Why small and midsize businesses need more than just data to act in the moment

The challenges small and midsize businesses face on a daily basis are beyond anything seen before. Over the last five years, companies across all industries have been impacted by:

 

  • The rise of mobile devices and cloud-based applications that have fundamentally changed how firms interact with customers and manage operations
     
  • New market dynamics that emerge without warning and threaten to disrupt operations significantly and at a moment’s notice
     
  • Employees of all roles and decision-making authority who want access to information so they can positively impact overall business performance

 

To address these pressures and ensure growth and expansion, small and midsize businesses must be agile and highly responsive – all with a drive to act in the moment.

 

Although a data-driven mindset and analytics are crucial to achieving this state, they only matter if you use them to look into the future, uncover emerging trends, and predict where the company is heading. Then, you can act in the moment, make thoughtful decisions in an instant, and serve customers in the moment of need – all characteristics of a Live Business.

 

There’s never been a better time for small and midsize businesses to act in the moment

 

Access to data is better and easier than ever before. You don’t have to be a big, multinational brand to take advantage of the analytics technology that’s available today. Your approach to leveraging analytics can be incremental and the technology is more affordable than ever, which drives down your company’s investment risk and simplifies your technology complexity.

 

Thanks to cloud technology, analytics solutions that were once siloed are now merging to form a single, integrated solution. From one source, you can capture business intelligence, generate a report, plan for the future, predict outcomes, and visualize insights.

 

You don’t have to be a power user or a Ph.D. data scientist to get insight from your data.

 

Data discovery and exploration are so intuitive that you can drill down and interact with data in real-time to get deeper, more accurate insights into what’s happening in your business. And through predictive modeling, you can pinpoint trends, compare the effectiveness of potential scenarios, and predict the future to drive new business models.

 

With this level of access and speed, you have the information needed to make the right decisions – in real time. Very quickly, you can see how regional activities, customer behavior patterns, market volatility, and emerging risks can impact your operations in the here and now. And with the rising popularity of mobile apps, all of your business users can make these decisions anytime, anywhere.

 

The value of combining the strengths of a small and midsize business with analytics

 

Small and midsize businesses are famous at operating with greater agility and speed than their much larger counterparts. Now that technology is more affordable and right-sized, companies like yours can leverage the technology as a competitive advantage while they are in that agile state.

 

It doesn’t require big budgets, big teams, or big IT departments. If you think about it from a data analytics perspective, that’s a huge step forward in delivering the features and functions your business needs – right now.

 

This piece originally appeared in Digitalist Magazine by SAP. Check out their series on The Road to Live Business, here.

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