What is data analysis and why is it important?

In the golden age of information, data is everywhere. The words you type into google, the time you spend watching videos on YouTube, even how often you visit your favourite shop, data is constantly being collected, interpreted, and analysed all around us.

The ability to make the most out of the data will enable you to create success in all walks of life, from general decision making, improving your health or even starting your own business. The possibilities that arise from analysing data are endless, but just what is data analysis, and why is it important?

What is data analysis? 

Data analysis is the process by which data is collected, analysed, and interpreted to extract useful information that can assist in decision-making situations. Businesses can use multiple methods and techniques to analyse data; determining which is the best possible method for you depends on the nature of your decision. This may sound overwhelming, but this article will provide you with examples of how you can apply data analysis and make the most out of the decisions you make.[st1] 

Why is data analysis important? 

Data analysis enables you to see the whole picture. By interpreting information meaningfully, you allow yourself to remove the risk of guessing and assuming out of your work and ultimately make a more educated and precise decision. Below, this article details several examples of how you could use data analysis to improve your decision-making process and better your position in life.

Examples of the applications of Data analysis

Example 1) – Online E-commerce Business

Let’s say you are running an e-commerce business that sells an extensive range of products; you could guess which products are currently popular among consumers, purchase these goods and hope the products will sell. This is an option, but is it the best option? By trying to guess which products are going to sell, you are opening yourself to unnecessary risk. On the other hand, you could use analytical data tools to search the online retail market and find out: 

  • which products are currently most popular with consumers, 
  • which products have the highest profit margins, 
  • You could determine which products are being over-sold and which products are being undersold or 
  • You can find how much other similar sellers are paying in advertisement to get their products sold.  

By knowing all of these things, you are putting yourself in a stronger position to decide which items you will sell and how much you are going to charge. You are giving yourself a competitive advantage over other sellers by understanding the market. In summary, you are not only reducing your risk, but you are putting yourself into a stronger decision-making position, and how? By using data analysis.

Example 2) – Improving Your Health

Many people in life seek to improve their physical health; whether this is through dietary plans, physical workouts or by cutting out harmful products and practices, almost everyone is aware of ways to improve their health. For those many people who seek to improve their health, they may not be aware that they are probably already using either data analysis or data analysis products to do so. If you are counting the calories of a chocolate bar, you are using data analysis; you are collecting data (the calorific content), interpreting the data (seeing if it is in line with your daily calorie consumption), and based on that information, making a decision about whether you should eat the chocolate. Although this may be an elementary form of data analysis, it illustrates how even simple data can benefit you. Maybe you enjoy working out; if you do, you probably follow a workout plan; this workout plan will have been produced as a data analysis product. By determining which combination of exercises will be most effective in either burning fat, burning calories, or increasing muscle mass, it is possible to produce a workout plan that will be the most efficient method of giving you what you need. This is an example of how interpreting data can enable you to produce a process that will provide the most efficient outcome, allowing you to save yourself precious time, money and effort.  

Example 3) – Deciding which job to take.

As many of you will know, applying to jobs can be tiresome; not only is the process of becoming employed difficult but trying to determine where you should work, who you should work for and how much you should be paid can be strenuous tasks. Of course, as many people do, you can apply to as many listings as possible, regardless of location or company but will this land you a job that fits your needs? Probably not. However, using data analysis to refine your search will save you significant time, effort and will most likely lead to you taking a job that is more suited to your needs. To make the most out of your job, you should first determine what skills you possess and what jobs this skill set matches. You may already know which area you want to work in; if so, you should determine what the average salary for such a position is. By deciding this, you can refine the search criteria of available positions such that you will be paid according to the value you bring (nobody should be underpaid!). Once you have determined which jobs you will apply to, you should seek to find a company that meets your needs. Remember, data analysis is not just about numbers; look to find company reviews on websites such as glass door or Indeed and use this to gauge how well you fit into the company ethos. You can only enjoy working in a company which suits you. Sites such as Glassdoor provide you with all the information you could need when looking for a job. By finding and interpreting all the relevant information, appropriate salary, company reviews, company ethos and the best location for a job, you can seek jobs tailored to your standards and needs. Removing the trial and error process out of job hunting will ultimately lead to finding a job that suits you.

Can’t decide between two jobs? Check out this video from MIT on the applications of utility theory on searching for jobs – the video details how an economic principle, based upon how certain factors affect your happiness (utility), can help you determine the best choice. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCKk22kaZi4

Summary

The beauty of data analysis comes from its ability to enable you to make your own choice based upon the evidence in front of you; it may sound cliché, but the data doesn’t lie. The decisions you make based on data will be stronger than the guesses you would otherwise make.

Hopefully, this article has shown you just how critical data analysis is and how useful it can assist your thought processes. The examples in this article should illustrate how data analysis is not just a complex process used by mathematicians and scientists but also a fundamental tool in decision-making that has applications to nearly every choice you will make.

Remember, when incorrectly analysed, data can be misleading. If you want to learn the process of data analysis so you can make your own decisions, check out this article on the process and techniques of data analysis method of data analysis

&facts named amongst best SaaS companies in the UK by TechRound

We are delighted to announce that &facts has been announced as one of the top 66 SaaS (software as a service) companies in the UK by TechRound, the UK’s leading voice for startups. In a competition known as the SaaS 66, &facts has been praised for their innovation and contribution to a fast-growing area within the UK’s tech and startups industries.

