Data. It might sound complex, scary and like something you need an MBA to interpret. But your business is generating data all the time. ‘Raw data’ is simply the figures your business is producing from your everyday business actions.
When you add context and objectives to this data and it becomes information. Knowledge is the understanding and interpretation of the relationships and meanings among various pieces of information.
Data, information and knowledge provide the metrics you need to test a new idea before you take action. Maybe you’ve always relied on your intuition to help you take the next steps. It’s easy to get so bogged down in the hard graft of your business, that it’s hard to work on growing it strategically. Still, even if you’ve always run on a trial-and-error approach, your metrics are your secret door to learning from your mistakes, replicating your successes and scaling up fast.
What’s the key to unlocking the power of metrics and data? Your business apps.
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You’re probably already using mobile business apps – for everything from accounting to marketing to project management – without thinking about it too much. Those apps can work even harder to give you the insights you need to run and grow your company. Success lies in knowing which information is important and how to use it to guide your decisions.
Let’s consider some of the areas where using apps and their data effectively will help you innovate, keep customers happy, save money and grow your startup:
- New product development
- Customer service
- Order fulfilment
- Supplier relationships
- Repeat business
- Targeted marketing
- Money peaks and troughs
While each of your business apps is valuable in its own right, a clear view of the big picture helps you use your apps in the decision-making process. It’s much better if you can see all the important details from across your business in one place, rather than jumping between apps and trying to piece together fragments of information.
Work your apps harder
It’s possible to see significant ROI by collating your data and therefore making it more useful. The simplest way to do this is to use an aggregator to pull information into a data dashboard from your other business apps that you use for your sales, marketing, HR, inventory, money and more.
Pulling your data together in one place lets you make more sense of your metrics, and provides a big picture view of business performance. Your business actions in your favourite apps creates this data. Now you can use (and easily understand) the data you’re generating to grow! Being able to track data and analyse information against your business KPIs means you can respond strategically to demands from customers and trends, or make proactive changes to support future growth – and help you get there faster.