Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Insights made up from data in our businesses are essential for informed decision-making. We use insights to improve business performance, deliver increased customer value, increase market share, and embed a culture of continual improvement.
Data is everywhere. Big data, small data, external data, observational data, experimental data...the different types of data we’re exposed to in business are growing exponentially. The ideas behind big data and data-driven decision-making aren’t new. They have been around for some time now. What’s becoming more commonplace is how small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are collecting, accessing, and using this data. With the growing use of digital software and tools in SMEs, businesses can leverage digital insights almost instantly and embrace the power of data-driven business decision-making.
“With the growing use of digital software and tools in SMEs, businesses can leverage digital insights almost instantly and embrace the power of data-driven business decision-making.”
So what is digitisation?
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business. It results in fundamental changes to the way a business operates. Embedding digital tools in your business empowers the ability to track metrics and analyse the data that is gained during end-to-end business processes. Systems, processes, workflow, and culture are all evaluated. This transformation affects each level of an organisation and brings together data across areas to work together more effectively. Having the correct digital tools that work together can streamline workflow and improve productivity. By automating many manual tasks and integrating data throughout the organisation, it empowers team members to work more efficiently.
It is to your advantage as a business owner to take the data collected in your digital systems and turn this into useful information for making decisions. From finance to planning, job management, and stock control to full end-to-end processes, there are a plethora of software that can deliver results and insights into your business. Three examples of different ways data can be used when systems are in place are shared below.
Example One When a Job Management System is utilised businesses can run reports to understand their jobs, schedules, and financial details in one place. There is one central online source of truth where no information is missed. Data is used by business owners to determine resource requirements (labour and materials) and make forward planning more efficient. During COVID-19 alert level changes it is crucial to make decisions quickly and use data available to understand upcoming jobs to organise accordingly.
Example Two When a business uses a Website and Online Marketing Platform, they have access to information such as website visitors and online mail opens. Capturing data about what was looked at, products searched, how long the visitor was on the page, and yes even location. This provides business owners intel to use when making decisions around what marketing is working, what is resonating with customers and popular products/services searched for to focus production in the right area.
Example Three An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System is a large central business system that can perform several core business functions such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), production, operations, stock control, supply chain, project management, and financial. For one sales order using the data in an ERP system, you can track from quote to sale processing to ordering products to fulfill the order. From here inward goods and stock management is recorded, leading on to manufacturing the product and consolidating the order. Finally, the delivery of the product to the client is fulfilled, along with payment options and invoice documents, with post-purchase feedback captured from the client. At any point in this process, the stages for all orders in progress can be tracked. Business owners can use the data captured to understand upcoming stock requirements and bulk orders to meet requirements. There are numerous examples of digital tools and software that be implemented in the business environment. What is important to note is that none of them will be a perfect match for your business. Therefore, it is imperative to analyse your current systems and processes and make them as efficient as possible before embedding them with digital tools.
"The software isn’t the solution; it is the enabler that allows your organisation to digitise and automate your desired state processes. Not the other way around.”
So how can Velocite help you? Our DigitialSME team has been there and done that. We have the necessary experience and knowledge to understand where you are, where you want to be, and how to use lean principles of digitisation. This empowers your business to increase efficiencies while striving for continual improvement with the power of knowledge and data.
Want to learn more about how to make the best use of data in your business? Book a discovery session with the Velocite DigitalSME team today.