Entrepreneurs and startups are facing a world of opportunity, however they are also face significant challenges and an insurmountable amount of data. Surprisingly, statistics show that over 50 percent of startups in the United States do not survive more than four years. While there are many factors that can influence the success of a startup; an area that is becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes is business intelligence (BI). Today’s founders have access to a wide variety of tools that offer historical & predictive data analytics to spur better decision making.

The problem, of course, is whether founders are willing to take advantage of these resources. In reality, if you want to see success in 2020 or in the subsequent years, you need to start making business intelligence as a top priority.

Improve Your Time Management

Many startup founders are aware that there is vital information within their company data, but they are mistaken in thinking that they cannot afford supplementary software tools. They assume they can find time to look at the information on their own in order to discover insights. Unfortunately, these good intentions rarely translate into action. Fifty-six percent of small – medium businesses report they only perform data checks “rarely”; where only an additional percentage of these businesses have checked their data at all. When we look at the reasons behind the phenomenon, approximately 33 percent of respondents said that the reason they did not look at their data was because they were too busy with other tasks.

From marketing your product or service to overseeing financial data, there are many responsibilities that divert your attention. Finding data can take too long, preventing you from addressing another issue. By enabling BI tools to do the hard work of debugging data for you, you can work more efficiently.

Gain the Knowledge to Make Smarter Decisions

Business intelligence provides much more than just reporting data. These analytics tools are actively looking for connections between multiple data sources to help you discover the reasons behind certain trends and events. Not only can these tools offer insights, but many also offer predictive analytics – and even present practical solutions you can use to improve business operations.

Of course, to make good decisions you have to ask the right questions. Most companies have similar KPIs: increasing sales, expanding into more markets, improving operational efficiency and so on. The thing is, everyone is looking for the same things. Really unusual companies are often the ones that explain their KPIs based on a combination of macroeconomics, what is happening in their industry and identifying new KPIs that differentiate them from competitors.

In other words, you don’t just have to limit your use of business intelligence to sales. For example, in-depth analysis can help you determine which blog topics will attract readers to your site.

Your Competitors Are Using BI

What may be important to understand is that your competitors are already using these tools.

Major corporations are leading in the adoption of business intelligence. For example, Netflix uses business intelligence and AI tools to run its recommendation system. Amazon’s use of business intelligence is perhaps even more impressive. Amazon’s expected shipping model uses big data to predict which products you are likely to purchase, and when.

Business intelligence tools are becoming increasingly accessible to small businesses. If you do not use these tools to leverage your data, you can be sure that your competitors will use them to gain a competitive edge.

The ability to leverage data for intelligence and business planning may provide the insights to gain more customers, improve profit margins and build an accurate business plan for years to come.

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