The new role of Data Analytics in Consultancy

What was there?

Consultancy and business data analysis have always been a closely knit. Whether it  was building a  Marketing strategy, supply chain and operations  , Financial analysis , price optimization, it goes without saying 10-80% of the projects had  to crunch numbers.

What is new?

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Innovations in technology and cheaper editions of data storage, enabled such ease in availability and heights of data quality and security that, data analytics grew to be an indispensable part of consultancy. Yes – we are talking about the two critical C in technology today- Clouds and Censors.

Clouds & Censors

 Today a TV talks to a phone, a phone talks to car dash, A tablet  talks to that home theater there and the music system  talks to the TV – these little loops of connectivity established  between systems on wireless network  has put  our lives  right in the center of internet of things .

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainAnd every such interaction anywhere within the internet of things generates a ‘bitly’ data that has a new home – called the cloud. The sheer size of the capacity and increasingly drop in infrastructure cost has made a data rich information and potential in driving actions and decisions making just click away.

What is the impact?

Quiet a heaven for data analysts this new era has brought in the never before scope to make the  most of information. More in business consultancy than in any other field, can data be used to bring out interesting insights, nobody had ever thought of before.Did you know Wes has published

 Google-AnalyticsUsing social media analytics one  could guess the sentiment  generated in audience by  branding efforts, eCommerce product page performance  reports spell out what’s hot in the market and what’s  not, customer segment bring out the differentiated value propositions, while predictive modeling make hidden opportunities seem obvious.

The Take Away…

Thus data analytics of online /offline business has a heavyweight contribution in consultancy and it is difficult to overlook. While every form of management consultant is gradually incorporating and increasing the use of fact based insights, it is about time, consultant, strengthen their in-house analytics strength or collaborate with professional analytics firms.

Web Design is not a conjecture. It is Science.

Web Design is not a conjecture. It is Science.

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainWebsite designs is a commoditized service today. Layouts, frameworks, designs, samples, and even color combinations, has been stereotyped. Almost typcasted are each design specifics for each business types: Ecommerce, Lead generating, Content and Blog site, Photographic sites, Hobby and personal site

Does anybody ever spare a thought on the voice of customers?

Aesthetics aside, everything from layout to font choice should be guided by user testing to ensure that the website is not only pretty but also functioning at its best

It is the result of extensive online tests that we today know:

1.    Serial Position Effect- put the important stuff at the beginning and end – mid page has least eyeball.

2.    Loss Aversion- to significantly impact your conversions focus on highlighting losses than on benefits- losses are more painful than gains are pleasurable

3.       Herd Behavior- People tend to do what other people are doing- Testimonials Rock!

4.       Language processing tests of brain- navigation labels and copy in pages must be easy for visitors to understand. Use common words local lingual. Your business is not what you think your business is but what your visitor – a great step towards right keywording.

5.       Von Restorff Effect- In the 1930’s, German scientist Hedwig von Restorff discovered that when given a list of ten items, people remember items if they are a color different from the others – visual differences, or “pattern interrupters.” can create repeat visitors

6.    Headlines aren’t just the first thing seen on a page, they’re looked at more than anything else. Be careful about headlines – words fonts , color and backgroundSMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public Domain

 

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainAlthough small each of these aspects are immensely insightful to help create a great online shopfront – one that converts.

Not published widely , but smart and forward looking business, does tons of these experiments every day, to know their customers , understand what they prefer and when and  why. 

And there are great tools. Irrespective of business size and conversion rate, every business that has an online presence should considering trying experiments like A/B tests, and Multi-variant testing or MVT.

And these series of experiments and insights form what is called the science behind a great website – very specifically yours, for your business and tuned into attract your target group.

We have our experts available to help you . Contact Us.

Why did you bother to have a website?

Why did you bother to have a website?

  

In an ultimate chase to bring about all that should make your business work, you went online. That’s laudable. But know, odd are, it will do more harm than good, if you just have your presence. A website is not just an html page on the World Wide Web, but a well-crafted, representation of your brand- essentially storefront of your business, online.

That is to say, if you put up a rough, unpolished, image of you, people should have no reason to disbelief – it you. But again, that’s not what you want. After those year of building a business brick by brick, pumping in life and blood, through sweat and pain, that’s the last thing you could hope for – a wrong perception.

 

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But as much as I believe, businesses have a role to play to taint their own image, the hands giving shape to their wishes are equally responsible. Why? Because they are supposed to know better what works and what does not. It’s not just a blindfolded execution of “client requirement” but suggestion advices, analytics and key insights. That’s what makes or breaks a deal.

