Everyone is talking about it, using it, manipulating it, but just how important is it?
Your data should be driving and ruling everything you do as your business grows. Yes, a scale up is about innovation and intuition, and admittedly that is probably how the business started: with a single great idea. But as soon as you begin testing your idea with an MVP, you’re collecting data, and your business will begin to graduate from the school of intuition to the world of informed decisions. This is where true success begins, and here are five key points to help you along your way.
If you’re in a scale up, the chances are that the growth and success of the business have come from a single idea. It may have been based on instinct, but now it has grown on data. Well analysed and organised data can provide your business with an indisputable insight into what your customers – or users – are looking for in your offerings. Take the time to set up accurate and organised reporting for your business and make the numbers and insights accessible to everyone who needs them. This will ensure that the business pushes forward in the right direction and stays on track, instead of remaining instinct based and everyone going down different tracks. For help or information setting up your reporting, check out the Google Data Studio blog.
Personal opinions and views can become great problem statements or theories for innovation. But for these ideas to become successes, they need data to prove that there is a market or demand for the solution. This isn’t nearly as difficult as it may sound. Once you have defined the problem and decided what you are looking to answer, you can then begin to develop plans to collect the relevant data. Running different ad sets through social media is a good place to start. This will give you quick and cheap answers from which your scale up can develop and refine the solution.
Knowing your customer is perhaps the MOST important aspect of a business. While you may never know them on a personal level, clever use of data can create the perception that you know them well, and can help consumers to develop stronger connections and loyalty to your brand. Tracking individual consumer visit to your website, and what they do when visiting, will give you the information you need to personalise the experience for them over time, so that what consumer A sees when looking at your products is different to consumer B. The same translates into your EDMs. You’re not going to sell a dress and heels to a male lumberjack (don’t argue that one, it won’t work). So tracking what each consumer is looking at when they visit the site, and then translating that into personalised email offerings is just another way of connecting with them at a more personal level. You can even perform very simple sleight of hand activities such as an annual discount on a consumers birthday. Data can open a door of opportunity when it comes to enriching the connection they feel to your brand, and the value they place in the relationship.
The bigger a business gets, the harder it becomes for the different teams to have visibility into what one another are doing. Data can help to bridge this gap before it develops. Developing a company-wide dashboard to visualise and show how different departments are contributing to the overarching success of the business can help keep the business connected and motivated. This can be backed up with monthly internal emails that round up the top successes for each team throughout the month.
Finally, tracking data will allow you to quantify your successes and understand your failings. You can track and measure and learn from what you have done in the past and use these learnings to steer your future.
In the digital age, data is the key to success, and this even comes down to hiring the right teams and the data involved in running a successful business internally. Basically, data is everywhere.