4 Tips on Handling Data for Middle-Sized Businesses
What is data and why is it important for business?
Data is a name for a collection of facts i.e. figures, words, personal details, etc. Collecting data is vital for any organization, no matter how big or small it is. However, there is no point in recording data if it will not be further analyzed or otherwise handled.
Data turns into an information only after it is thoroughly examined to add meaning, understand its purpose, relevance to the organization and how it can be used to improve or expand the business.
For instance, the analysis of customers’ preferences will allow to present them with appropriate offers or special deals, while the study of daily sales will give a business owner an opportunity to track the patterns of purchases i.e. the busiest shopping days or the most selling items.
The ability to analyze and act on the collected data is a must for any business from local corner shops to big worldwide enterprises. Likes, dislikes, demands, trends – all of it changes so fast that without proper data management businesses will not be able to compete in a global marketplace. Moreover, apart from taking action, data is important for decision making and strategy building. Managers have to deal with analyzing the prospective and roughly estimate where the company is heading to.
Today, for this purpose businesses choose SAS Analytics, as it gives the opportunity to process a big amount of data, present it in graphs, tables/charts, show statistics and develop business models. Thus, it does not mean that you should go and buy this software product. Before rushing into another hasty decision, let us give you a piece of advice on how to handle data volumes and improve your business with their help.
Tip #1 Discover YOUR Data
Map the sources and systems of data that are important for your business. Use data management tools like SAS Analytics to filter and access it easier. SAS is going to help you understand the accumulated facts and figures, and turn them into useful information that can be applied.
Tip #2 Examine the data source
When you are collecting data it’s not okay to store just everything and anything. Identify the type of data that is needed for your business and try to think of ways to collect it. It can be given by your customers themselves i.e. personal information: age, gender, preferences, etc. gathered through online surveys, and so on.
Keep in mind that you will not have time for repeated processions and double checking the source. Ensure your enterprise has mechanisms to identify duplicate processes and data sources so that you work only with relevant data.
Tip #3 Predict data usage
Before getting down to data analyzing, you have to determine how you will apply it for your business and future development. Characterize the sources and types of data by whether it is useful or not. It’d not hurt to work out a standard of practice for incoming new sources to ease the following data analysis and reporting.
Tip #4 Come up with a strategy
According to the Vice President of SAS Business Consulting and Data Management, the strategy is necessary to ensure that data positioning allows to be easily used, moved and shared within the company. A solid strategy is going to control the means of data usage, acquisition, and distribution. This way you will avoid the abuse or leakage of any personal data, as it will be controlled.
How mid-size business generate value from data
There is no doubt that data has a great value for any organization of any size. However, to get a business value out of data you have to consider the parameters of its use, who is going to access it, how do they access it, and determine clear boundaries of what this data means for your organization. Do your business have time restrictions around how much time you can spend on exploring a particular data set? Do you have the budget to manage data properly, especially if it is a small business we are talking about?
At the same time, you have to know when to stop and reflect on whether you have crossed the boundaries of what your company can and is willing to commit to explore further.
Never be afraid to take a look at what you are doing and take a shift into other direction. Working with data is also about trying and finding new sources and new opportunities.
Summing up, data is like air for business. Without proper analysis of your business, customers, revenues, sales volumes, trends and patterns of sales, etc. there will be nothing to rely on while in building plans and strategies of development no matter what industry we are talking about.
Take the data science seriously and rely on its power. Once you embrace it and apply data analysis in your company, you will have a great opportunity to surprise your prospective customers and predict their needs while increasing sales and strengthening your company’s reputation.