Your business data is any information you can collect about the operations of your business. This can include information about your:

  • customers
  • sales
  • processes
  • business website
  • social media.

Analysing your business data can help you to:

  • identify trends
  • improve your business operations
  • target your marketing
  • make decisions and resolve problems
  • plan for the future.

Using your sales and operations data


Your sales and operations data includes information that you collect on your sales, products and services, business processes and staff.

Analysing the data from your sales and operations can help you find out:

  • the peak and non-peak periods for your business
  • which products and services are your best sellers or which ones aren’t selling well
  • areas where your business processes can improve
  • your staff performance and wellbeing.

You can use this information to help you when planning your business, like when to hire extra staff for busier periods, or which products to stock more of to increase sales. You might also find ways to improve your work processes. For example if you identify any unnecessary or low value tasks taking up a lot of your staff’s time, you can start looking at ways to resolve it.

Analysing data about your customers


The data you collect on your customers can help you market your business more effectively. You can collect information on your customers in a number of ways, such as:

  • using a customer relationship management software (CRM) to help keep track of your customers
  • looking at web data if you have an online store
  • having a customer loyalty program so customers can provide their details when they sign up
  • simply observing or talking to customers in your store.

Knowing your customer’s demographics, such as their age range, location and interests can help you target your products, services and marketing better. For example, you can use the information to work out:

  • what channels will be most effective to market on (e.g. traditional print media may suit an older audience better, while a younger audience might prefer social media)
  • how to package and market your products and services
  • ideas for new products and services that cater to your customer’s needs and interests.

Learn more about how to market your business.

Check your website and social media data


If your business has a website or social media accounts, collecting and reviewing data from those channels can help you extend your digital reach.

E-commerce stores

If you sell items online, analysing your web data becomes even more important in many ways. You can set up a service such as Google Analytics to collect your web data. Through web data, you can find out things such as:

  • the demographics of your online customers
  • how users navigate your online store e.g. can users find the products they are looking for?
  • if there are any issues to resolve e.g. are there any points where users are having trouble completing a purchase?
  • how users are finding your products and services e.g. what keywords are they using or which referral websites are they coming from?

Using your observations you can make improvements to your website to make it easier for customers to buy from you. Or improve your website SEO to make it easier for people to find your business online.

Learn more about how to improve your search engine rankings.

Social media

The data from your social media channels, such as your follower numbers and interactions with your posts can also help you better target your online marketing. Look at your social media data to find out:

  • which is the most effective social media channel for your target audience
  • what type or style of posts are most popular with your followers.

You can also use social media to ask your followers for feedback on your products and services, though it’s important to make sure you are ready to manage the risks of getting negative feedback.

Learn about using social media for your business, including the benefits and risks.

Find trends in your industry


Aside from data you collect within your business, you can also use available data on your industry and business environment to look for industry and market trends. Having a good understanding of your industry and the trends and demographics of your business locations will help you when planning and growing your business.

For example, if you’re looking to grow your business by opening a new store, knowing the general demographics of the area can help you find a suitable location.

Find out more about researching your market, including where to find existing government statistics and data.