With so much to consider when starting a business, from finding the right staff to constructing a business plan, it can be all too easy to ignore the value that data offers to a start-up. Since early stage data usage can play a critical role in informing key decisions, data use is often a tool necessary to take a business to the next level. With both short and long-term benefits, it is vital that start-ups understand just how valuable data can be.
The Truth about Start-Ups and Data
A recent study has found that 56% of small to medium-sized businesses either ‘rarely’ or ‘ infrequently’ check their data, another 3% reported having never checked their data at all. The study then looked at the reasons as to why this practice was so infrequent, finding that 33% of those surveyed cited being too busy with other tasks and responsibilities. Being able to access up-to-date data and use it as a resource for informed decision making does not have to take a large proportion of time or rely on a dedicated in-house team. Tools like truQC will tailor a solution around your business needs, to ensure that you always have the information necessary.
Although start-ups do not have access to the same bank of big data available to more established companies, this doesn’t mean that what is on hand is any less important. In fact, as the expert analyst Bernard Marr describes, data analysis is in many ways more suited to smaller businesses, since they are more agile and able to act more quickly on data-driven insights. The topics below outline just some of the ways data can play a vital role in the long-term health of your business.
Informed Decision Making
A Deloitte survey recently uncovered the many different benefits that data have for businesses. The majority of respondents (49%) said that data analytics help them make superior decisions, 16% reported it better enabled them to make strategic initiatives, with 10% using it to improve relationships with customers and business partners. Data analytics can inform better decision making in a range of different areas, such as:
- Lead generation
- Customer retention
- Customer service
- Social media interactions
- Predicting sales trends
- Problem solving — e.g. low performing products
The value of data for decision making cannot be ignored, but to yield the highest return on this valuable resource, early implementation is essential. It should be considered as an integral resource when conducting product conception and development as well as a business plan.
Improved Business Processes
Data can have a big impact on the bottom line of your business when used to improve the efficiency of business processes. For example, human resources departments can monitor employee performance to gain a clearer understanding as to how an employee spends their working day. By using this information to identify areas in the working day where efficiency is lost, companies are able to optimize workflow and improve employee performance.
When used correctly, data can offer valuable insights into the behaviors and personality profiles of your customers. It can inform you of the way that they interact with your brand online, be it on social media or through your website; it can show you the reactions to different products, as well as the successes of different marketing practices. Data can also bring a clearer understanding as to who your customer really is. Having an in-depth understanding of your customer can help with both product development and marketing.