Small Businesses Need a Data Strategy to Stay Competitive

In the digital era, data has become a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes. SMBs often struggle with leveraging data due to limited resources and expertise. Harnessing all that valuable self-generated data requires a strategy that is beyond hit-and-miss and puts the organization on the road to digital transformation.

What is needed is a strategy.  A data strategy requires a plan that outlines how a business manages, stores, and utilizes data to achieve its goals—as well as a process for doing all that.

The challenge for SMBs, then, is to harness the power of data.

What is a data strategy?

According to Technopedia, data management “is the process of planning or creating strategies/plans for handling the data created, stored, managed and processed by the organization.”

The strategy is guided by the following goals:

  1. The business data is properly processed, consumed, and stored in “a manner required by the organization.”
  2. The data is protected and controlled “using data governance and security processes and policies.”
  3. The data is standardized, categorized, and stored “using defined and known data classification and quality frameworks.” (Translation: Data is processed to make the data quality and consistency worth the trouble to collect it.)

A data strategy does the following:

  • Identifies what data is important, where it comes from, and how it’s collected, stored, analyzed, and shared.
  • Aligns with the organization’s business objectives where the resulting insights can be used to make informed decisions

How industries use data strategy

Data strategies are used by businesses to maintain a competitive edge. For example:

  • E-commerce businesses use data to track customer behavior and preferences, optimize pricing and promotions, and improve inventory management.
  • Retail companies analyze customer data to personalize marketing messages and improve the customer’s shopping experience.
  • Manufacturers use data to improve production processes and product quality.
  • Healthcare organizations use data analytics to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
  • Government organizations require tight information control to serve the public and operate efficiently. (See the City of Dallas Data Management Strategy 2019-2022 report for a well-crafted approach.)

A data strategy is a key ingredient in becoming a data-driven organization

Shared characteristics of data-driven organizations

To become a successful data-driven company, the following are required:

  • A well-defined strategy—including data scrubbing and tearing down data silos.
  • Deployment of cloud data warehousing strategies as a solid foundation for data analysis, data mining and reports.
  • A clear plan of action for achieving desired results.
  • Specific short- and long-term goals that are achievable and measurable.
  • Investment in the right technologies, skills, and talent.

Overcoming resistance to change is another key factor in promoting internal advocacy. Advocates within the organization can demonstrate the best business use cases and how technology can boost innovation and improve results.

Finally, small businesses must invest in the right self-service tools. Those tools must support new technologies such as leveraging and storing cloud-based data, AI-driven insights, augmented analytics, and data virtualization.

Results that small businesses can expect when deploying a data strategy

The benefits of deploying a data strategy for small businesses include:

  • Improved operations as the data becomes more trustworthy.
  • Accelerated growth and access to new opportunities and markets.
  • Increased revenue and profits.
  • Streamlined processes and reduced costs by identifying inefficiencies, and redundancies, and eliminating waste.
  • The ability to monitor and analyze performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.


If you’re a small or midsize business owner, you need to consider how data can be your most valuable resource. Your data strategy has to begin with your pipeline, how the data is filtered and scrubbed, and how you can make it your single source of truth. Let us help you harness the power of data and stay ahead of the competition.

Contact our team to learn more about how a data strategy can benefit your business.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *