How to make your data work for you



How to make your data work for you

How to utilise your data and move your business forward

How to make your data work for you

Every year we create more and more data. In fact, it’s expected that by 2020 there will be 44 zettabytes of data. If you’re not sure how much a zettabyte is, that’s 44 trillion gigabytes of data in the world.

It’s no surprise then that businesses are itching to put it to use. For years enterprises have been using ‘big data’ to grow and scale their businesses, and now with the advent of cloud technology, that data is accessible for SMEs.

So how can you get a piece of the data-driven action?

The truth is, you don’t need masses of amounts of data to become data driven. Any data that you have can be useful in making informed decisions, it’s all about how you use it.

Identify your business objectives

Being data-driven means using data to make decisions that are going to grow your business. So, first of all, we need to identify what ‘growing’ means to your business. This could be anything from increasing your revenue or your brand awareness and so on.

Choose the right KPIs to measure

Based on your business objectives, you need to choose the right Key Performance Indicators that will measure how successful you’ve been in achieving it. Ignore vanity metrics, and those that would be ‘good to know’, we only want to know those that have a direct impact your business goal.

A clear data strategy

While it may sound complicated, in truth it can be as simple or complex as you’d like. A data strategy is all about having a clear plan around the management and usage of any data that you collect.

How you collect it, and which tools you use are important, these will impact how accurate and consistent your data is. Having accurate data is imperative – inaccurate information will lead your business down the wrong path.

Once you have these three elements down to a T, you’ll need to focus on making data a part of you and your team’s everyday routine. A simple way to do this is whenever you make a decision, make sure you have metrics behind it to support it.

You might already be using data within your business, but what makes a data-driven business is the way they manage and use it. Using these simple steps, there’s no excuse for SMEs to not be able to compete with the big guys when it comes to data.

Sarah Hewitson is the Community and Marketing Manager at neatly.io. Neatly.io is an all in one business dashboard helping SMEs get better access to their data so that they can make more informed decisions.