Running a business of your own? You’re going to have to familiarise yourself with your business’ data. Sure, you can get by without looking at your data, but you won’t have a clue how your business is performing. You will also make decisions without confidence, as you won’t be basing them on anything other than intuition or whims. Now, data is pretty complex and can get confusing and overwhelming quickly. So, we’ve created a short guide on data basics for business owners. Take a look through – it should come in useful.
What is Data?
Let’s start out by considering what data actually is. This is a term that we throw about a lot, but few people actually understand what data is or what it can do for their business. Put simply, business data is any piece of information that your business generates or takes. Numbers, figures and measurements are common forms of data. This may sound basic, but when you consider the sheer amount of information and and manufacturing monitoring your business creates and takes on a daily basis, data is actually a major factor in your business’ success.
Why Data is important?
So, why is data important? Well, data can help you to make informed decisions. Let’s take a look at engagement or interaction data as an example. All businesses want customers to interact with them, showing them what they’re interested in and what they’re not. This can help you to determine which products to continue selling, which to discontinue, which to alter and more. If you operate a brick and mortar store, you can track how many people enter and exit with machines that track people passing certain checkpoints and store the data for you to read over. When you run an online store, you can track what pages people visit, where they came from to reach the page, which parts of the page they spend time on, which parts of the page they scroll straight past or never scroll to… the list goes on. You can also track data regarding sales, as this will help you to monitor your company’s success and profits, allowing you to determine what steps you need to take to experience further success in the future or identify problem areas that need to be resolved. In short, data is essential to making informed decisions at all times.
You need to make sure that you’re getting permission to take data from people, as well as ensuring that you are storing their data correctly. Data can contain sensitive and personal information, so it’s important that you don’t let it get into the wrong hands. Cybercriminals can use data to cause all sorts of trouble, from identity theft to fraud and financial theft. This is why there are such strict data protection laws in so many countries around the world. But how do you go about storing your data correctly? The first step you need to take is looking into data protection rules in the country your business is based and operates. It’s also essential that you back your data up. This ensures that you won’t lose any important data down the line. Look into Barracuda backup for further information.
As time goes on, your business will find itself managing and storing a huge amount of data. This can be hard to keep on top of. You may also find that you don’t have confidence in analysing business data and making decisions based on your findings. In situations like this, you should consider creating a BI department in your workplace. BI stands for “business intelligence”. Individuals working in BI are data experts and combine their skills and knowledge in business analytics, data mining, data visualisation, data tools and infrastructure to help your business come up with a set of data best practices, as well as helping you to make more data-driven decisions on a daily basis. You’ll probably find that your BI department and your marketing department will collaborate heavily to create campaigns that keep people coming back to your store and spending more money with you. There are plenty of good BI workers out there, so use a recruitment agency to get in touch with the best of the best and bring them into your team.
These are just the beginnings when it comes to business data and its management. However, some of the information outlined above should help to get your data journey started off in the right direction.