Data is the new gold; we all want it, we all need it, and we need to know how to store it and save it to make our companies thrive
Even though companies, small and big, are aware of the importance of data, the majority of U.S. businesses don’t have data at their core.
A 2021 NewVantage Partners survey of chief data/analytics officers found that only 24% of respondents reported having a data-driven organization, and less than 50% said they had achieved data-driven innovation. Nonetheless, the data growth rate is up to 24% per year, and it’s predicted to reach 175ZB (Zettabytes) by 2025.
This rapid growth is concerning to both small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). 47% of business owners fear they’ll fall behind competitors due to data storage needs and management costs. Furthermore, in a 2020 survey, 57% of business leaders state that data grows faster than their organizations’ ability to keep up with the information.
Data doesn’t only concern big companies that live in the digital world, like Google and Facebook. Big or small, digital natives or those reigning in the physical world, all companies can use data to do AB tests, analyze trends and predict the future. They only need to know how to store data well.
The fruits of data are performance, insights, and running processes better than without sufficient or the right information. What are the commonalities amongst those industries that are lagging behind in technological proficiency? This article looks at the importance of data storage and the way to do it for any business anywhere.
Why are small companies falling behind in data storage?
Let’s start with an example; a consultant visits a farm in the countryside to gather information about the crops and their illness so he can make some recommendations to the farmer. Where does he usually gather information? In a notepad.
But, what the consultant and the farmer are not taking into account in this scenario is that these recommendations and the decisions they make will have an impact in two or three years in the future. They need to be able to look again at this data and analyze it. Nevertheless, businesses in the physical world rely mostly on physical data, making it impossible to generate true value from it.
One of the reasons why non-digital companies fall behind when it comes to data storage is complexity. Since the information is usually generated in the field, these types of companies need a very simple app to gather and store it. People that are not familiar with apps or even with technology need to see the app as simple as a piece of paper (the notepad). If they don’t understand it right away, they can come back to the notepad.
The second reason, and probably the one that requires more invested energy, is to understand the value of having the information stored digitally.
The importance of data storage
First, companies that track data over time are able to understand trends and compare data points. With this information at hand, companies can start the analytical process of asking questions based on that knowledge. Then businesses can create new value from this data.
Secondly, when companies begin collecting data, they are boosting their company’s transparency and transferability. This improves processes in any business. For example, a no-code dashboard can make data more objective and minimizes subjectivity. With the proper data tool, internal discussions will be centered more on the business objectives and goals. When having the right data at hand, it is easier to ask the right questions, such as how to improve sales after a product launch. Essentially, data eliminates the guessing.
Both of these explanations of why storing data is important can be seen from a digital company or a physical one. Data is simply a way to understand your business better, no matter if it is big or small, analyze information, learn, improve and repeat the successes.
The way to save and store data
Now, when companies want to start saving data, they have decided to operate as free from human error as possible and want to have their data available whenever they need it. But where can they store this data?
At this point, companies have different choices that will depend on their capacity: cloud-based storage, server-based storage, or they can go with traditional storage, such as the hard drive. The main point is to leverage security and choose the option that makes data reachable at all times. How can data be best accessible based on company utility?
Next is to choose the views of this data. Every person that demands the data needs to know how to open its front door. So companies need to think about their data from a UX/UI point of view. This approach is a guarantee to any business and the solution to an identified problem or challenge. This results in a tailored, graspable, and intuitive platform for that particular business and for that one employee/professional’s work.
Keep in mind that data can be categorized; not every data should or can be available for everyone. You can have some restricted data for compliance reasons, data stored for backup and disaster recovery, and data that is easily accessible for daily use.
Where to start?
Once companies understand the value of data, the first thing is to think about the visualization, having a good UX/UI. Suppose you are thinking about incorporating more technological solutions into your business. For example, retailers can track and evaluate sales data. In that case, you will first need to figure out what your users need, and this is why UX is important, especially when automating manual work processes.
Think about the performance and scalability of the software you choose. Any company that is starting this journey must collaborate with a company that not only knows how to access the value of that data, but that also has strong knowledge of user experience. Remember that technological products need to be easy to use, such as the mobile phone, that is transportable and accessible at all times.
Secondly, companies need to start small. Start storing information and using it with an open-source system like Metabase. Play with the data. This way, you will see the value the data gives to your company. Then, keep investing in improving the solution and generating a more custom key outcome in the long term.
Data monitor profitability raises a business’s productivity in addition to improving
decision-making and increases the quality of the product or service. Digital records for revenue and expenditure also enable businesses to demonstrate their credit quality to lenders. Data is essential for every aspect of any business anywhere, but if you are not already in the tech industry, it is hard to access the right tools.
This is why it’s important to ask for collaboration, start small, and slowly scale the solution. Remember that when it comes to approaching data, you need to visualize it as friendly as possible for everyone that will access it. So always think in UX/UI terms. If you are a company that is just starting to store data, don’t be afraid; start small, and you will see the benefits little by little. If you start now, you will be able to look at the past with a much more practical and useful purpose than just nostalgia.
About the Author
Guillermo Perez is CEO & Co-Founder of Octobot. Software consultancy partner passionate about transforming people’s digital experiences with user-oriented design, top-level software development, and scalable technology. Our team of designers, engineers, and innovators has 7+ years of experience working on a diverse portfolio of projects, from launching trendy startup apps to redesigning complex government systems.
Featured image: ©Vladimircaribb