Here’s How Business Analysis Can Help Your Company Weather Crises
As many companies have discovered since the COVID-19 era began, business intelligence is a valuable tool for adjusting to changing times — even rapidly changing times. The pandemic brought multiple industries to a screeching halt, and forced others to develop business continuity plants on the fly.
With the crisis stretching on and promising to last for at least the rest of 2020, millions of people are still working from home while millions more are out of work entirely. Kids around the country have been asked to adjust to distance learning and homeschooling routines while their parents struggle to balance their own careers with their children’s education. And businesses that were doing well at the beginning of the year are now looking at massive losses that could threaten their continued existence.
But a crisis like this one doesn’t have to spell the end of your company. You can use business intelligence to weather the COVID-19 crisis, and any crisis to come. It can help your company make plans and predictions, reduce expenses, maximize profits, and see the facts on the ground clearly.
Focus Resources Where They’re Needed
Not all markets or customers are going to be equally affected by this or other crises. Business intelligence can give you the insights you need to see where resources and attention are most needed. You can analyze data to determine how customers’ needs are changing in different markets and regions, so you can make decisions that help you improve products and sales channels to better meet your customers’ needs. In the current COVID-19 crisis, many customers are avoiding brick-and-mortar stores in favor of staying quarantined and shopping online or doing curbside pickup. Companies that acted early to make those options available where they were needed are those that have thrived in the current environment. Business analytics can help you act fast to move resources from one sector to another to adjust to rapid changes in the corporate environment.
See How Things Really Stand
Facts are of the utmost importance during times of crisis, when rumors breed fast and spread far. In order to make the quick and agile decisions that can help your business adapt in fast-changing circumstances, you need a solid base of facts to draw on. Business analytics can help you access those facts — facts, for example, about how fast and where a disease is spreading, and how it’s impacting local economies in those regions.
Plan for Possible Outcomes
You never know what’s going to happen, and business analytics can’t predict the future. But you can still use it to model and run “what-if” scenarios that can show you how different outcomes can affect your business. Business intelligence can help you plan for the worst, by showing you, for example, how a disease outbreak in a specific region can affect business processes. You can use these predictions to develop strategies to help your organization adapt to a changing situation. You can forecast potential changes in supply and demand, and use leading indicators to track changes even when they occur rapidly. Business analytics can help your organization develop plans for every contingency.
Minimize Expenses and Maximize Revenue
The insights your company gains from business analysis can show you which regions, channels, markets, and customers need more attention and which do not. The COVID-19 crisis has, for example, forced many companies to transition to remote workforces, make drastic changes to operations on-site, and facilitate home deliveries, curbside pickups, and online shopping, while underscoring the need to lean heavily on digital marketplaces. The right data can show you which areas your organization should throw its weight behind to maximize revenue and best serve changing customer needs, while minimizing expenses by diverting resources away from those areas that are no longer as profitable and reworking business operations to better suit the new normal.
Times of crisis can also be times of opportunity, if your business has the tools and flexibility to rise to the occasion and make the changes it needs to make to not just muddle through, but thrive. Data analytics and business intelligence can give your organization the tools it needs to harness that flexibility and roll with the punches dealt by changing times.
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