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Phone Analytics Are Changing the Future of Marketing With a deeper understanding of what happens with customers on the phone, your business can gain more of a competitive edge.

By Lucinda Honeycutt Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Big data is growing bigger every day. It's so big, even the U.S. government is putting it to work, with an extensive plan investing millions every year. By 2020, our digital universe is expected to grow to 40 zettabytes (one zettabyte is ~1 billion terabytes) up from 3.2 zettabytes in 2014. About 85 percent of that data is coming from new sources.

Data is important for business success, but without the right tools for analysis, it becomes a double-edged sword. Unless you can understand what the data means and then use it to improve the business -- it has no value to you.

Related: 4 Marketing Analytics Tools That Are Shaping the Industry

There are countless web analytics tools available to help you see how well your online marketing campaigns are doing -- but what about phone analytics? With a deeper understanding of what happens with customers on the phone, your business can gain more of a competitive edge.

1. Nextiva analytics: phone call insights

Launched in March 2016, Nextiva Analytics offers the ability to harness the big data hiding in calls into and out of a business. Using the platform, it is possible to get an overview of all the call activity within a certain timeframe, see the activity for a select group of people, and compare real-time and historical data.

"As a data-driven company, we understand the importance of data for deep business insight and agile decision-making," says Tomas Gorny, Nextiva's chief executive officer. "Nextiva Analytics provides critical data and analysis to foster growth in businesses of every size. Stakeholders can now view, analyze and act like never before and get exponentially more value out of the NextOS platform."

While those in the call center industry would likely find the product most useful, the beauty is all businesses will be able to use it to make adjustments to strategy and processes. With more than 225 report combinations and the ability to customize reports and dashboards, it's easy to turn data into actionable insights.

For many small businesses, workforce management and analytics tools are costly and just don't fit into the budget. Nextiva's platform is priced at $50 a month for up to five users, and $5 a month for each additional user, making it an affordable way to tap into what big data has to offer.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Collecting Customer Data

2. How businesses will benefit

With phone-call analytics, call centers can keep an eye on quality and customer experience. Nextiva Analytics built-in gamification tools can help keep employees engaged and performing well.

Phone calls are a vital part of marketing campaigns, particularly for the business-to-business market, where calls are scheduled after lead information is entered into a web form. But, without call-tracking data, there's no way to know how well the sales team is doing with those follow-up calls. Learning how well the calls are working allows you to see where adjustments need to be made.

Which days of the week perform better? Which times of day perform better? Are there trends in the lower performing days and times you could make adjustments to for better results in the future?

Maybe a simple change of script could be enough to boost the conversion rate? Maybe certain agents need more training to effectively convert customers? Maybe you're spending too much of your marketing budget driving calls early in the sales funnel, when customers would be more responsive to hearing from you after they get information via other channels.

Go beyond analyzing the length, date and time of the call. Conversation analytics allow you to search conversations from keywords, to understand which ones are being used, how they're used and their impact on the conversation. Find out if agents are using the correct language on calls and how well customers are responding to it.

3. What this means for the future of marketing

As Nextiva Analytics works to add more integrations to their software, it has the power to change the way marketers do their jobs. The more data we have available, the more precise and targeted campaigns can be.

Marketing is already focused on personalization and the mobile shift. Research shows U.S. businesses earn an estimated $1 trillion in revenue with "click to call" commerce. Using the analytics data, businesses can take steps to improve hold times and customer service response, reducing the call abandonment rate and boosting profits. The future of marketing remains reliant on the data we have available -- and what we can learn from it.

Related: A Custom Landing Page, Call Intelligence and One Simple Question Will Maximize Your Marketing Money

If your business uses the phone to communicate with customers in any shape or form, skipping an investment in phone analytics could mean missing a major growth opportunity.

Lucinda Honeycutt

Freelance Content Writer

Lucinda Honeycutt is a freelance writer and web designer nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. She's a tech geek, foodie and research junkie who writes about a little bit of everything.

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