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Why Does a Small Business Need Analytics?

Know your numbers and know what your numbers mean!

Business analytics examines large and different types of data to uncover hidden patterns, correlations, and other insights.

What business decisions can analytics provide?

  1. Cost reduction opportunities. Analytics will tell you what product or ad campaign is the highest performing.
  2. Measuring costs: customer acquisition, lead value, conversions value all can be found when you implement and track analytics.
  3. Marketing and product sales funnels work best when SOMEONE knows where people went after they clicked!
  4. Organizational analysis – is everything working? Is the campaign delivering? Is the reach as expected?
  5. Faster decision making. Data (science) can override opinion (emotion) in decisions. When a client says, show me proof, I can pull up CPC or PPC results and show what’s working and what’s not working.

CPC – Cost Per Click. PPC – Price Per Click. Both measure how much it costs in advertising dollars to drive a customer to the website and/or on to the sale.

Analytics will show you more about your visitors than you probably care to know. Things like:

  1. Who is visiting your pages/posts
  2. What the audience, demographics, frequency, engagement look like
  3. When visitors are viewing your page/posts
  4. What device they’re using
  5. What pages/posts are getting the most engagement

Data analytics helps organizations harness their data and use it to identify new opportunities.—edureka!

Engagement is good. Likes, Comments, Shares, Visits, Clicks is what we marketers live for. Reach; meh. It’s like driving by a billboard on the highway. Reach just means you pushed it out there (one-way communication) while engagement creates two-way communication. Goal!

From a business point of view analytics can help you with:

  1. Trends over assigned periods of time
  2. Evaluation of exactly what is working and what is not.
  3. Free REPORTING tools, views, exports, sorting options, “hard” data
  4. How many people visited which sites and what they did once they got there.

If you are an active analytics analyzer, you can find feedback like:

  1. Whether your marketing campaigns are delivering traffic to the appropriate destination URL?
  2. How or if your newest blog post is helping your search results?
  3. How many people who downloaded your eBook also signed up for a seminar or academy with you?
  4. How many people clicked on your post and visited your website as a result
  5. Is your content relevant to them?
  6. How long people spent on your pages and where they went after they got there
  7. Did they find what they wanted?
  8. How you can assign value to intangibles (leads)
  9. Did they complete the Contact Us form?

Finally, in helping a business manage costs, analytics can provide:

  1. The customer acquisition cost (CAC) for PAID campaigns
  2. The assigned value of a CALL TO ACTION (CTA)

Google Analytics must be connected to your website to show results. For this, you have to work with your web designer to install snippets of code. Facebook Insights are within the Business Manager platform or on the Page itself and can be connected to analytics with pixels.

Facebook has its own set of analytics called Insights. Insights provide a snapshot of the activities on your website like Visits, Engagement, Likes, Clicks, Shares, Audience Behavior, Source, and so much more. You will need to install the Facebook Pixel on your website in order to track traffic from FB to your website. See how here:

Graph showing Facebook engagement data. The caption identifies the highlights.
  • Wednesday is the highest recommended day to post
  • 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday are the most engaged time on Facebook
  • You’re safe to post weekdays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday is the least engaged day of the week

Analytics are the ONLY WAY you’ll be able to measure your ROI (Return on Investment). ROI can be calculated, against a measurable objective, with a formula: Budget/Clicks=Cost Per Click.

Take the number of people who responded to your CTA and divide it by your budget spent to find your CPC/PPC or customer acquisition cost. So a $500 ad campaign resulting in 500 clicks to the website infers a $1 CPC.

Ready to take on the world? Instead of getting carried away with emotion and opinion, why not give cold, hard, data science a try?

A good rule of thumb is, if it works, do it again. If it doesn’t, don’t.

Sponsored by the City of South Haven, South Haven Chamber of Commerce, and Lake Michigan College.

Congratulations to Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry for receiving his first loan through Northern Initiatives. With help from his SCORE mentor, Cheri Bales, Gregory did a fantastic job on developing his business plan and showing real entrepreneurial spirit. We wish you much success, and look forward to your upward movement. You are a wonderful role model.

—Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry

I appreciate your ears for listening, your eyes that see my vision and your heart that makes you who you are.  I thank you for your time. You are making a difference.

—Shawntel Lindsey, Director, The Artbor Community Connections Center

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.


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Whether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.


A loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.


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The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan’s digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.


Western Michigan University’s Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.

—Peter Shutt

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The Kalamazoo Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.

—Matt Hollander

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Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!

—Cheri Bales

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Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!

—Martin Herman Sorensen