At one point or another, almost all SMEs tend to fall into the same decision-making trap. The leaders, whose instinct has helped the company become a viable proposition, face mounting pressure, as their opinion is required on every aspect of the business.
As such, decisions are often made based on ‘feel’, and that type of decision-making cannot be done with consistent accuracy, and at speed.
So, one of two things starts to happen. Either the leaders put the brakes on, recognising they are the ‘blocker’ as the decisions form an orderly queue. Or, decisions are made with an acceptance that as the pace quickens, the success rate inevitably takes a hit.
To make this issue worse, the senior team has likely created a culture that encourages all complex decisions, either small or large, to head to the top.
With issues mounting, it can become near impossible to make significant decisions, and at pace, using only the instincts of a few select individuals.
But, reassuringly for business owners and leaders, the answer is right under their noses. The data that is there—but remains uncaptured and unanalysed—is proven as one of the highest impact assets an SME can adopt as it fuels its growth.
How data can help to drive a business forward
Data can be used to create real competitive advantage. Firms that use data actively are three times more likely to say that analytics contributed to at least 20% of their revenue.
The application of data in business decision-making is nothing new. However, data has long been viewed as a tool for large enterprises, rather than something that can benefit SMEs too.
Technology has changed that landscape. The same benefits enjoyed by large multinationals can now be utilised by ambitious SME leaders who are looking to scale, gain an edge on competitors, and get the best from their teams.
But what difference can data really make?
To answer this question, a regular survey carried out by management consultancy firm McKinsey investigates the relationship between company performance and how data is used to provide insight within an organisation.