The announcement follows a week of judging from an expert panel including Pete Hanlon, CTO at Moneypenny, Collette Allen, Services Director at Smart Search, Stephen Page, Founder of SFC Capital and Mina Samaan, Principle at MMC Ventures with a portfolio of successful startups including Gousto and Pact Coffee and Bloom & Wild.

Previous finalists of TechRound’s campaigns have included Monzo, TikTok, Revolut, PensionBee and many others who have gone on to achieve huge success and this year we have seen Cyclr, Robinhood and Wefarm take the top spots.

TechRound is the UK’s leading voice for UK startups and SMEs, as well as industry news and opinions and the SaaS66, is an ideal platform for companies in a sometimes-under-appreciated sector of the UK economy to shine. TechRound has always been a great place to showcase the UK’s startup talent and the remarkable progress continually made in the startup and tech industry by so many companies.

TechRound co-Founder David Soffer commented: “Software as a service (SaaS) is something we all use on a regular basis, and the last year has only highlighted this further. The UK has given rise to so many fabulous companies in this space who are innovating and doing incredible things with their companies.

TechRound co-Founder Daniel Tannenbaum commented: “The TechRound team have been so impressed with the calibre of candidates and it is truly remarkable what the UK has to offer in terms of SaaS – and ultimately how far SaaS has come in the last decade.”

“We saw a number of quality candidates who are using SaaS technology to make life simpler and also address real problems in the organisation and society.”

“We’re incredibly proud to be able to feature the SaaS66, a campaign which showcases the exceptional startups that the UK has to offer the world. TechRound is passionate about making sure startups and innovative businesses in the UK are given the voice and recognition they deserve – and the SaaS industry was a great sector for us to shine a light on.”

Growing a successful skincare business: 5 things you must know

With 50% growth in the past year, skincare offers plenty of opportunities if you are looking to starting or growing your skincare business. Yet, with countless options to choose from, it can be challenging to navigate current trends, consumer behaviours, and production choices. So, the team over at &facts have come up without top tips you should keep in mind to grow a successful skincare business.

1 – Find your voice – From brand values to philosophy.

Whether you are a growing skincare business or still thinking about starting one, make sure that your brand has something to say. Skin Sapiens has captured a large audience in less than a year by repeatedly stating and proving their engagements toward transparent, clean and earth-conscious products.

Consumers like consistency between brand values, brand philosophy and actions.

Your brand philosophy is a crucial element to draw attention and make sure the audience remembers you. About 60% of consumers aged between 26 and 30 years old consider brand values and philosophies before buying. And this is expected to grow as Generation Z enters the consumer market.

So, be clear and vocal about what you believe in and what your brand is trying to achieve. Most importantly, tell your customers how you will do this.

2 – When less is more – The trend of minimalism.

Following The Ordinary’s incredible success, it became clear that minimalist visuals are particularly appreciated by skincare customers. Beyond the skincare industry, the most successful brands on the internet all adopted clear and simple branding.

Aesthetics have recently become essential when it comes to selling a product. Whether it’s your logo, homepage, or packaging, customers want to see consistency. If it does not appeal to them, then they will not buy it.

Consumers prefer packaging that minimalist, using neutral colours with easy to read labelling.

As a matter of fact, more than 50% of the millennials we surveyed for our report on the latest skincare trends highlighted visual as an essential criterion when they look for a new product.

3 – Green is the new black – Ethical choices are trending.

The demand for greener products keeps growing, scaling up the relevance of ethical choices.

To give you an idea, consumer interest in sustainable products rose by 74% in 2020 while the vegan skincare market grew by 219% in the last five year. Looking at these numbers, ethics are something you do need to consider while designing your new product, and growing your business.

Why are people turning toward skincare? Because they want to take better care of themselves. They want to invest in products that will improve their well-being. Here, natural, organic and vegan products are trending as they are perceived as healthier and safer options in comparison to those brands and products that don’t market themselves this way.

New skincare brand Made by Coopers managed to rapidly build a strong community around their organic, ethical and clean skin products

Social media play a central part here as they are the ‘go-to’ place for eco-consumer looking for green alternatives.

Sustainability themed hashtags are increasingly popular on social media

4 – The constant trend: price

When launching a product, finding the right price is essential. It’s mainly about finding the perfect balance between a price your customer is willing to pay whilst being profitable enough to sustain your activity.

Thinking about the right price, you will also need to consider your target audience. How much are they willing to spend on their skincare?

Our research shows that customer interest is 6 times higher for new brands with prices ranging below £15. And ultimately, the price remains the key consideration for most customers searching for new skincare products.

Customer interest is 6 times higher for new brands with prices ranging below £15

If you are struggling to price your product, we designed a free and simple tool that you can use to figure out your new pricing strategy to further develop your business.

5 – It’s all about the reviews

You might wonder how to trigger the desire to buy your products among your audience. Easy: pay attention to reviews. Millennials will tell you that they are tracking down the best reviews.

Reviews are important to consumers when choosing a new product

Recommendations are not enough. People want to make sure the product is nothing short of incredible. That it is worth their money, if they are not satisfied with the reviews, they will not buy the product.

Therefore, it is vital to nudge testers and buyers to give feedback on their experience of using your product. Also, be reactive to feedback. Make sure your customers are aware that you care about their experience.

Reviews and social proof is important to consumers when choosing a new product

In summary

Skincare is taking over, and if you are looking to grow your business or invest in new products, there is definitely a lot of potential out there.

Yet, if you really want to break into that market, thinking minimalist, natural and affordable might make it easier for you. Finally, it would be best if you did not neglect the power of brand values and customer reviews, which can easily turn into make-or-break factors.