Data is at the tip of everyone’s tongue right now, from multinational marketing experts to very small business owners. Why? Data is the key to understanding what customers want, what drives their decisions and how you can transform them from a lead to a loyal customer.
Small businesses are quickly beginning to realize the importance data has for them, in many different capacities. With that comes the need for the right tools and resources to manage said data. According to research conducted by Saffron Technologies and cited by Forbes, 59% of organizations say they don’t have the tools to manage data from their IT systems.
Below are some of the most essential tips to help small businesses get in on the value of data, in a way that’s attainable and realistic.
Choose a Business Analytics Platform
If you’re going to collect data but you’re not able to analyze it, it’s really of no use. That’s why a good analytics platform is essential. With a strong business analytics tool, you can take large amounts of data and turn it into something that doesn’t just make sense but is also actionable. Many of today’s data analytics tools are increasingly growing in capabilities including memory and processing power. One good option is Pentaho, which is a big data platform that simplifies how information is absorbed from original sources.
Outsource Your Data Management
It may be worthwhile for small and even mid-sized businesses to explore the possibility of outsourcing data management tasks. If you look outside of your organization for a professional data management expert you’re going to get the advantage of learning about leading-edge technology, you’ll likely find more efficient means of storage and management, and you’ll probably also get a heads-up when it comes to analysis and research.
Make Security a Top Priority
This is a place a lot of small and even big businesses are struggling. Security should absolutely be one of your utmost priorities when you’re dealing with data management. Look for the most secure data management platforms possible, and don’t just consider external threats. It’s also important to keep possible internal threats in mind when designing data security strategies. Companies like Firmex offer great options for certain data storage and sharing tasks through their Virtual Data Rooms and Document Sharing. In terms of internal threats, products like these can be a good idea because they reduce the likelihood of problems arising from the use of removable media and USB drives.
Know What’s Critical
When you’re a small business it can be enough of an undertaking to start dealing with big data, so make it as easy as you can for yourself, while also ensuring you’re deriving the maximum amount of value you can from your data. One of the best ways to do that is to have a clear idea of what your critical data is, and put your focus there. When you first decide on your key data, try to base it on similar criteria to what you use to segment your customers or your targeted audience.
As small businesses gain a competitive advantage thanks to the accessibility of big data, it’s also necessary they begin looking at how they maximize and protect their data management strategies.