Business data analysis has become somewhat of a holy grail in the past couple of years. More and more business owners have turned their attention to the latest tech inventions and even started to reap the benefits of running a data-driven business. We hear these stories all the time: X business adopted Y technology and increased their revenue by 40% in the following year. While most of us definitely do acknowledge the processes a company has to go through in order to transform digitally, we still do not know just how wide that technology adoption has to go.
Thankfully, with the birth of data-driven business concept also came a variety of free and freemium tools that help people transform their market presence. Take BI (Business Intelligence) platforms, for example. Even though they can cost an arm and a leg, they still provide decision makers with extremely valuable information that would be otherwise really hard to get using just data analysis tools.
You see, the entire concept of business analysis evolved into a data-driven holistic approach that we use today. But, does it all have to be that expensive?
Free Data Analysis Tools
The answer is, simply, no. If you take the time to explore, there are a lot of low-cost solutions available to get you started. We lined up 5 of them:
1. Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft Power BI is a self-service business intelligence software that will enable you to easily visualize your data using a drag and drop interface. Although it seems like it costs $1000.00 to get started, you can install and use it for free, with the free version having a limit of 1GB per user. But just think how many Excel files fit into this 1GB limit — a lot!
2. Google Analytics and Search Console
This is a no-brainer for everyone running a business in 2016. Google Analytics should be used on a regular basis to discover insights on your demographics, landing pages, exit pages as well as your website user flow. Don’t forget to do data analysis in your search console also, since it may contain precious data on how customers are finding you. Remember, a holistic approach to analyzing business is the key.
3. PDF to Excel Converter
If you believe that the PDF is dead, just type filetype: pdf in Google and see how many results are there. Believe it or not, PDF is the most popular file format on the Internet and is still heavily used in all areas of business. If you are looking to analyze last year’s financial and accounting reports, you can do that using Investintech’s dependable and accurate PDF to Excel converter.
OpenRefine is one of Google’s closed projects, but it’s still fairly good for preparing your data. Plus, as the name says, it’s completely open source. It will enable you to import data in various formats, apply cell transformations and just generally prepare messy data for analysis. Once prepared, you can import it to either Power BI or Fusion Tables, if you are into online data visualization.
5. Fusion Tables
Google Fusion Tables is an online data visualization app, still in its experimental phase. It will enable you to visualize and summarize tables online, merge data and even search for public data so you can combine it with your own. Be aware that the tool still looks like it’s in Beta stage, but the fact that you can sync it with your Google Drive can prove to be useful for some.
Always have in mind that running a data-driven business in 2016 is not just paying attention to one thing but rather to the entire experience. Hopefully, these data analysis tools will allow you to learn something new and adopt new trends in a way that suits successful entrepreneurs.