Small Business Owners Have About Big Data

Data is not a new conversation, yet small businesses still have many misconceptions about how data may be valuable to their business. In the past, only large brands could afford to implement data into their business efforts. Today, however, data is accessible to businesses of all sizes — including yours. Overlooking this new reality occurs far too often and for all the wrong reasons. With this in mind, it is imperative for small businesses to finally overcome the various misconceptions about data and their businesses.

 

Misconception No. 1: Human touch outweighs anything automated.

Entrepreneurs are a unique breed that deliver passion, excitement and cognitive abilities unlike many of their corporate peers when it comes to nurturing a business. The human touch that they offer is undoubtedly a significant aspect of what makes many entrepreneurs successful — yet this same human touch can potentially inhibit success if it is employed at the expense of data collection.

Related: The Hidden Advantages Data-Drive Sales Teams Have

“One of the most common misconceptions is that people believe they will always outperform computers in their decision-making process. That may have been the case in the past, but with the complexity of today’s markets and the advancement of technology, this assumption no longer holds true,” says Victor Rosenman, CEO of Feedvisor.

Expanding on this, Rosenman shares what many of us already know but too often need to be reminded.

“All business owners are constantly required to make critical decisions, and the most effective decisions are not based on gut feelings, but on facts and data.”

With a reported 28 million small businesses in America, there is too much competition to dismiss the value that data can bring to your business. Combined with human touch, data is a powerful asset that small businesses should leverage instead of dismiss.

 

Misconception No. 2: Revenue will not be enhanced due to data.

Small businesses come in all forms, but the common denominator is that they need to make money. Using data — including artificial intelligence — small business owners can save time and money when applying data solutions to their businesses.

 

“Artificial intelligence gives small business owners and entrepreneurs the ability to run a lean operation. There are solutions in AI that range from automated call software to market intelligence to retail inventory management and even to sales, such as Salesforce’s Einstein software recently launched using IBM’s Watson technology. The key here is automation, as AI can speed up or eliminate manual processes altogether. Ultimately, these tools offer insights into operations and keep costs low while enabling businesses to function at a much higher level, and see higher revenue as a result,” explains Igor Gorin, CEO of Astound Commerce.

Using data, companies can analyze what has taken place within their businesses, leveraging the findings to make future decisions. With this in mind, relying solely on human instincts is a risky proposition.

 

Misconception No. 3: Data should immediately solve problems.

Instant gratification is nice, but instant gratification isn’t always the solution.

“The view of cognitive systems as brains that automatically solve any problem is a popular misconception. These tools are ideally suited to do things like scale human expertise and augment human intelligence,” IBM’s Brandon Buckner recently explained.

Keeping what Buckner says in mind, consider how technology can support your business rather than take the lead. Technologies such as Watson Explorer — which is a platform that gives businesses access to various data touchpoints to help drive business performance and growth — is an example of how businesses can benefit in their decision-making and ROI thanks to using technology. Using data, small business owners can then make stronger decisions on future business strategies.