Welcome back to the “Improving Your Business Performance With CRM” series. In this series we cover five crucial features provided by modern CRMs that help improve process efficiency and sales volume within your organization. In this article we will discuss how a modern CRM can provide statistical analysis to assist in important decision making for key personnel. The last installment discussed data Integration with CRM.

Using Data Analytics to Make Informed Business Decisions

There’s an old saying by Edmund Burke: “Those who don’t know history, are doomed to repeat it”. From the perspective of a business, if you aren’t aware of your company’s past performances and what obstacles prevented you from achieving certain goals, you are doomed to repeat mistakes, your competition will pass you, and eventually you will go out of business. It is important for any business to continuously improve its products and services.

Data analytics helps businesses understand their history. Data analytics is the process of collecting and examining data to draw business relevant conclusions. Did last month’s marketing campaign bring in the projected amount of revenue? When did sales volume reach its highest peak last year? Its lowest? How long does it take to onboard new customers? Data analytics provides the answers to these questions, allowing management to determine which decisions are right and which are wrong.

Different Types of Data Analytics for your Business

There are essentially four types of data analytics: Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, and Prescriptive.

Descriptive analytics refers to what happened. When examining data, the first thing you want to know is what were the results of a specific effort during a defined period of time. For instance, how many customers were onboarded last month? Descriptive analytics serve as the baseline of your data analysis.

Diagnostic analytics refers to why something happened. For instance, if only five customers were onboarded last month compared to fifteen the previous month, what caused the sharp decline month over month? With data analytics you may notice three sales representatives were on vacation last month. As time goes on you continue to notice a correlation between the number of sales representatives working and customer volume. You have now established a pattern.

Predictive analytics refers to what is likely to happen. Decision makers can use this information to understand how every action or event may affect future business success. You know you have sales reps taking vacation soon and therefore you can expect to see sales numbers drop during that time.

Prescriptive analytics refers to what action you should take. To combat the decline in sales during vacation time, perhaps you hire seasonal employees to cover your regular sales reps or you don’t allow too many to go on vacation at the same time.

Using CRM to Automate and Improve Data Analytics

Modern CRMs make it easy to build analytical reports. They include features such as intuitive wizards to help set filters that will return the data sets that are most relevant to you and your goals. These tools can help create visualizations most appropriate to the data set you are evaluating or the audience for the reporting. Having a CRM as your central data hub, makes analytical reports even more impactful by consolidating all the data documenting your operations in one place. CRMs can also assist in the ongoing maintenance of analytics reporting. For example, Salesforce provides AI or artificial intelligence reporting in which the algorithm for analyzing your data is baked into the software, and it starts the minute you switch it on. No need to configure any settings, the system will simply monitor your data daily, discover patterns in your processes and provide descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics right to you.

Reporting is a required component in today’s highly competitive business environment. Being able to capitalize on all the data collected by your business is a foundation to business intelligence. Data analytics empower business owners and decision makers to see the full picture and make the right  decisions for their business to succeed.