Three Tools Anyone Can Use to Leverage Big Data


Data analytics can seem very complex, especially if you don’t have a background in tech or math. And this confusion is only exacerbated with all the available tools and programs out there to help you analyze, manipulate, visualize, and share data. But, despite what you might think, you don’t need to be proficient with an arsenal of apps before you start to reap the benefits of data analysis. Another commonly held belief is that data analytics isn’t that important for small businesses and operations. But it isn’t only large and mid size companies who are capable of using data analytics to their advantage, even small operations can harness their data to help qualify leads, make sales, or conduct marketing more efficiently.

Here are three basic data analysis tools to get familiar with so that you can start viewing and interacting with your business’s data in more intuitive and impactful ways.

1. SQL

Structured query language, or SQL, is an incredibly helpful tool for data analysis. It is also considered a staple for data analytics. You can use it to access, analyze, and clean or edit data that’s stored in databases. Even though this might sound intimidating at first, it’s simple and quick to learn, despite how powerful the applications are. When you use SQL instead of a typical spreadsheet tool, the functions are easier to audit and recreate later. It’s like a more advanced CSV with additional data functions built in. Being able to load in and interact with specific tables of data via typing functions can help you save a lot of time if you’re dealing with massive databases.

2. Google Analytics

The next tool is well-known and many of you marketers and small business owners might already be utilizing it for other purposes. In fact, it’s valuable not only because some of you won’t need to acquire a new application or tool, but there are a TON of resources and a huge user base of people already using it. I’m speaking about the ever popular Google Analytics. This is a tool which has the ability to view and segment your site’s traffic and other metrics. This gives you the ability to attribute success to particular campaigns, more accurately distribute your budgets to achieve a higher ROI, and more. You can also use Analytics to incorporate data from other Google services such as Adwords and Search console, which can provide helpful info. All in all, a fantastic tool for data analysis, and one that is easily attainable and understandable for small business owners as well.

3. Tableau

If you’re looking for betters methods of data visualization, look no further than Tableau. It’s a data visualization tool which grants you the ability to analyze data and create reports, graph, and dashboards quickly. It’s also a lot cheaper than many comparable business intelligence products. Another point to consider is that Tableau takes a huge strain off your IT department, if that’s applicable to your situation. It’s simple enough so that people who aren’t particularly tech savvy can even analyze and display data as they deem fit to their individual roles or projects. Plus, there are multiple versions for different levels of enterprise and use, so you can get the option which best suits your needs. One last advantage for users of Tableau is that you can link it to each of the 3 other tools I mentioned in this post! If you already use any of the above, then simply adding Tableau into the mix would give you the ability to view/understand/manipulate your data much more quickly.