“Data is the new oil. Like oil, data is valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used.”
- Clive Humbly
Data is the arbiter of our modern lives.
Data tells us where the nearest Thai restaurant is, data reminds us of the anniversary that keeps our marriage afloat. Data allows us to communicate with the kids that are thousands of miles away instantly and in High Definition. Data not only helps us make decisions sometimes it makes them for us. This may have a slight dystopian tinge, however when you are running a business, organization or an institution, data is a much more reliable decision maker than us humans. Data replaces the fallibility of emotional decision making with extreme logical precision. Data may not tell you who you should love, but data should tell you when it’s time to re-stock on inventory and when it’s time to offer that new product your business has been waiting to launch.
Data helps you make informed and mathematically accurate decisions when running your business and this pays major dividends while running a complex system that is your business. Every decision that can be made for you using data is one less decision that takes your time and energy away from the decisions that truly matter.
Integrating data into your organization has a plethora of applications, throughout the rest of this blog we will allude to practical applications of data in small and medium sized organizations.
Deeply understand your customers in ways that have never been possible in the past.
Data helps understand who your customers really are and what they need from you as a product or service provider. Deep understanding of your customers allows for the integration of personal customer experiences for pennies that were too costly in the past. This personalization retains customers as they feel that the relationship is real unlike the majority of sterile interactions customers are used to. Personalization fosters long-term relationships with your customers or those you are serving and enables the organic growth of communities around your organizations values.
Not only does data allow you to deeply understand your customer, it also allows your organization to understand what is happening around you. This means keeping a pulse on the completion data allows you to understand the direction your competitors are headed keeping you with an awareness of your industry learning what to do and what not to do.
“Data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it well, the Samurai” - Jonathan Rosenberg, adviser to Larry Page and former SVP of products at Google
Data is not marketing specific. Data can Increase holistic efficiency throughout your organization allowing for instant accessible communication between intertwined operations of your business, like marketing, logistics and finance. This ability to eliminate operational silos decreases guess work and increases confidence in business decisions as results are instantaneous through the acquisition of real-time data.
This integration not only increases ability and confidence to make fast-paced decisions it also saves exponential amounts of time, equating to huge savings allowing for a cost-competitive advantage to other businesses or organizations within your industry.
Data greatly enhances information gathering that can be used to create and ideate new products and services increasing revenue streams and further expanding your enterprise, data can also aid with the recruitment of talent needed for the introduction of these new products and services.
Not only does data allow instant potential returns data helps us understand trends and future potential income streams as well as forecasting possible risks that may be detrimental to the operation of your organization, including preventing fraud and other malfeasance by understanding your businesses operations on a microcosmic level without the burden of increased costs.
With data your business can have its own gold mine, through access to proprietary information based off your unique organization this creates an opportunity to have valuable information that may not exist in any other businesses repertoire allowing for immense leverage within your niche.
Do not work for your data, let your data work for you.