If you're reading this, you're probably a small business owner. As a small business owner, I'm sure you are extremely busy but let's take a second to stop and think about what types of data you have available within your business. You must have a bunch of customer records, financial information, product inventory, supplier and distribution information, online and offline marketing data... The list could go on and on. In today's blog I want to get you thinking about how you might be able to start using this data to solve business challenges and drive long-term growth.
Data science really is quite simple. It is just the act of combining, calculating and reporting insights from different data inputs and sources. We have just established that your business has a whole bunch of data, and data science is the nice bit of magic in the middle that can help put all of this information together to allow you to make smarter business decisions and get the most out of your available business resources.
By better tracking, visualising and understanding your business data will help make better INFORMED decisions about your business' future. Through data insights you might be able to pinpoint key areas for productivity improvements, market growth, or competitive advantage.
As I said before, most small business owners see data science as an overly expensive and unattainable business solution. This means that there is an opportunity to get ahead of your primary competitors. What we've found when dealing with small businesses looking for data solutions is that those who start thinking like a data-driven business, start shooting ahead of their competition.
In our experience dealing with small businesses, once we understand the business and identify the perfect solution for their challenges, positive ROI is the next item on the horizon. As mentioned previously, data science does not require a million dollar investment that is impossible for small businesses; and what's more is that it is a key detector of cost-saving opportunities. You could identify where there is revenue and expenditure leakage, workflow improvement opportunities, or pinpoint what key products and services are costing the business money rather than making profit!
You don't have to have all of the platforms and integrations in place for data science to work. The preparation and setup is all something that can be done by a vendor when looking to implement the right data solution for you. This would include the implementation of offline data into this model or solution. This is the chance for you to finally clean up those old and full filing cabinets!
Some of the data solutions that we think hold the most value and opportunity for small businesses are:
i) Reporting & Dashboards - By implementing custom data aggregation and reporting mechanisms, you can combine all of your business data into one meaningful and easy-to-understand dashboarding system. Setup your own Key Performance Indicators or business success metrics and use this tool to keep an eye on how the business is performing at all times across all areas.
ii) Resource Allocation & Optimisation - By understanding where to best invest your company time and money is so important for small businesses as there is usually less margin for error when working on a small budget. Leveraging data insights, you can identify when and where you should be allocating resources for the best results.
iii) Sales Forecasting - Forecasting is method of predicting future business trends in relation to sales output and market demand. Forecasting can map out what is driving different fluctuations in demand and offers a range of benefits. With forecasting you are able to refine processes such as: i) how many products you manufacture in certain times of the year, ii) how many staff you appointment on different days of the week, and iii) which marketing tactics to use to drive different service types. The crux of forecasting is that you can either cut time or costs by matching future supply and demand more accurately.
For understand more ways that your business could be using your data, get in touch with one of our team.
Our team of data experts are constantly helping clients by understanding and solving key business problems. Regardless of what data you are capturing, we can help to understand and add value to your business.