Information Technology Insights For Small Business
Small and medium-sized businesses need the ability to intelligently analyze data in various aspects of their business. But how do you even go about quantifying all the information for your New England company? What tool can help you compete against bigger competitors in your region?
In addition to a robust analytics tool, you also need a communication platform that facilitates cohesive employee interactions and reliable productivity tools. It is also a good idea to have a way of managing customer interactions and giving them a great customer experience. Let’s look at a few tools that can be true technology game-changers for your company in these areas.
Microsoft Power BI —Turning Data Into Insight
Microsoft Power BI allows you to gain insights by reviewing and displaying internal and external from various sources. It also helps you interpret trends around your business services inform decision-making around where investments in your business would be best for your bottom line. That includes looking at information around what promotions work best in driving sales and which marketing strategies turn up the most promising leads.
The need for a robust business analysis tool goes beyond the need to review external data. You must also analyze the interactions among your workers and company systems. Missing an important data point could cause you to miss out on an opportunity to save your company money by operating more efficiently.
Leveraging Microsoft BI Effectively
- Make seamless data connections — Microsoft Power BI connects to a variety of sources like QuickBooks or Peachtree. You gain a big-picture view of how your company is doing in one centralized location.
- Create Data Models — Stop tying yourself into knots trying to manipulate complex data within predefined boundaries. Microsoft Power BI allows you to build models with your custom calculations and metrics to form your visualizations.
- Build reports and dashboards — You have the power to design dashboards and reports bringing you a real-time analysis of your business data.
- Track effective marketing strategies — You can get an overview of profitable clients and the marketing campaigns that attracted them to your company.
- Compare yourself against the marketplace — Use Microsoft Power BI to pull in information about competitors and measure how well your business stacks up against them.
Microsoft Power BI gives small and medium businesses the type of analytical power typically found in major corporations and enterprises.
Asana — Coordinated Project and Task Management
One of the great things about Asana is its adaptability to a variety of businesses. The platform works just as well for a marketing agency as it does a shipping business. It aids in keeping projects on-track while allowing managers and other leaders to assign and manage tasks for employees.
You can use the tool to assign your employees to teams for projects with clear steps and due dates. Asana also allows for file sharing and direct communication between team members. You can even forward emails to Asana for better prioritization and organization. It is also easy to quickly organize online meetings between in-office and remote workers to keep everyone on the same page.
Leveraging Asana Effectively
- Make sure tasks have due dates and a priority label for clarity
- Encourage the use of calendars to get a visual sense of what is coming due
- Use Asana templates to document standard company processes
Asana helps you encourage harmony among workers when working toward achieving common business goals. That unity can be crucial in scaling your business up to meet increasing demand.
Microsoft Office 365 — A Complete Productivity Suite
Microsoft took the challenge from competitors like Google Suite seriously by adapting access to their productivity tools like Word and Excel to meet the challenges of our current digital age. Instead of having to pay for a new license annually, you can now subscribe to Office 365 for Small Business and get everything in one package.
What’s new with Office 365 is access to cloud storage and collaboration among team members, data safeguards, and user management tools. You can also pick and choose from different subscriptions based on the number of users within your company.
Office 365 provides a lot of the benefits found in Asana at a lower starting price. The most significant difference between the two is the fact that Asana can interact with Google Suite tools, an essential feature since Asana doesn’t come with native productivity tools of its own. You can compare Asana and Office 365 yourself and decide for yourself which works best for your company culture.
Leveraging Office 365 Effectively
- Make use of the security features for emails and cloud storage
- Use guest links to share files with external contacts
- Sync your files and data across mobile and desktop devices
Zendesk — Customer and Help Desk Management
Zendesk support apps help transform interactions between your customer service staff into opportunities for customer retention and lead sourcing. You gain access to chat, ticket management, and call center modules that can be modified and upgraded to suit your business needs. Tickets can be sent through social media, web applications and any other customer portals you have set up.
Representatives see the history of every interaction with a customer. That cuts down on frustrations for callers who dread having to go over their problem repeatedly with different agents. You can also create an online help center with information portals constructed from years of customer interactions. Customers can look up answers to common questions with an assist from AI-powered bots that direct them to the information they are seeking.
Leveraging Zendesk Effectively
- Move agents off the phone and into Live Chat modules
- Respond directly to customer queries to encourage more sales
- Use Zendesk Message to engage with customers on Facebook and Twitter
Elevating your level of customer responsiveness can help small and medium businesses distinguish themselves from others in the market place and build up customer loyalty.
Get More Tool Suggestions
Many other tools can function as game-changers in advancing the business prospects for small and medium businesses. Spade Technology takes the time to understand what you need technology for and where it can be most effective in helping you achieve your business goals. Start working with an IT support company willing to become the technology partner your company needs. Call us today at (508) 339-5163.