the ability to better evidence their decision making, pinpoint areas to cut costs, and drive profits. Large international corporations have been taking advantage of the benefits business analytics provides for so long. However, this is a completely different story when it comes to Start Ups and SMEs. Figures from a recent poll found that 56% of SMEs rarely or infrequently check their business’s data, while 3% have never looked at it at all.
Data Analysis is a big advantage for Start Ups and SMEs as it actively promotes growth which is the prime objective for most. Business Analytics when used correctly will help uncover hidden opportunities, identify trends, patterns and problem areas. In the UK last year, there was over 650,000 new Start Ups which shows how vital it is for those companies to take risks in their quest for growth. Analysing the numbers can help to reduce against these risks, and ensure they will provide some ROI and not bring down the company.
All foundations for a Start Up’s success are built around their idea or product. Unfortunately figures show that up to 50% of Start Up’s cease trading after 5 years. Accepting these figures is never easy if you’re a founder of a Start Up, but your chances of survival can be increased if you’re willing to accept these numbers and take time in understanding the market, products, customers, and data analytics. Taking advantage of free tools such as Google Analytics is vital in the early stages as this will allow a company to look at engagement metrics and feedback from users.
The main reason behind Start Ups and SMEs not taking advantage of data analytics tools is commonly down to the cost. Another common reason is simply down to the fact that they are occupied by other tasks. It’s obviously not going to be feasible for any smaller business to bring in a whole data analysis team in like larger companies are able to do, but appreciating the value that data provides, and allocating time accordingly can you give you insightful information . Analytics can help benefit Start Ups and SMEs in 3 ways.
1. The Initial Stage:
At the beginning of your business journey you are still in the discovery mode. The analytics strategy you have in place should allow you to make sure that you are tracking your current activities against your goals. So, if you were testing whether customers will use services provided through your website, you should be tracking the following metrics: Visits, Unique number of visitors, engagement of visitors and final conversion.
2. The Growth Stage:
This is the period when analytics can now become a lot of fun and be the true driver of your strategy. Agility is the key here. Think, test, implement and analyse your ideas quickly to see what works and what does not. It’s a great way to test out your hypothesis before rolling it out, try out variations in processes/customer journeys; you will only be limited by your own intent and imagination at this stage.
3. The Matured Stage:
You should now be in a position where you are using analytics to prescribe actions rather than to justify them. You will use your analytical capabilities to create a competitive advantage over others who can’t extract knowledge from their data, or act as quickly upon it. Make sure you don’t get left behind as the power and benefits of using analytics is growing more and more each year.