How to Analyze Data for Your Business
5 Tools Entrepreneurs Need to Analyze Data
There are a few great options for free and some that are paid. I’ll cover these 4 tools for now:
- Google Analytics
- KISS Metrics
Excel (affiliate link)
Microsoft Excel runs the world! Seriously…it does.
Excel is an absolute must for your business. It has been the grand champion of data tools for nearly 30 years since the first release. I look at Excel like gardening. It’s getting your hands dirty with data. You’re not using any fancy programming languages or tools here, it’s all by hand.
That being said, Excel is by far the most versatile piece of software you will ever use. It serves as a data collection, data cleansing, and data analytics platform that is unparalleled.
Alright, enough hype, the main things you’ll want to know about in Excel are how to manage and manipulate data as well as the most valuable function ever, the Vlookup (tutorial).
There is a free alternative with Google Sheets, however, it is pretty limited and I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re serious about using data to drive your business.
Tableau is the best analytics tool on the market. They’ve completely changed the Business Intelligence and Analytics industry by making their desktop tool easy to use for anyone.
There are three options for using Tableau to analyze data.
- Tableau Public (limited but free)
- Tableau Personal (1K)
- Tableau Professional (2K)
With Tableau, you can take any data you have and visually explore it uncovering hidden patterns and trends in your data that you may not have known existed. Not only is Tableau a great visual data exploration tool, it also can run some simple statistical models for things such as cluster analysis and forecasting.
In a future course we’ll dive deeper into the capabilities, but definitely, check out their site if you want to learn more.
DataHero is one of the newer online analytics solutions and I think the best one for new online businesses. They integrate with a lot of other online data collection platforms like Google Analytics and easily allow you to build dashboards directly on the web.
DataHero has a free plan and is still relatively cheap when you convert to a paid plan, assuming you’re finding the value in it.
Google Analytics itself offers some really great ways of analyzing and visualizing data collected in its platform. There are also ways to integrate or upload external data for added context. The one caveat here is that I find the Google Analytics interface a bit cumbersome to use so your mileage may vary when trying to analyze your data.
KISS Metrics is a popular cloud provider of analytics solutions and offers some really great ways to explore your data. It’s not free but is relatively economical for once your business has some good traffic and you can afford to focus on your data more.