Large global enterprises have long been exploiting the benefits of business analytics. For startups and SMEs, however, it’s a different story. Recent research from One Poll found that 56% of SMEs rarely or infrequently check their business’s data, while 3% have never looked at it at all.
The advantages of data analytics to enterprises of all sizes are well documented. It has already had a profound impact on organizations’ ability to better evidence their decision making, pinpoint areas to cut costs, and drive profits. For startups and SMEs, the fundamental advantage is that it enables growth, which is the prime directive for most. Business analytics can uncover hidden opportunities, identify trends and patterns, problem areas and successes, that may have been people may not be able to ascertain. In the quest for growth, it is also vital that startups take risks. Looking at the numbers can help greatly mitigate against these risks, and ensure they will provide some ROI and not bring down the company.
The foundation of a startup’s success is the idea. Every startup founder thinks they’ve got a good idea, but the sad truth is that the majority don’t, which is why so many fail. Realizing this is never easy though, and it is only through extensive market research that you can gauge whether the consumer demand is there to make the whole project worthwhile. Startups first need to understand their markets, products, and customers, and data analytics. In the early stages, it is vital to look at engagement metrics and feedback from users. This can be done using free tools like Google Analytics.
There are a number of other advantages to analytics. Startup launches no longer attract the same press attention they once did, with tech journalists now far more focused on stories around growth and success. It is important to check all such metrics and make them readily available to the media. It is also useful to show them to staff so they know they are making progress, in order to keep them motivated.
The main reason that startups and SMEs are not using data analytics tools more is the prohibitive costs.