Analyzing Your Data to Identify Market Opportunities

The data revolution that has recently taken the business world by storm has offered up a wealth of benefits to those who have been brave enough to experiment with it. From streamlining an organization’s operations to making big strategic decisions with greater accuracy, big data is quickly proving itself to be the future of business.The future of your particular business rests on identifying and capitalizing on promising market opportunities. Such opportunities can prove elusive for those who don’t have easy access to data that has the ability to readily highlight them. No matter how business-savvy an organization’s C-suite may be, their innate ability to identify new opportunities in the marketplace simply does not compete with a tool that can analyze terabytes of data.

The constraints of a conventional approach

Whether you’re a B2C or B2B organization, you historically identified market opportunities from obvious trends and exploited through a healthy dose of trial and error. Leaders would deploy resources by looking at the historical and current performances of a given region, adjusting based on the long-term trends of a few basic datasets.When the time came to attempt to exploit a new market, resources would be earmarked from whatever a similar market followed by a period of trial and error. While potentially effective, this process is extremely inefficient. The human element of it and educated guesses, meant that new markets were simply given up on before they could bear fruit.But thanks to advancements in Business Intelligence (BI) technology, this conventional approach is slowly being usurped by one that is more comprehensive than could have even been imagined just a decade ago. That’s because the secrets to identifying and exploiting new markets for your organization can be found within its data.

Gaining access to customer data in order to identify opportunities

In order to identify new customers in new markets, an organization needs to have a good sense of what their current customer base looks like. This picture can be painted through customer data. All modern-day organizations will have access to an incredible amount of data on their customers – finding the data is rarely a problem. More of an issue, however, is making it usable.If data is spread over a range of disparate sources – a sales division, an accounting division and a marketing division, for example – combining it through conventional (read: manual) means can be all but impossible. And even if you do manage to collate it, finding useful insights within this data by using manual processes is generally even more difficult.A smart BI solution will automate this entire process. It will be capable of combining data from a wide range of disparate sources, both from within the organization and outside of it, and will then be able analyze this data to identify the characteristics of your current customer base.It’s obvious that better access to insights from customer data will lead to the highlighting of market opportunities. If you find that your product or service is particularly popular with professional females in their early thirties with young children, you can then look to exploit markets which are proportionately higher in that specific type of customer. Or if your product or service has seen a marked increase in popularity within a certain demographic, you can revise your marketing strategy to better advertise to these customers. You can also use analytics to get a sense of the ideal customer experience – from browsing your products and selecting one, right through to the way they prefer to make payment – and use this knowledge to shape the customer journey within new markets.

The necessity of management with an open mind

The effectiveness of these efforts will rest heavily on the attitude of senior management. If leaders show a willingness to try something new, and actually follow through on the insights offered up by the data, success relative to a more traditional approach is all but guaranteed. There will obviously be a temptation to stick to the limited insights provided by traditional market research, but the modern world of business doesn’t reward those who rest on their laurels. In today’s digital world, fortune favors the brave. Having the courage to act on a BI solution’s insights in a serious and timely manner will be key to the success of the strategy as a whole.The manner in which a modern business identifies market opportunities has evolved. We now have the technology to gain an incredibly deep understanding of our organization and its customers; an understanding that allows for the development of hyper-accurate – and therefore highly successful – business strategies. By ignoring these technologies, you’re allowing competitors who do take the BI bull by the horns to get quite a way ahead.