“Know the laws of the land to the survive; know the rules of online territory or perish”

And these rules just do not come by, they needs to be researched – from literature, data analytics, new innovations, theories. There is a reward to stay up to date and if  you think you or you’re your business has  no time for  it, better entrust this responsibility to someone who does – a  good deal of it. Choose your website vendors, cautiously . They could be as  misleading and high priced as a novice.

of-Me   by-Me   for-Me.  Me on M-obil-E

ofMe   by-Me   for-Me.  Me  on  M-obil-E

Have you realized what’s common among the latest high tech electronic gadgets you picked this season? What’s one reason, you choose to discard, previous stuffs as obsolete and bring in the new to replace? What feature are deciding factors in the path to purchase?

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Why? It is the electronic parallel of the indomitable urge of human beings to remain connected.  Televisions sets to Laptops, Music systems to tablets, car dash boards to mobile phones, watches to internet etc. etc. The list goes on. Embedded with sensors these converse over the famous wireless network of worldwide connectivity, called internet.

It is virtually this internet of things that has become a part of our normal living and functioning.  A typical day starts with an alarm, not the one that pops out, but an online calendar that connects with my mobile and sets a reminder as per my daily tasks and wakes me up before I get late. I step out with an n address in the email and the GPS sitting in my dash gets busy finding the route. After office, I sit back, and play around browsing  daily feeds, when I feel like watching videos on a bigger screen. What dod I do-  I Chromecast my TV.  From things I search online to places I go visit, each and  every interaction on connected systems  identifies me , makes life simpler, fun and fast paced.

And even as we speak, there might by a toaster, an oven ,washing machine or refrigerator having a connecting sensor. That’s life today- almost racing away a life a decade back and getting better by day.

Mobile Phone, Smartphone

The one cornerstone in this internet of things that practically connects everything to each other and to itself is the mobile phone. This app driven piece of palm fitting machine, is your virtual remote control for all these devices, I mean life.  Personally or electronically – it’s yours. Recognizes you (face, palm, eye, voice detection), keeps you logged in and represent you as a distinct individual in this virtual cyber world.  Remains by your side, where ever whenever you go.  (Just keep your charger along).

And as I take a twirl around, happy to have the world a touch away, there’s a pair of eyes looking happy for me- they are of marketers and data analysts of the world.

Concept, Chart, Plan

Collecting and processing the web data involves complex infrastructure. Thankfully tools like Google Analtytics , Hadoop, are  taking care of it. But to know what to do with it, calls for a different ball game  called  universal analytics- big data  analytics . This vast data, is pregnant with critical information can and  will be used to the fullest with right planning, people , promotions and patronage in place.

Contact us for Analytics of Connected Systems and have great insights into your customers.

Does Your Brand  Have a Purpose

And  every time you say to build a brand  you need money spent  in  marketing and  advertising – I will say that’s  not enough. Brand without   purpose is like a person without principals, ideals or  personality and it’s  just fitting they go together because alone they makes little sense.

Incidentally small business can also give it a shot. A purpose driven brand is guided by core value proposition, characteristics identifying a business. And even without pots of money bet on it, and just by passionately promoting ideals and core values is the key to building a brand for your small home based business. It does not necessarily involve whole lot of resources- just smart and judicious usage of the few you have access to. SO you should know what to invest and how.

  1.   What product or service should you invest in? Which are the ones, that’s contributing more towards sales. Changes in revenue percentages can signal not only changes in customer spending habits but also broader trends in your industry and market. Changes in the contribution percentage each makes can indicate problems are ahead. The measuring year for this factor is called Revenue Percentage. It measures contribution of revenue from each of the different sources of income in your business- products, service, subcontracting etc.

RP =            Revenue from product A or Service B in a month X 100

Total revenue for your business in that month

2. How to invest : Create the right Brand image online.

A group of metric together measures performance of the entire social media plan. These metrics are together called Virality. So if creating brand image online is your final business goal then the measuring yard to use and check how far you have progressed in your endeavors  is Virality.

So, for your brand name or brand keywords it can tell –

  • > How much are people talking about it?
  • > What is the reach of your influence?
  • > What is the average sentiment you’ve generated- good, bad or neutral?

One tool that can be used as a measuring yard is: www.socialmentions.com

SO with business goals to create a  brand around purpose, a  brand  that  breathes the core  identity of  your  business, that represents  the  core values you need  to use a  cost  effective  media , virulently but  before  that you must know which or  what  services / product  will generate  maximum return on your  investments.

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 sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

With Love from..Google Analytics

With Love from..Google Analytics

Google Analytics has revolutionized the web analytics space and it does not really need any proof anymore. Something so easily accessible, literally free is also so robust that it tracks almost every aspect of web presence of businesses- that’s a rare combination. Not only website traffic, but universal analytics now tracks all digital devices a business has flanked its presence in- mobile phones, tablets, kiosks etc. To me , it’s like unconditional love and it’s difficult to resist love in return 🙂

And guess what , that’s not it. Introducing <drumroll> Demographic-Interest and Benchmarking.


