Intelligent Issue 01 | Page 17


// TECH TRENDS // their contemporaries in China for successful examples of data-led post-pandemic growth .

Were there any findings within your study that you found surprising ?
A surprising insight was the contrast we found between the value SMB decision-makers attribute to data and the extent to which they ’ re actually tapping into these insights for their business strategies .
At a global level , we found that only one quarter ( 24 %) of SMB decision-makers think they get as much value as possible from the data they have stored about their business . Yet 51 % of SMBs worldwide said they believed data could play a valuable role in longterm business growth . There is a missed opportunity here and one that we ’ re keen to help companies navigate in order to derive more meaning and benefits from their data .
What learnings do you think SMBs have taken from this experience ?
SMB leaders will take all kinds of learnings from this crisis , but from a data-perspective I believe these can be consolidated into three points : clear employee communication is key ; investment in tools and training pays dividends ; and data management policy should be a C-suite concern – not something that is just delegated to IT and forgotten about .
How should organisations go about building a post-COVID-19 recovery strategy ?
Communicating with employees about the importance of data management – which currently less than half of UK SMBs decisionmakers say they do ( 43 %) – is crucial in getting everyone aligned in good data management behaviours . This communication could be in the form of weekly reminders , or a monthly CEO video update on the importance of data storage policies . The important thing is to attack the issue from both angles – communicate the risks of poor data management , but also emphasise how data can be a powerful tool if leveraged correctly .
Secondly , all employees need to be empowered by training in technologies and IT equipment . Data management only becomes a company-wide concern if everyone understands their roles and responsibilities .
Lastly , we encourage firms to implement DataOps – the discipline that connects data creators with data consumers . While a majority of businesses consider DataOps very or extremely important , only an average of 10 % of organisations report having implemented DataOps fully across their business . This issue can be addressed through fostering close collaboration between your IT team and other employees across the business .
How important is data for unlocking future growth and innovation opportunities ?
Very important ! Whether it ’ s using consumer spending data to boost customer loyalty , identifying new revenue streams with sales data , or enhancing the precision of financial reporting and reallocating budgets more efficiently , data can unlock tremendous future growth and innovation opportunities . The data available for businesses to use is growing rapidly – so it ’ s a plentiful resource . The next step is for SMBs to invest time , effort and money in capitalising on all that potential .
How can SMBs ensure robust data management infrastructure as they plan for the future ?
First , they must ensure they have a solid data storage policy in place – currently 31 % of UK SMBs say they don ’ t . This will enable them to better identify the quality and quantity of their data and enable them to assess overall business performance and find new potential sources of revenue .
Secondly , establish a centralised data storage solution . Data should be reliably backed-up and access should be seamless for those that need it . Robust data security measures should of course go along with this .
Finally , as mentioned , providing all employees with basic data management training and tools can make a big difference on the grand scheme of things . Ensuring that company leaders and their employees have a firm grasp now of how this data can be managed and used as a tool for growth is what could put businesses ahead of the game in the years to come . �

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