If you’re just starting with your small business, you may be struggling to grow a customer base. If your business has been going steady for a while, a sudden dip in sales can be a confusing surprise. In both cases, you’re flying blind if you don’t have at least one analytics tool tracking your business’s data.
No one running a hard-working business has the time to track every form of customer engagement. Further, you certainly don’t have the time to use all that data to analyze trends and predict future patterns.
Thankfully, tools like Google Search Console and Facebook Insights are ready to collect your data, analyze it, and report it to you all in one place.
If you’re ready to put together a suite of tools and solutions that will help you identify pain points and maximize wins for your business, you’re in the right place. Check out this list of the best business analytics solutions for your small business!
What Are Business Analytics Tools?
Simply put, business analytics solutions are software applications that you can employ to help gather data from all of your business systems. These tools will compile all of your data into one big database and analyze it to create reports for your review.
Different solutions come in a range of complexity and can suit certain types of businesses better than others. Not all businesses use the same systems and not all business owners have a full understanding of business data or how to analyze it. It’s important to choose analytics tools that focus on the data you need and can report it to you in a useful way.
Business Analytics or Business Intelligence?
There is a difference between business analytics and intelligence tools. Business intelligence tools offer the same basic functions of gathering data and running analysis. Analytics tools, however, will deliver data analysis on a deeper level.
Analytics tools will identify any weaknesses and flag unexpected events in your data. These tools can even forecast future trends to help you understand if you need to change direction or stay the course.
Any tool you choose should help you to understand your business’s current position and make decisions to improve based on facts rather than feelings.
Key Features for Business Tools
When you are shopping around for business analytics and intelligence tools, you should be looking for some essential features. There are basic abilities that the right tool should have and some more comprehensive features that you should consider.
The best business solution will have:
- User-friendly interface and dashboard
- Security for your data and personal information
- Customizability for reports
- Integration abilities with other solutions
- Forecasting abilities
You need to take stock of what business systems you have in place that collect data every day and make sure the solution you choose will allow you to easily integrate them. You will also want to make sure you understand which reports the tool will give you and how you can use them to your advantage.
The Best Business Analytics Solutions
Small business digital tools for analytics generally perform the same basic functions but will specialize in certain areas of data and analysis. Some will focus on website traffic while others focus on social media performance. Other tools will focus on supply chain and sales.
Depending on your budget, you might be able to afford more than one solution so that you have access to deep, specialized analysis on different aspects of your business. If you’re a small business, you might not want to splurge. Instead, you can choose one solution that is more general and encompasses everything you need.
Google Search Console
Google is known for offering a huge suite of helpful tools for businesses to optimize all areas of their online presence. One of these powerful tools is called Google Search Console. This solution will track and create reports on data gathered from your website’s performance.
This tool offers:
- Data on search traffic
- Flagging and fixing issues with your site
- Analyzing engagement deriving from searches
- Revealing and helping to improve the site’s position in searches
- Managing and submitting sitemaps to Google
- URL inspection tool to show how Google sees your site
- Testing for mobile usability
- Monitoring and improving rich results
In short, Google Search Console is a business analytics solution focused on reviewing and improving your website’s performance on Google’s search engine. It is very important to optimize your website since it is often a customer’s first impression of your business and a great way to get sales.
Iconic Web Headquarters offers expert services for web design and development that will help you build your website and understand ways to improve traffic and sales. Once you have the perfect website, you can utilize business analytics solutions like Google Search Console to monitor its performance.
Google Analytics is another part of Google’s suite of business tools that focuses on your business’s online presence. This tool, however, has more comprehensive features that allow you to analyze your marketing performance. This solution is a great free tool that you can customize to be as simple or complex as you’d like.
The newest update has made the interface even more user-friendly and offered some new ways to track data. In a nutshell, Google Analytics has some basic trackers for data that operate by default, some enhanced features you can turn on, and a way to create custom trackers for almost anything you can imagine.
Some examples of trackers are:
- Visitor engagement with the website
- Time spent viewing videos
- Number of downloads of your content
- Shopping cart behavior
Once you’ve added all the trackers you want, you can see reports on this data as well as analysis of your audience, conversions, site behavior, advertisement performance, and more.
You can use Google Analytics in conjunction with a professional website maintenance service to get the most out of your business’s site. As your expert team keeps your site updated and bug-free, you can monitor how these updates affect your traffic and sales.
