Every business generates data but you don't have to be an big enterprise to make use of it. You might not have data scientists employed to dive into the data but you can still get insight from the information. However, you will need a data strategy first.
Data analytics may be intimidating for small business owners but it can be useful helping them formulate ways to address challenges, find opportunities and to streamline operations. But business owners can't just jump head first into data analytics. A data strategy is essential to set out just how the company will collect, handle, manage and store the information to ensure customer privacy, according to Jen Cohen Crompton, an entrepreneur for The Neat Company.
She wrote in Entrepreneur:
"As an example, I run a small fitness studio. We collect data through a third-party site and all of the collected data is stored within their platform. However, we have the capability to download reports and export content, such as email addresses and member lists. We do not, however, have the ability to access individuals’ financial information, e.g. credit card numbers, from the platform, which provides a level of security for our members and keeps us removed from that sensitive data. "We have implemented a barebones data strategy, which outlines who has access to member data, which computers can be used for downloading reports and how we use our mobile devices to access data. We also have restrictions on permissions for anyone who can log into our third-party site from the backend. "While this may seem like overkill for a five-person operation, we want to be careful with our data and know exactly who is interacting with it and how."
You can read more about what to consider when developing a data strategy for your small business over at Entrepreneur.