Yes it is demography and interest information about your traffic. When GA started this, few months back ,information in it were subjected to advertising and promotional activities with Google. That’s love but not for all. Personally, I didn’t quiet approve it. And then one day to my sweetest surprise- I found it loaded with data. It’s exciting because – it is essentially helping you frame your target group and direct the right advertising messages.

To know the how to settings , please visit: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2819948?hl=en

The other great information are Benchmarking metrics. A group of metrics together show how much traffic flow , in which sales channels and Geographic location , is causing what conversion (Goal Setting).  It compares you /your business compared to the competition in your immediate industry. It shows where you have excelled and where have others.

But if you have paid good attention, you’ll get to read lot more lying between the lines.  It talks which channels are popular among the industry, which of them are greatest and most lucrative source of traffic for the  type of product/service and which of them really stinks. Considering the fact each industry and business type has their own list of favorite channels, this looks like great information. Similarly with geographic location it goes to show possible demand in in terms of traffic flow.  Left me impressed- yet again!

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 sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

Shelf Life of Trends

Shelf Life of Trends- A concern for big data analytics era

Shelf Life of Trends- A concern for big data analytics era

One the  most grappling challenges for  business in this era  of  big data  is how  long does  each trend remain a  ‘trend’. With the high rate of idea  metabolism , with the increasing rate  of  technology and innovation driven  change , trends get more and more  short lived.

A trend is essentially based on a period of data and more the period the more  reliable it gets. And this period has minimum factors changing be it government policies, economic factors, environmental conditions or technological advancements. But as  and  how these  factors change , this period of consideration gets  sliced and minced .  It gets  difficult to call it a trend. It is no longer  a  function of a long period of constant conditions. In fact, its the rate of  change of change that is more likely to become a trend.

For example –

Trend in the  demand for touch  technology is valid  only as  long as voice recognition is  not developed and  that in turn will not remain no longer relevant than the  invention and mass access to eyeball detection technology .

Question remains, if long-term climatic trend is actionable in project planning today, at what point do you revisit the trends analysis to verify that the projects you have forecasted for your pipeline are still worthy?”

An important step for most companies using long-term trends information garnered from analytics will be to determine how long they can expect the analytics for each trend to remain accurate and usable for business decision making . Organizations have not yet moved forward into long-term trends usage and decision-making, but as more do, they will also need to apply their own analytics to the longevity expectations for the trends data they capture. “It is determinations like this that sit on the doorstep of the next frontier of big data analytics”

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 sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

What’s so Actionable about Actionable metrics?

One of the favorite buzzwords for analysts and data scientist today is ‘actionable metric’. Recently barged into the business lexicon and promising enough to find a long standing position this word hardly ever misses any sales pitch by any person in the business of analytics and data research.  Don’t try to connect to the meaning popular a decade back- here it’s nothing to do with law or criminal offense.

Actionable metrics are those that can be acted upon or used in business immediately, without making too many assumptions or help of a list of others – briefly, insightful information. The opposite of which is vanity metrics. Metrics that are remotely connected to use. Metrics, whose implications are subjected to the interpreter- meanings that differ from man to man.

Often we find web analytics that come with tons of metrics (and more being added even as speak), facing the fury of businesses- “too many dollar spent”, they call out  “and too little an information to use”. Agreed. Figures like number of clicks, number of visits, no. of exits or no of views are big pieces of junk. But so is sales if you did not know cost and cost if you had so information about revenue.

But if we measured count of clicks, over months, weeks, time of a day for posts to that blog you maintain, that could give great information. It could tell a reader’s preferences at various times of the year, hours when your audience are ready to read and time when you run the highest chance of  being in the limelight.

Thus it all comes down to the basis of analytics – contexts and comparisons. With right contexts in the backdrop and relevant comparison across every metric can be actionable or I’d prefer “intuitively informative”!

Since it is most popular among web analysts and Google Analytics as  the uncrowned king- lets just analyze how much action driven information this tool has  to offer.

Among the many types of analysis – dimension/metric combinations in  Google Analytics – We could count on just 5 as downright intuitively informative. They are unambiguous in their implication and pretty readily actionable (if that’s what we best understand)

Benchmarking- in Google Analytics

Bench-marking- in Google Analytics

Bench-marking Channels performance for Acquisition and Behavior- A new feature at Google Analytics and offers a comparative analysis of immediate industry in terms of channels used to acquire users and how they behave in each case.

Similar info is also available across geographic location. Important to note here is that, one gets to understand just which locations does that industry thrive in and sales or promotional channels most effective.

Cost Data- in Google Analytics

Cost Data- in Google Analytics

Cost to achieve goals- This involves uploading Cost data. Goals  achieved  is just as  good as the cost incurred –  be it micro or  macro . So all those signups, downloads, video watching or  purchase, how much did  it cost  advertising online or other , renovating the website  or to stock up that inventory etc.