Qlik offers a few different analytics solutions, including Qlik View and Qlik Sense. Qlik Sense is a self-service analytics platform that is very comprehensive. Qlik View is popular because of its patented technology that allows for ultra-fast reporting and analysis.
Qlik View is also a favorite because of its tool that allows you to view data relationships by assigning color codes. Qlik is great for users of all skill sets because of its customizability and smart data presentation.
Qlik Sense includes:
- Custom analytics
- Embedding abilities
- Offline mobility
- Multi-cloud organization
- Storytelling and reporting
- AI-driven chart creation and insights
- Data integration
This business analytics solution starts at $30 a month, making it an affordable yet comprehensive option for small businesses.
Board is highly recommended as a business analytics tool because it creates uniquely interactive reports and dashboards for your data analysis. It has great potential to grow with your business and even includes a suite for statistics.
Board is built to handle massive amounts of data and is known for its accurate reporting for scenario analysis. This tool is powerful for business owners that have dreams of going big and need an analytics tool that will help them build the best path towards success.
Because of its use by big-name companies and best-in-class performance for forecasting, Board is known as the best decision-making platform for businesses.
For those owners who need things simple and easy, yet still powerful, Sisense is a great option. Sisense is known for a highly customizable and easy-to-view dashboard. This tool uses AI for creating analytics apps that you can choose to embed anywhere without the user needing any specialized training.
Sisense is best known for:
- Intuitive and interactive dashboard
- Ad Hoc reporting
- Use of AI for analytics
- Ability to transform and model data
- Predictive analytics
- Big Data
Sisense has a free trial version but offers more comprehensive options for upgrade.
Tableau is special for small businesses who want to take advantage of live analytics reporting. The interface is visually interesting and user-friendly with drag and drops ability. This tool makes it easy to integrate hundreds of other data sources from both on-premise systems and the cloud.
You can use this tool to cluster data, add trend lines, build calculations and see statistical analysis all in one spot. It also includes:
- Smooth and quick integration with Microsoft Sharepoint
- Reports available with just one click
- In-memory architecture
- Natural language and easy interface for untrained users
This tool also has a free trial and offers upgrades starting at $70 a month.
GROW is one of the best business analytics solutions for pulling data from a large number of sources. You can connect this tool to systems like Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Analytics, social media analytics tools, and more.
This tool is great for optimizing your marketing efforts because of its ability to integrate all of your marketing and advertising data and convert it all into intuitive reports. This ability can help save you money by seeing which advertising efforts are working and cutting efforts that have no ROI.
This tool is known for:
- Data extraction from over 100 sources
- User-friendly interface
- Many different options for viewing data analysis
You can get a free trial of GROW, but you will need to request pricing if you’d like to continue using the service.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when running a small business is the location you serve. Small businesses thrive on local traffic, and SEO prioritizes location as one of the best ways to boost traffic to your site. Microstrategy is known for its location-based abilities.
- Big data tools
- A multi-functional real-time dashboards
- Location-focused analytics
- “HyperIntelligence” tool for employees
- Mobile applications
You will have to request pricing on their website to learn about the cost of using this solution for your business.
In conjunction with Microstrategy’s location-based analytics, you can utilize local SEO services that will help you boost traffic and sales by targeting your local customer base.
The newest update to Tibco Spotfire has made this platform even more scalable and powerful. The tool now has improved text-based unstructured data analysis and statistical analysis capabilities.
Tibco Spotfire allows for easily generated insights with options for preferences of analytical presentations. There are AI recommendations and a visually stunning and user-friendly interface. It also offers geoanalytics and predictive analytics.
Because Tibco is a SaaS product, you don’t even need to install it! You can even utilize its custom analytics app creation tool.
This service also starts with a free trial.
Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft, unsurprisingly, also offers its version of a business analytics solution. Microsoft proposes that instead of buying multiple solutions, you can get an all-in-one self-service solution through their platform.
Because this solution is a Microsoft platform, it is easily integrated with other Microsoft software such as Excel so that you can easily import data from spreadsheets. The combination of the ability to integrate and use the cloud also allows for easy collaboration with team members and exporting reports.
To top it all off, Microsoft Power BI boasts a solid security system to make sure your data is kept safe and encrypted.
Propel Your Small Business to New Heights
Implementing business analytics solutions like Google Search Console, paired with employing professionals for web design and SEO services, will take your small business to the next level. Don’t wait any longer fumbling around in the dark without data analysis.
Iconic Web Headquarters offers a solid suite of services for professional web design, maintenance, SEO, and more. If you need more help getting your small business on the right track, check out our resources or contact us today!