IT Corner: What Every Business Owner Should Be Asking About Their Data
John Clark, Advanced Business Solutions
Using data to make more informed business decisions is a no-brainer – especially for businesses that already have this data at their disposal.
The challenge is that many businesses have this data, they just don’t have a simple way to collect and interpret it. And, without this, they face a major roadblock on their path towards the informed business decisions they want to make.
Beyond the major benefit of more informed business decision-making that it provides, data is also on the verge of “trending”. Advancements in data technology are around the corner and, once that happens, any business that is behind the trend will be quickly passed by as their competitors surge forward on the wave of business intelligence. These factors bring an urgency to the collection and interpretation of data for businesses both large and small.
Common Roadblocks to Data-Informed Business Decisions
When we start talking about data, two of the first reactions we notice are eagerness and frustration. Business leaders aren’t blind to the critical nature of unlocking their data. They are fully aware of the potential benefits that can come from this. The frustration we observe is from a few common roadblocks that every business is familiar with.
Common roadblocks we see in businesses who have trouble unlocking their data are:
- They don’t know what they have
- Their data is spread across multiple systems
- They don’t have a data or reporting team/their data or reporting team is overwhelmed
- They don’t know where to start
- They do know where to start, but the process from start to finish seems overwhelming
- They know that data matters, but they don’t
When it comes to data, you have to start somewhere. Many businesses are surprised to learn that they’re further along in their data journey than they thought.
As businesses, we collect data – more data than we realize! The problem is that there is no infrastructure in place for that data to be distilled. Additionally, data is often stored in multiple locations or systems, providing pieces of information, but not giving a full picture. When this is the case, your data might as well be locked away – it’s inaccessible. The thing is, the power that unlocking data can bring to a business and to business leaders is endless. By bringing data together and making it more accessible/easier to interpret, businesses gain endless possibilities – and even instant ROI.
In fact, we have found that unlocking data for businesses can impact bottom lines simply by leveraging data that has already been captured.
Steps Every Business Must Take on the Path to Unlocking Their Data
It’s never too late to begin your data journey.
As we said before, you probably aren’t aware of how much data you already collect on a regular basis.
Once you identify and locate your data sources, it’s simply a matter of gathering that data into one “spot” and building an infrastructure that will provide you with the data insights you need to make better business decisions on a daily basis. From here, your data journey can begin. As your data matures, so will your business insights and, alongside it all, your business.
Whether you choose to take these steps on your own or reach out to a team of experts is up to you – it’s a matter of understanding the challenges and roadblocks you will face, anticipating the time and abilities needed to complete the initial steps, and having a vision for how you’d like to see your data journey mature in the years to come!
Listen to the latest Innovator’s Podcast from Flyover Future to hear a little about how we’re serving our customers through our data services and how we see data influencing business growth both now and in the future.