There is no shortage of things to do when it comes to owning, managing, and growing a business. Fortunately, what it means to be a business owner has drastically changed in the past few decades thanks to a wealth of data available to every one of us that can be used to enhance profits, grow customer bases, and help your employees work more efficiently. To a business owner, the modern wealth of data can be an empowering tool that can determine how successful of a month you are going to have.
On its own, however, data is somewhat ambiguous and not terribly helpful. Without a database management platform, the data your company collects is rather limited in how it can help you. With an online database, your data can be visualized, viewed, and processed into information which can be used to guide your decisions.
Are you making routine sales or seeing a fluctuation of clients or customers? Individual responses from customers and clients can help provide answers to immediate problems, but finding trends in data from responses can go a long way to helping you determine what needs to happen to your business in the future. Data provides information, and the information allows you to plan for the type of future you want your company to have.
Consider the types of data your company routinely produces. It might be information collected by your sales representatives, receipts from product sales, the number of customers who visit your storefronts or your website, the time it takes to deliver the product to the customer, or the number of returns which are processed. Any activity that happens within your business could potentially be valuable data.
Depending on the volume of data you are collecting or creating, it may be worth assessing how the information is collected. Having a healthy inward flow of data seems helpful until you realize that the information is incompatible with your online database system. If you use Microsoft Excel for any part of your business, exporting information as a CSV sheet can go a long way to making sure your data is clean and useful.
What answers do you need to move your business forward? Sometimes viewing the data in a graph can reveal trends in your business that you may not have known before - like how long clients typically stay with your company, or which products sell well in specific regions - other times, the information can be hard to read without a specific question in mind. Do more sales happen at particular hours of the day? Where do visitors to your website live?
Having a set of questions on hand can be very beneficial to discovering the type of value you can get from your data. Between your immediate needs, your future goals, and the types of data your company produces, having an online database tool at your disposal could be the difference between having a good business model, and a great one.
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