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Most small business owners feel that Data Science is for large corporations or bigger businesses. It’s a tool that can only help big businesses and the investment is not really worth the ROI for small businesses. This was true a couple of years back, but not in 2019.

Investment? In 2019, there are a lot of open-source tools and technologies, as well as data experts that are working towards Data Science for SMBs and MSMEs. You no more have to invest in a tool like SAP or Oracle or spend a lot of money paying software developers to create a custom tool for yourself. As a Small Business owner, you can get a Data Science expert to customize a low priced or open-source tool for you to ensure you get the correct insights and alerts from your data. So, your cost includes the cost of hiring a consultant, a few dollars per month for tools or hosting services (if using an open-source tool), and time investment from you and your key members. But, do you really need Data Science? Let’s answer that question now.

Do you need Data Science? You need Data Science if you are collecting a lot of data. Why? Because having a lot of data that is never looked upon or utilized for decision-making is close to having no data. The world collected 90% of its data in the last 2 years, and over 80% of the data is never used/analyzed — called “Dark Data”. This is likely to grow to 93% by 2020. But, do you really collect data or have any data for analysis? You do. Your accounting software, your ERP software, your sales CRM, your Excel sheets for tracking business operations, etc. all are data sources that are possibly currently not being anlayzed properly. So, you and your employees are putting a lot of effort into collecting this data, but not really analyzing it to understand business needs.

How can Data help your business?

Data can bring transparency to your entire business. If you are recording data for all your processes, customers, suppliers, etc. You can make effective decisions quickly. You won’t have to depend on hearsay or intelligence of a few employees, but can rely on hard facts to answer business questions:

Should I drop this customer? Is this customer giving us enough business?
Which supplier will give me enough cash flow?
Will I meet my sales target this month?

All of this becomes incredibly hard to answer if your business is growing. It’s easier when you have a team of 50-60 people. But, as you become a business which has 200+ people, knowing whether people are performing and meeting their targets, whether customers are buying enough or making payments on time, etc. becomes extremely difficult. And, while you can meet your Sales lead and employees – you can’t humanly talk to everyone to run the business. That’s where data comes in.

Data can help automate regular business processes and ensure that all business is being carried out as per your norms. It will ensure that a Salesperson is reminded, along with his manager, to follow up with a customer. You can automate invoice payment reminders from your system. You can understand which products are selling more and which products are stocking up. You can know whether our machines are being optimally used or not. You can set up low-cost systems that can gather relevant data, generate automatic reports for you, and send alerts about your business, as you need them.

Still not sure whether data will help your business? Book our FREE consultation, and we will guide you.

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