Data in and of itself is of little value. Its value derives from the insights it can provide through it being analysed – in other words, through data analytics. This is the process of examining data in order to draw conclusions from the information it contains. Increasingly, this is done with the aid of specialised systems and software.
When people think of data analytics the phrase that usually springs to mind is “big data”. In a sense, “big data” is an unfortunate reference as it gives the impression that data analysis is only available to big businesses. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Successfully combining and grouping data was once extremely time-consuming and sometimes proved an impossible task, especially for smaller businesses. With the advance of software programs such as Microsoft’s Power BI and Tableau, data can now be analysed cost-effectively by businesses of any size. In effect, “big data” is now simply “data” and is available to everyone.
If you look at the data opportunities in the retail industry, for example, they are endless. You name it and it can be measured: warehouse inventory, foot flow and footfall, point of sale systems, consumer surveys, sales receipts, staffing levels, merchandising strategies, the list goes on and on.
Collecting data is one thing, but it begs the question: why do you need to collect data? We answer this question in our white paper, How data analytics can help transform your retail business.
You can download our white paper here.