Thursday, September 22, 2011

Small Businesses Need To Analyze Business Information

Are you gathering your data, analyzing information, and taking the right actions on what you discover?

"BI Analytics" has become a growing job sector, and Corporate America is seriously seeking people who have a mix of both IT experience and business acumen coupled with "big-picture" thinking.  Gathering, understanding, and implementing the information is having material impacts on the decision making and bottom line of organizations that are paying close attention to the metrics.

I recently participated in a conference for professionals in the business intelligence and analytics sector.  While I was there in my "Conference Catalyst" role, I was exposed to indepth presentations from leaders in medium and large companies who are harnessing information and seeing powerful results.  I speak at meetings in a variety of industries and often walk away learning more than I expected -- this was one of those times! 

I began to wonder about small business owners and solo-practitioners who cannot afford the people and technology to accumulate and analyze this high level of information.  One presentation mentioned "BI analytics on a poor-man's budget", and the speaker discussed how his company did this on a $1 million budget.  This might make you think that BI is not for the micro business.

But what information should a solo-entrepreneur be seeking?  How can it be gathered without staff and high end software?  And once you have information, how do you analyze it and discover how to use it?

Many people make important business decisions based on emotion.  They throw darts at a wall while blind-folded and hope for the right answer.  Hope is not a business strategy, but many of us (me, too) are guilty of this from time to time.

We also get focused on the little things that seem very important, but really take up too much of our time and attention.  Without proper examination of the information it becomes easy to become very busy with small activities and miss the larger landscape.  How often do we spend out time picking up pennies while stepping over $100 bills?

I don't have the answers.  This blog post is more about questions.  The  Computerworld "BI and Analytics Prospectives Conference" had a profound impact on me, but I am not done processing all that I heard from those who are the industry's thought leaders.  What do you do in your small business to make sure that your decisions are made based on real information and not just hope?

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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