Every small business has a different success formula. For the hot dog merchant in the street, success is about keeping a friendly face even when the temperatures drop down and counting on the yummy smell of warm food to attract clients. For the hairdresser, success is recognition for his artistic haircuts and loyal clients who are queuing for his magic scissors. For the school teacher, success is her students passing their exams and moving up to the next class. Success, to put it simply, can take a lot of different faces, depending on the kind of sector you’re in. For office businesses, success is not something you measure as easily as a school teacher marking copies or a hot dog merchant selling food on the street. Success is measured by a series of metrics that can indicate whether or not the business is moving in the right direction. Why metrics instead of simple facts? Because data can drive a business growth.
Data-driven is success-bound
More and more businesses require implementing data collecting and monitoring tools in order to provide their management teams with the knowledge they require to make better decisions. The science behind data-driven decision making values decisions that are backed up by information, aka by verified and analyzed data. According to the MIT Sloan School of Management, companies that are data-driven achieve higher productivity and profits than average. As they perceive information as an asset, they can identify risks and opportunities faster and more effectively than others. However, while nobody questions the importance of data, it can be difficult for a lot of managers to let go of ego issues and rely on information rather than personal intuition to approach business decisions.
Focus on the commercial metrics
When it comes to data, the main question that businesses need to ask is: Which is relevant and which isn’t? For instance, it’s not uncommon for digital marketing specialists to work with data, as online information is already made available via their standard tools. Social media experts will naturally be looking at the number of followers and likes. Content managers focus on the number of visitors that their pages receive. This information is perceived as an indication of success. However, a small marketing agency, King Kong, has introduced a disruptive data analysis that compares the monetary value of each piece of information. By asking how data can be used to make money, the agency has established a conversion-focused approach to all their online activities. The result? Only valuable activities are pursued.
Monitor management quality with the right data
Commercial metrics need to be a core data target in a business, as, after all, a business that makes money is a successful enterprise. But they aren’t the only metric of interest to monitor the health of a company. Qualitative metrics about employee satisfaction and management results are equally essential. Employees being the most important asset of a company, it’s crucial that they feel at ease with the managers. Using internal surveys to monitor risk-taking attitudes and inspirational management styles throughout the company can provide valuable insights.
Without data, a business is blind. It’s the ability to recognize opportunities, both commercial and managerial, that can establish a path to success.