Business intelligence does not refer to surreptitious corporate spying, mind you. At your small business or start up, business intelligence will help your venture stay ahead of the competition. BI is necessary to find out how your customer base responds to your products and marketing messages, to know what the competition is doing, and also to invest wisely.
Business intelligence encompasses networking, marketing, and research. Big corporations have well-paid teams working on gathering BI. Your small company is not there, at least not yet. So, until you have more resources, check out the following methods to boost your BI:
1. Develop an API Strategy
A good Application Program Interface (API) plan may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about business intelligence. The strength of API is that it allows you to break down the data you have collected. When you have a good API strategy, you can easily partner with other likeminded companies and share information to prosper together. Having an API plan will also help your small business uncover good opportunities. So, contact an API management solutions company today, and consider this option to boost your long-term BI campaign.
2. Religiously Collect Customer Feedback
Do not ever let go of a single opportunity to gather customer feedback. Most small businesses are only committed to gathering customer feedback half-heartedly. Some may conduct an online survey once in a while or read through reviews. You need to focus better. You can do things like online surveys, but you also need to commit to scientific customer feedback surveys. Why? This is the best way to deeply understand your target audience, and also to understand how, when, or if their tastes are changing. Gathering customer feedback will let you know in advance if a competitor is stealing your customers away from you, and why, which is the most important question you can ask in a situation like that.
3. B2B Social Networking
If you are a B2C company, do not focus solely on networking with customers only. You also need to network with other businesses on a professional level. You can connect with other businesses using professional social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook. Develop long-term relationships to find out if your target demographics overlap, and whether that indicates that you should partner with each other. You might even get opportunities to attend important events, join clubs, and get gossip firsthand.
4. Make Decisions Based on Data
Business acumen doesn’t come from the gut, it comes from data. The more data you have, the better your decisions will be. However, no amount of gathering data will be useful if you don’t base your decisions on this data. Data is the best glimpse we have into market reality without human biases and errors. Therefore, in order to boost your business intelligence skills and network, you need to make data-backed decisions.
5. Don’t be Afraid of Big Data
Big data is what drives marketing campaigns of the most successful companies. Handling big data can be too much for certain small businesses. However, your business can still benefit from big data by hiring low-cost third party providers. Big data is one of the best ways to gather BI, so don’t overlook all the methods available to you in your area.
Without BI, your business runs the risk of giving a competitor an advantage in the market. So, follow the above how-to tips to strengthen your BI collection methods.