With cannabis now legal in many states across the U.S., we’ve made some progress toward separating fact from fiction and debunking persistent myths about marijuana as a “gateway” drug. However, there is still much work to be done to help rid society of its lingering stoner stigma and show just how innovative, lucrative, and beneficial the cannabis industry can be. That’s where data analytics comes in.
The cannabis industry is still “underground” to a large extent thanks to its continued illegality on the federal level, but once it goes above ground through legalization, good data will be needed to help shape public perception. There are many ways in which the cannabis industry is unique, and analytics will be needed to address those differences and other challenges.
Here are some of the ways that data analytics will play a role in making the legal cannabis industry as strong and successful as possible:
1. Data and Behavioral Analytics Can Help Drive Innovation by Providing Feedback on Products and Customer Service
Behavioral analytics can help retailers and other cannabis companies determine what products are the most popular, which ones aren’t selling very well, which ones should be discontinued to make room for newer, better options (and even provide customer data like preferred purchase times to aid in inventory management). Behavioral data can also reveal customers’ browsing habits on eCommerce sites, which can help drive product recommendations and inform merchandising decisions.
2. Data Analytics Will Also Influence How Consumers Are Educated About Cannabis
As we already mentioned, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the cannabis plant and its effects on human health and wellness. Behavioral data can help companies build more effective educational campaigns, which will, in turn, facilitate greater understanding and clearer consumer choices as the industry becomes more mainstream.
3. Analytics Can Help Find Areas of Improvement for Cultivation
At every point along the cannabis supply chain—from genetics labs to grow facilities—data can help pinpoint areas that need improvement and take steps to address those shortcomings. The cannabis industry is relatively new so there is a lack of historical data to help with this optimization. It is essential to establish effective analytics to identify data that provides insight as to how you can optimize grow lighting, nutrients, yields, durations of cycles, and cannabis genetics.
4. Analytics Can Provide Accurate Market Insights
As more states legalize cannabis, data will be needed to help ensure that new products are successfully introduced into the market and consumers can make smart choices about their purchases. Market research is used to determine the appropriate target market and viability of the product. This data gives companies information and feedback from consumers that is essential to the decision-making process. Each country or state is going to have different laws and needs for the cannabis industry, and market research is a valuable way to gain insights that will ensure the success of your product.
5. Data Analytics Can Be Used for Analyzing Regulations
Cannabis continues to pose legal challenges, even in states that have legalized it. There are still many unknowns when it comes to federal policy and enforcement practices (such as what a lawful business looks like in states where cannabis is still illegal under federal law). But data analytics can help make sense of all these challenges and offer valuable insights.
6. Data Analytics Will Be Useful for Epidemiological Studies to Help Pinpoint Risks
One of the significant issues facing legalization advocates has been the lack of knowledge surrounding cannabis use and its risks. Data can help provide answers to these questions, which will not only benefit consumers but the greater cannabis industry as well. Most states and countries require companies to report data from every area of the cannabis cultivation, production, and distribution process. Software can reduce the amount of time that goes into this reporting process. These systems can help keep track of the rapidly changing regulations. Because so much data must be collected, software can use it for analytical purposes as well.
All in all, data analytics can be an invaluable tool for cannabis companies as they navigate the legal landscape and seek to meet consumer needs. By using these tools effectively, businesses will be able to make better-informed decisions about their products and services, helping them serve customers more efficiently and successfully.
The cannabis industry is unique, and analytics will be just as important here as any other industry. Data is essential for all industries, and cannabis is no different. Let the professionals at MaxQ guide your business through the analytical landscape – contact us today.