As a founder, your business is your baby.
In those early years of business development and growth, you are generally the centre of the business. You sit across many, if not all functions from sales, marketing, delivery and support.
The performance of the business is tracked using spreadsheets and experience. The closeness to all parts of the business allows you to have a “feel” for how it is performing, where there is an opportunity, and which parts of the operation need more of your attention.
You nurture your company. With every sale and success it grows a little until one day it’s grown big enough to stand on its own feet and is starting to become independent from you. To push through into the next phase of growth requires the addition of talented leaders who can operate portions of the business independently of you.
It’s at this point that the information that you need to manage the overall business changes. For your team to be able to operate effectively, they need to understand other areas of the business, without being involved in the detail of every piece. For you as the leader, you need to be able to maintain that overall view and then use your experience to drill into the detail when required.
The way that larger organisations have historically achieved this is through a centralised Business Intelligence (BI) and Reporting function. They are a sub-specialisation of IT, whose role is to collect the various data from your different operational systems like your POS, CRM and finance applications and bring that together in a dashboard. The problem for smaller, growing organisations has always been the cost of both the specialised team and the BI tools.
"The ability to analyse all of your data and have the answer you are looking for in seconds ensures better and faster decision making."
Over the last five years there have been significant changes in the BI market. The key developments have been:
The creation of SaaS tools that have drastically reduced the cost of BI platforms, now making them accessible to smaller businesses.
The development of visual tools to allow data to be accessed from POS, CRM and financial systems without the need for expensive software development skills.
The shift to search driven BI tools, which make it possible for anyone (even you) to ask their own questions of data, without the need for a Data Analyst.
What this means is that reporting and insights on your business operation is now within reach for smaller, growing businesses. The tools have a low cost to entry, are fast to set up, and enable you as the business leader to use them on an everyday basis without the need to hire a dedicated BI team.
The reality is the businesses within your vertical, your competitors, who have been around for a number of years and have a good chunk of the market share will be using a BI tool. Regardless of what tool they are using, at a minimum they are generating insights that help them better service their customers’ needs, improve inventory management and supply chain, and create visualisations that provide an overview of their operations.
With a BI tool like ThoughtSpot, driven by search and AI, every business user has the ability to drill down into the most granular product, customer and sales data. The ability to analyse all of your data and have the answer you are looking for in seconds ensures better and faster decision making. That in turn has a positive impact on revenue and customer experience, which we know is the key to your continued growth.
If your business is growing and you are reaching the point where you can no longer stay across all of the detail, it might be time to consider how you will implement BI and reporting to guide your business through the next phase of growth and expansion.
You can get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1300 475 510.