Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 51 seconds

analyticsMost business owners have at least a basic way of collecting data from their companies, and at least some basic form of data analytics. The thing is, many business owners don't know what they should really be doing with that analytical data. A lot of times it is glanced at, and then pushed aside, without really having any effect on business one way or the other. However, there is actually a lot that you, as a retailer, can be doing to leverage those analytics to help you in the day to day running of your business. 

Use Analytics To Stop Inventory Problems
One of the best ways that you can leverage your analytics is by using them to help control inventory problems. Problems with inventory are inevitable, and they will always happen no matter what you do. However, if you are able to take a closer look at your analytics from both past and present, you might be able to predict where those inventory problems are going to occur, and be one step ahead. You can see sales predictions and data, and see where you might need extra inventory. By using analytics, you can also see where you might have had inventory issues in the past, and use that data to keep those problems from repeating themselves. Paying attention to analytics can help you avoid backorders, supply problems, and the dreaded bottleneck effect.

Use Analytics To Improve Communications
Another way that analytics can help solve problems in your business is a way that is often overlooked. Analytical data is a great way to improve communication with your suppliers, transportation providers, and more. You can exchange forecasts with your transportation providers, and give each other a better idea of what is on the horizon. This way, you can anticipate any issues like shipping delays, or supply issues, before they actually occur. Being open with your transportation partners can also give you a bird's eye view as to how things are actually going with those partnerships. You will be able to see for yourself your transportation partner's lead times, shipping times, delivery confirmations, and more. Oftentimes, a business owner might sometimes be surprised to find that things with their transportation providers are not always as good as they thought. By having these analytics at your fingertips, you will be able to decide for yourself if there are any issues you need to address or any changes that you need to made. 

Use Analytics To Control Costs
No matter what industry you are in, controlling costs is always an important aspect. If you know how to interpret and utilize your analytics, you can make sure that your costs are under control. You can check your actual financial analytics against your estimates to make sure that you are staying within your budget. If you see that there are budget problems, analytics can give you the details you need to figure out just what is going wrong. Data analytics can let you know what processes or departments are costing you more money than planned, and you can see which areas you need to rethink your financial strategies in. 

As you can see, there are several ways that you can put your data analytics to work for you, and use them to actually solve problems for and make changes in your business. Don't ignore those analytics any longer, start putting them to work for you!  Last modified on Wednesday, 20 March 2013
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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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