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Unleash the power of data and take control of your business growth

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In our modern and ever-changing business environment, taking a leap of faith in decision making is not always the best approach when developing growth strategies for your business. 

Harnessing the power of data and analytics will enable you to make more informed and strategic decisions about the direction of your business and its growth potential. 

Matt Sheppard, a Boost business adviser on the Growth Catalyst programme, offers a few pointers to consider when utilising data and analytical intelligence to help make better strategic decisions for your business.

Understand the role of data in your business

Think about the data you currently hold within your business and use this to make factual decisions rather than relying on gut feeling. This may include customer information, sales records, financial data, Google analytics, operational data, marketing reports and much more. Check any historic data or analysis which might identify trends within your business and potential future developments. 

Strategic decision making and risk mitigation

Having clearly defined business objectives which align with your data and analysis will help support these goals. A clear understanding of data and analysis can help mitigate risks within your business, shape strategic decisions and support contingency planning.

Analytics for actionable insights

Utilising data and analytics can support predictive modelling, machine learning for example, to uncover deeper insights. Real time data analytics can provide immediate insights and responsiveness.

Identify growth opportunities

  • Target, segment and personalise your sales and marketing strategies through your data.
  • Depending on the data you have access to, you may be able to execute competitor analysis and any areas of potential growth.

Optimise operations

  •  Data can be used to optimise inventory management, potentially reduce costs and enhance all business performance.
  • Implement automation based on your data insight where possible to streamline operations and processes.

Enhance customer experience

  • By leveraging customer data, you can provide personalised experiences, enhance customer satisfaction and improve brand loyalty.
  • Obtaining feedback from customers is essential for identifying areas for improvement and product/service development.

Training and understanding

  • Foster a culture where data driven activities and insights can develop a more effective and productive business.
  •  On-going training on the latest data trends, tools, and regulatory standards is essential in maintaining an effective data driven strategy.

Measure success

  • Clear and defined key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarking will help measure the success of your data-driven initiatives. 
  • Use the data to continuously learn and improve your business activities. 

The importance of data security and compliance and best data practice

It is important that you ensure your data is accurate, complete and reliable through effective data quality controls and governance. To do this, develop and process for continuously monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of your data and impact on strategy.

Data compliance and data protection regulations are essential in maintaining customer trust and avoiding legal issues. Protect sensitive data and ensure robust security measures when obtaining, storing and using data. 

In summary, business leaders who adopt a data driven approach to their strategic decision making can gain a competitive edge and support their journey to growth greatness.

About the contributor

Matthew Sheppard Growth Catalyst Scale to Thrive

Matt Sheppard has over 15 years’ experience as a business adviser working with a great many Lancashire-based SMEs to help them start and grow. His main areas of specialism include supporting businesses to adopt new processes, develop growth strategies and overcome their barriers to growth. 

If you’re looking to grow, scale or start your business, use Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. We offer a range of funded business support services. Call our Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057 to find out more or complete our enquiry form.

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