Collecting data has always been part of the daily business process. Not too long ago, businesses didn’t do much with the information gathered. But with the rise of technology, collecting and making use of this data have considerably become more efficient.
Today, data is used to enhance business processes and make companies more competitive in the market. And this isn’t limited to big corporations only; even small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) can now afford to use data to their advantage.
The importance of data
There are many kinds of data at your disposal: contact information of your customers and partners, customer reviews, buyer profiles, purchase decision hierarchy, even the reasons why customers leave your business are just a few examples. These types of data give you insights that help you:
- Make better decisions — You’ll be able to find new customers, improve customer service, retain more customers, create better marketing strategies, and predict sales trends.
- Solve problems — You’ll need data that you can review and track to be able to determine the cause/s behind your problem.
- Monitor performance of your company — Collecting data can help show you how individuals and teams are performing in terms of marketing, customer service, sales, shipping, etc.
- Improve your processes — Data provides hard evidence that helps you pinpoint where you’re wasting time, effort, and money. For example, by analyzing how your different marketing channels are performing, you can see which ones offer a profitable return on investment (ROI). You can then focus your energies and resources on them.
- Understand your market and your customers — Data can tell you exactly who your customers are, what they like about your product, which marketing efforts are effective, how much money your customers are willing to spend for your product, and so much more. The more you understand your target market, the easier it is to connect with them.
The need for data strategy
Data strategy is how a company plans to collect, store, manage, share, and use data in the most efficient way, so as to achieve the company’s high-level goals. Because every business is unique, every data strategy will be different. But the goal of every strategy remains the same: figuring out how data can best help a company meet its business objectives.
Want to manage your data with thoughtful purpose? Then ask yourself these five questions to help you come up with your data strategy:
- What’s the role of data in your business strategy? Your data strategy should align with your business strategy. Be clear about your business goals first so you can figure out how data will help you achieve those goals.
- What data do you have? Take stock of the data you have. There are enterprise content management solutions that can identify the data you accumulate so you’ll know if you are getting what you need or not.
- How do you store and protect your data? This is a question that’s best addressed to the IT experts in your company or to your managed IT services provider (MSP) like Online Computers, if you’re partnered with one. They will be able to recommend what kind of security solutions you need, how much of your data you should migrate to the cloud, and other pertinent concerns.
- How can people access your data? You need an application that allows everyone in your organization to access and use your information securely. That way, your company is able to maximize the data you have.
- How do you make sense of your data? Data analysis will provide you with insights that will help you make well-informed business decisions.
Nowadays, data is as much an important asset of an organization as its people. Companies, especially SMBs, will do well to take advantage of the information they have. If you don’t, you’ll find your business falling behind by the wayside.
Data-driven decisions are the new standard in business. If you want your SMB to stay ahead of your competition, then partner with us. Our IT experts will make sure you’ll be able to maximize your data and propel your business to success. If your company is located in or around Hanover, Morristown, and Madison, then you should get in touch with us. At Online Computers, we provide intelligent IT solutions with a devoted service touch.
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