Correct use of data in the decision-making process will help business leaders to navigate the road out of lockdown restrictions. The true impact of the lockdown on UK SMBs has been revealed, with nearly a third (31%) of business leaders stating current restrictions are impacting their ability to plan ahead.
Smaller organisations typically lack the resources to adapt to market instability and are more vulnerable to any disruption, but, according to James Don-Carolis, Managing Director at TrueCue, SMBs can improve their ability to overcome challenges and plan for the future by being smarter with their data.
Don-Carolis explains: “While the latest government announcement does offer a roadmap out of the crisis, restrictions will remain for some time and a return to business as usual won’t happen overnight. The negative sentiment expressed by SMBs at this lack of certainty is understandable, but by making better use of data, business leaders can improve their ability to make informed strategic decisions and gain a better sense of direction for how to manage the business forward as we exit lockdown restrictions.”
Business leaders have been faced with a plethora of challenges over the past year including managing increased debt, the need to reduce costs, managing staffing challenges and trying to identify new revenue streams. Managing these issues is not easy. When planning a route forward, SMBs will typically rely on previous experiences as the basis for decision making. But given how unpredictable the current landscape is, going with gut-feeling is not enough – businesses need to be much more considered as Don-Carolis discusses:
“SMBs do not have the same resources as larger counterparts, making them more vulnerable to disruption. Despite this, we firmly believe SMBs can overcome the current challenges posed by existing restrictions by being smarter with their data, leveraging their investments made into digital initiatives and making conscious strides to improving their data and analytics maturity.”
James continues: “Even before Covid, SMBs were recognising the value data can bring to their business – whether as a means of creating greater actionable insights, improving forecasting or gaining a better understanding of how resources can and should be allocated, the merits of data was not lost on business leaders, but often the challenge lay with how to leverage it effectively. Many SMBs are still labelled as having low data and analytics maturity due to simply procuring technologies and not enforcing an organisation-wide culture of data and analytics.
“To unlock the benefits, SMBs must assess how data and analytics are conducted and viewed across their business, while also aligning any approach with the wider corporate strategy. Early adopters of advanced data and analytics processes will be far more likely to foresee challenges ahead and plan a successful route forward out of lockdown.
“Ultimately, the benefits of advancing your data and analytics maturity are now recognised as a necessity, meaning business leaders must install the right tools and effectively train their employees to gain true value from their data. With the government laying down a roadmap out of lockdown restrictions, it’s important SMBs are leveraging their data effectively, to ensure they remain nimble and reactive to any future challenges.”