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analyticsAs the saying goes, “Information is Power” and we are in the middle of a major power shift as the accessibility and volume of data is increasing at breathtaking rates. According to the EMC Digital Universe Study we are doubling the amount of digital data that we create every two years. The explosion in the amount of data being created is paralleled with innovations in business intelligence tools coming on the market. These tools are being offered in a more cost-effective cloud-based subscription model.

This shift has been coined with the term “Big Data” and refers to the massive amount of data being collected by businesses. The data is flowing in from business applications, websites, social media, mobile applications, telephony systems, machine sensors, GPS tracking devices just to name a few.

How does this affect my business?

So, what does this mean to the businesses that have either not been able to take advantage of business analytics due to cost or knowledge, or the businesses that have created a patchwork solution using spreadsheets, databases or other ad-hoc solutions that are often manually intensive to maintain, incomplete, and out-of-date?

The answer is:

You no longer need to purchase and install expensive, complicated software to access actionable intelligence about your business. You also don’t need a staff of experienced data scientists or analysts to create and interpret the results. There are new cost-effective options available to meet your particular requirements and budget. You can also take advantage of a turnkey solution that combines the tools, resources, expertise and best practices required to meet your business objectives in an affordable monthly package.

How to get started

A company can start small with a targeted objective. From there, they can grow as needed to incorporate new information that enhances their business metrics. It can start with using information already available to the business in existing applications or by leveraging free external data.

A quick win is to incorporate your sales application with your website using Google Analytics. Google's free web-traffic-monitoring tool provides all types of data about website visitors. With Google Analytics, you can extract data to reveal trends and other valuable information that, when combined with your sales leads and pipeline reporting, can generate valuable metrics on your prospects and customers. Another example is to analyze social media traffic or track the content accessed by mobile users to improve your marketing campaigns and overall design of your website.

Companies using Salesforce as their CRM can segment and qualify leads using information found on the internet to incorporate into Salesforce. In doing so, businesses can filter and segment their prospects to better find and target the high value prospects.

Companies that are also using a contact center or inside sales platform such as NewVoiceMedia can combine both Salesforce and call data to provide actionable metrics that can be embedded into Salesforce. This allows real-time management of key metrics through interactive dashboards and reports giving users the ability to drill into the underlying details.

Big Data is everywhere. Whether it comes from your internal systems, the web, or a variety of new and quickly expanding sources, Big Data is here to stay. This is only beginning to help all types of businesses grow as they become more knowledgeable and strategic.

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About John McCloskey

John McCloskey, CEO of CopperHill Consulting, is an accomplished and highly motivated management and technology consultant dedicated to pursuing, implementing and managing business goals and expectations. He has worked across a diverse business landscape gaining experience from roles responsible for process improvement, solution design and business consulting. Over the past 12 years he has focused on cloud strategy and enablement, customer enablement, and information management.

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