Content Drilldown- in Google Analytics

Content Drilldown- in Google Analytics

Content drilldown and behavior metrics- Average  time spent on website gives a diluted idea of  engagement , but if you break it  down to each page  and  content level- that’s a solid  piece of  information giving exactly where  visitors  are engaged , if  at all.

It talks about just how good or relevant or engaging  is the content you have put out there.

Behavior- in Google Analytics

Behavior- in Google Analytics

Behaviors and rate of goal conversion across channels- Your bounce rates, page depth, and pages visited can be broken down to channels and within channels, different social platforms, referring websites or keywords that direct organic search traffic.  Is there a correlative movement between the behavior metrics and channels or sources that send. Is there any tips about where they found your link and how far is it  relevant  to that context?

Drill  it down and you’ll see somewhere it relates  to channel performance and effectiveness of all your resource , time  money and energy spent in there.

SEO Queries- in Google Analytics

SEO Queries- in Google Analytics

Queries in Search Engine Optimizations and Resultant movement over period- One of the  best form of  information available on the tool is what queries in  search gives what result- is  your website search engine optimized, where  does  your page rank for  searches  you love and

Conclusion- Metrics vary in the depth of  intuitive and  actionable  quality , but a lot of  it  depends  on the analysis it  self and of course skills of a seasoned  analyst.  If  you do not  have an analyst  or  new  to this as a business  owner, remember  it is important , the way  data is viewed and the context it is put up against. Instead  of viewing data singularly  or as a mass of aggregates, slice it  down and  try al types of  comparisons. Some will turn out meaningless but many will become insightful. Believe it  or that’s  how all analysts start! Good Luck.

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 sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

Can data analysis help get your Business Off the Ground?

Standing at crossroads of  decisions and  determined  to make  no  mistake  an entrepreneur will always look into some business insights, tips, research online and consult experts before the  next  step- That’s precisely what is data analysis.

Analytics and business research is a part and parcel of every business. Many believe these are only for large businesses to benefit from. Truth is, large businesses would have never got any far had they not started analytics as small businesses.

Take the world by a spin- have your business rule!

Take the world by a spin- have your business rule!

Actionable  insights  from time to time  can help you decide what content to put up on your website, what resources to hire, which customer  to value and reward more than others and what products lying at the back of your store is actually high in demand.

But question is how do you get started especially as startups when most of your focus is to set up your business or get it off the ground? How do you know what data to analysis, and how it will help? Here’s a question:

  • What is the one (or two) biggest constraint to your growth? Put on your analyst’s cap and brainstorm on that thing which if resolved can help your business grow faster and easier. It can be your website, social media strategy, location of your retail, financial assistance or customer preference for your product(s)
  • After you have identified the constraints , analyze how you can resolve it. Determine one metric that  you could track and see how far is your constraint resolved. This metrics defines your constraint in the sense that, its increase or decrease should show if your issues are getting fixed or not. This could be sales, cost incurred per customer, No.of customer per lead generated or event as simple as profit%.

For eg. if your constraint is  website and its performance – have a goal set . Measure number of customers per visitor or per session of time spent or bounce rates. These are just examples . Link it up with an analytic tool like – Google Analytics and give it a few weeks to gather some data. Then try to read the basic reports. Understand user behavior, in-page analytics, and conversion rates. Check the user navigation pattern and try to find where most of the traffic drops off or which pages have highest time spent. Your metrics for web performance , will be very easy to track using this tool.

If customer satisfaction poses to be the biggest constraint to your sales and return sales, try to understand the why behind customer behavior. Check out metrics like , retention rate, or no of return per sale, frequency or recency of visits for every visitor that steps into your store or your ecommerce.  A Market research describing the level of acceptability of your products or services  could be a handy document to refer. These could tell why your target group behave the way they do and clues to what you need to do about it.

Inventory management could be a constraint too. That’s when you often end up delaying a delivery or run out of stock  or end up spending most of  your budget on piles .It’s time to analyse it. Understand the seasonality of products , whats in demand, when and how much to stock. Derive trends and patterns. If  not data from your business, then look into others, A number of services, provide reports and syndicated analysis. Reach out to a  low cost report . You could also reach us for one such study.

If a store a perfect location , is  the biggest roadblock to a large number of footprints in your store, then too data will help you resolve. Look into demographics , compare it with your target group and check which location in your locality, will be the best fit. Analyse population and commercial renting rate.Draw a draft picture for your self  on possible areas and know how  to narrow down to one or two that works best.

Analysis of data can really be as varied as the number of constraints and problem you face in business.To say data guarantees success would be overrating, but sure it can increase the chance that you will win the game.. It can be a great support system to your daily decision making and put your business on the path on growth.

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business dat

a. 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 sellingis 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

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