4 Simple Ways To Use Data to Grow Your Business in 2016

With the rise of new, affordable, and easy-to-use tools, business owners have started to get a better picture with the data. Here, we introduce you to a couple of these handy analytics tools to manage data within the organization, build customer loyalty and explore it with visualisation.

3. Create compelling visualizations from data that drive brand awareness and increase conversions

We’ve mentioned it before on this blog—visuals are powerful. As the owner of your business, you might have a firm grasp on how certain data is driving the decisions you’re making, but the average person can’t decipher hundreds of rows of spreadsheets and be able to land on the point you’re trying to make.

That’s where visuals come in to play. Visuals are much easier for people to understand and remember, and they can be powerfully effective persuasion tools.

Another easy way to use data to fuel business growth is by taking the time to transform stale spreadsheets into beautiful, visually-compelling stories that aim to drive awareness and boost conversions.

To put this idea in perspective, imagine this scenario: you’re a property manager and you’re in the business of selling and renting properties to young adults and first-time homebuyers. Your target demographic might not know whether they should be renting or buying because of their lack of experience, so how can you help them?

You could present them with a lot of raw data on mortgage trends, real estate trends, and home prices—but it probably wouldn’t be very impactful.

Alternatively, you could collect and organize that same data, and present it in a more digestible and compelling manner through the use of visuals.

Take for example, this interactive tool from The New York Times, which helps people understand and decide if it’s better for them to rent or buy:

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Imagine if, in our scenario, you built a similar tool and put it on your website for potential customers to access for free—it would very likely result in an increase in brand awareness and build trust with your prospective customers.

4. Offer data transparency to build customer loyalty and drive new business

The final way to use data to spark business growth in 2016 is by being open and transparent with customers by giving them access to your data. This might sound scary, but it’s a growing trend among startups. The fact is, people want to know who their doing business with these days. They want to know that your values are sound, that you treat your employees well, and they want to understand how you’re using their money. Consumers today want to support businesses that are willing to be open and honest. They want a certain personal, humanized, small town touch when it comes to their interaction with businesses—and you have the opportunity to give that to them.

There are many examples of open and transparent companies, but the most popular is Buffer. For the past 5 years, Buffer has been building customer trust and loyalty by sharing everything from data on monthly revenue and employee salaries, to fundraising and profit usage breakdowns.

As a result of their openness and transparency, they’ve increased brand exposure, attracted top talent to join their team, and seen continued growth as a startup.

[Read Buffer’s blog post]

As a business owner, you might not be ready to jump in head first and offer complete transparency to your customers and everyone else on the internet—and that is OK. Consider starting small by being open about one specific area of your business, like how you use the money your customers give you (see here to find out how Buffer uses money)—and go from there.

How else are you using data to grow your business in 2016? Tell us in the comments below!