Big data: 3 tools for munching it in byte-sized pieces

How Tableau, Google Analytics and dotloop-DASHBOARD can help you make smarter business decisions

What is “big data”? It seems like everyone is talking about it. From the White House to The New York Times to higher education, “big data” is a big buzzword, and it has been for several years. But what does it mean for you and for your business?

Generally speaking, big data is a way of describing the explosive amounts of data being generated as a result of our lives becoming increasingly more digital and connected. It also has to do with increased availability of that data, and what we can now do with it to better understand the world around us.

Cary Sylvester, vice president of technology innovation and communication for Keller Williams Realty International, explains “how the little guy can leverage big data,” at Real Estate Connect New York City (above).

When it comes to real estate, we all have access to big data. What will set you apart from your competition is your ability to interpret that data and present it as expert knowledge to your clients. Thinking holistically about your bigger objectives, big data can help you understand how your customers are using your website and segment them accordingly to boost your bottom line, reveal meaningful patterns in sales history that can help you make better business decisions in the future, and add efficiency and insight into your transactions to reduce costs.

Let’s break down big data and how you can use it to distinguish yourself from your competition by demonstrating your knowledge and creating a more tailored experience for your client.

Just Google it

What do you do when you want to find the best Chinese takeout or a dry cleaner nearby? Google it! Well, the same holds true when you want to find out how many people are visiting your website every day — just Google it. Chances are you’ve heard of Google Analytics, and you may not realize that you have access to it, but you do. Google Analytics is Google for understanding your website. It automatically gathers data on your website, and lets you analyze that so you can reveal meaningful patterns — everything from how someone got to your site, what they’re doing and how long they’re staying, to whether they come back and how often.

Let’s say you’re a small brokerage that’s just getting started and maybe you have limited resources. Chances are most people are finding you online, which means your website is crucial to growing your business. To evaluate your website’s effectiveness, you need to track your website’s click-through rates, keywords being searched and geographical summary, as that data offers invaluable insights into what potential clients are interested in and where they’re located.

As a broker and business owner, you should be setting goals for your website and your business. You can do that right in Google Analytics and receive alerts when those goals are met. For example, you can see how many interactions you’re getting on your website and how many of those interactions turn into viewings. You can also set a target area for your region and see if some of your sales, marketing or public relations initiatives have made any measurable change in driving traffic and conversions.