The increasing importance of data for growing your business

Brought to you by the Villanova School of Business

Importance of data

In today’s information-driven business environment, data is the fuel for growth. The more decision-makers know about their employees’ needs, changes in the industry and the demands of customers, the more prudently they can strategize for future expansion. Big data has unlocked fresh possibilities, providing remarkable insights into market conditions and a heightened awareness of unfolding opportunities.

For organizations to take full advantage of the quantitative information gathered by analytics tools, they need knowledgeable, strategically minded people with training in quantitative methods. Online MBA courses provide an education in the principles and processes that lead a company from gathering intelligence to taking the next steps in building for the future. With the right leadership in place, a business draws on data to make wiser, better-informed calls as it scales up.

Big data for bigger business

Collecting large quantities of data and finding analytical insights has become an integral part of how organizations of all kinds evaluate their progress and develop growth strategies. With the tremendous capacities for storing information in cloud-based solutions, businesses have the means to acquire a more detailed understanding of everything from the efficiency of manufacturing to the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Companies with their sights set on expansion can put what they find out to work in a variety of ways. They might alter logistics processes to cut costs while getting merchandise to retailers and customers faster. Additionally, big data can lead to enhanced segmentation of customers, allowing the company to target its products, services and special offers more effectively.

Organizations can draw on data tools to discover areas that are currently ripe for improvement and garner a peek at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. With predictive analytics and machine-learning systems, businesses gain a sense of how existing problems or emerging ideas for growth will play out in the future. Those findings allow leaders to make smarter decisions and achieve long-term, sustainable success.

Constructing an actionable strategic plan

Gathering the numbers is just the beginning of a data-driven approach. The organization needs a clear sense of how that information will lead to meaningful changes and new investments. Any big-data project must begin with setting specific goals in line with the overall mission of the business.

Based on those goals, analytics professionals establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that they monitor closely. With the necessary infrastructure and tools to track those factors in place, the specialists develop a clear picture of how various aspects of the business are either aiding or hindering the objectives for growth. Every company has unique needs and priorities, so it’s vital for departments and leadership to work together to discover the most practical and useful methods for collecting and analyzing data.

With robust quantitative findings at their disposal, data specialists are able to present their analysis and recommendations to decision-makers. As the company makes plans for long-term growth, leaders gain visibility into how new initiatives are playing out. Shifts in the KPIs suggest whether the efforts at expansion are having the expected outcomes, and may reveal surprising results that call for recalibrating those tactics.

Learning to harness big data

A wide range of professionals have roles in getting the most out of data and supporting an organization’s growth efforts. Data engineers develop the databases and processing systems that collect relevant information and get it to the necessary departments. Data scientists analyze, interpret and visualize those numbers to help decision-makers understand what they mean for the bottom line.

Graduates from online MBA programs with a specialization in analytics also have vital roles in drawing on data to facilitate a company’s mission. These individuals are prepared to act as forward-looking corporate leaders or to become analysts or consultants, translating the findings from big-data tools into fully developed business strategies. With extensive background in both the forces at work within their industries and the quantitative reasoning that is revolutionizing how all businesses operate, MBAs equipped with training in analytics tools are uniquely positioned to show companies the responsible way to expand.

The Villanova online MBA program includes an optional specialization in analytics, as well as options in finance, marketing and strategic management. MBA students develop an understanding of the business principles that will lead to extended growth and building successful organizations. Paired with technical knowledge of analytics, they are well-versed in the concepts and tools that will lead to data-driven expansion in the years to come. Visit the program page to learn more about the analytics specialization and find out how to apply.

  Recommended Readings:     Sources:  

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/5-tips-for-using-data-analytics-to-grow-your-small-business-300086607.html

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/big-data-the-next-frontier-for-innovation

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246838

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3146559/lan-wan/how-business-growth-relates-to-business-infrastructure.html