources- Where is this data located. What data should be considered for different business requirements.

Envisioning results- What will meeting the need with data look like? Is it possible to mock up the final result? What is the logic behind the solution?

Linking to Outcome: How and by whom will the result be used and integrated into the company? How will the success of the project be measured?

Analytics Project Execution-

Our  analysts work in association with the client business, co-ordinates with team members and business owners to execute an analytics project and successfully achieve the desired results. The steps in this are:

Designing the Basic framework- Drafting the data conversion concept, overall ideas  about business data  outcomes

Preparing Data for analysis – Data analysis is really about digging deep to brainstorm and reveal insights. But before that it is essential we have the tools ready. Some of the most popular tools we use are

  • Filtering- we know how to cut the noise, to focus  on the most interesting topic.

  • Sorting- Arranging data in order- for some nature, or  class etc.

  • Grouping & Segmentation- summarizing data and  segmenting different  group

  • Visualizing- Bringing data  to life, having data mindfully aesthetic. We are naturally attracted to beauty, so why not make a chart as pretty as possible? Aesthetics can also help make the charts easier to comprehend—pinpointing the resulting action.

 

Analytics- This really involves making sense of  the data. Using techniques and  processes to glean out actionable insights

“Numerical quantities focus on expected values, graphical summaries on unexpected values,”

said mathematician John Tukey. To look beyond  the obvious , we employ innovative thinking into data  with a  focus on

  • Trends and Patterns more  than data points

  • Comparison across segments, time periods matrices

  • Discovering strong relationships using, causal analysis.correlations, statistical test, multivariate analysis etc.

  • Working with multiple perspectives- Data  from different sources bring in different information , add an extra dimension. Having all data from diversified sources analysed on a unified platform to solve a specific business issue, makes analysis extremely robust, reliable and  focused . That’s is adding value to client businesses.

We  hope  these  services  together , make analytics and data  support well within the  reach of  small, micro and  medium scale  businesses and offers  the surest and quickest path to growth. This is our overall idea. We have categories levels of services based on business scale of operation. For details on our services specific to each scale please visit

Contact us for more information.