Why every growing small business needs a data strategy

15 February 2019 by Mark Williams

Did you know that 20 percent of businesses fail in the first year?

And even if you survive, it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, 50 percent of businesses fail within five years and a staggering 70 percent fail before reaching their tenth.

So how do you keep the wolf from your door and ensure your small business grows?

In 2019, having a data-strategy is vital for business growth. From increased security to reduced costs – data strategy strengthens your business across multiple domains. With the right strategy, your business will gain a competitive advantage through its use of data. In the words of Dwayne Gefferie, VP of business intelligence at Checkout.com:

‘A data strategy ensures that data is managed and used as an asset and not simply as a by-product of the application.’

Wouldn’t it be great to use data to drive business growth?

Read on to discover the key benefits of having a data strategy and how it can help your business grow.

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1. Collaboration and transparency

A data strategy enables a business to make data useful for everyone by improving collaboration and transparency. One of the best ways to achieve this is in the cloud.

Having useful data available boosts collaboration and productivity because employees have everything they need at their fingertips. A data strategy enables this because you can choose to monitor the information you know is of benefit to your business. Businesses that embrace data will see a 339 billion pound benefit compared to those who don’t.

An example of this is a data strategy that uses cloud-based HR software to enable employees to access their data and log expenses. This saves the business time and empowers employees by giving them the access to the data they need.

A data strategy that takes advantage of the cloud is typical of high-performing businesses. Worldwide, companies are using the cloud to supercharge their data strategy. And business leaders understand the necessity of data: 65 percent of decision makers believe using big data is necessary to remain competitive.

2. Security

‘It is vital any organisation factor data ownership, privacy and security issues into their data strategy.’ according to Bernard Marr & Co

In 2017, the number of data breaches increased 88 percent worldwide. As a result, data security should be a priority for every business in 2018.

When there’s a clear strategy for all company data, it is easier to control, manage, and secure company data. This ensures your growth isn’t interrupted by potentially devastating fines from breaching GDPR.

3. Data to drive business decisions

A good data strategy drives financial success because it facilitates goal setting, planning, and day-to-day management of the business. As the management innovator Peter Drucker once said, ‘What gets measured, gets managed’.

Data on company investments is an important part of any data strategy. It enables your business to align with definite goals. As Dwayne Gefferie argues:

‘A data strategy ensures that the goals and objectives to use data effectively and efficiently are aligned.’

For example, the goal to double sales through Facebook advertising is clear and can be tracked via Facebook ad data. A data-strategy that ensures the data on marketing ROI is always available empowers decision-makers to allocate resources effectively and drive business growth.

Supercharge small business growth – get a data strategy

Data strategy is a powerful tool for small businesses. Bernard Marr puts it well:

“If companies want to avoid drowning in data, they need to develop a smart strategy that focuses on the data they really need to achieve their goals.”

The benefits of data strategy will ensure your small business develops the competitive-edge that fosters long-term business growth.

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