How data management can boost start-up growth

From analytics to security, good data management should be a serious consideration for any start-up chasing high growth

Data is a vital business asset for every start-up. Whether it’s customer acquisition, pricing or sales, data plays a central role in decision-making processes that boost growth. While gathering data is relatively simple these days, managing it can be problematic.

Regulators worldwide have begun clamping down on data mismanagement, and consumers track these events, posing a serious brand risk for a company. Data management also plays a critical role in helping a company squeeze the most out of its analytics processes.

Here’s why a data management solution is critical for start-ups targeting high levels of growth.

Poor data management breeds poor analytics

Most companies recognise the importance of good data management but fail to implement the right processes. Typically, companies create metadata management workflows and leave it at that. Good data management examines storage, data translation and transmission throughout the organisation.

For instance, a company can create as much metadata as it wants, but if it houses vital data across different silos, running analytics is beyond challenging. The company’s RevOps teams cannot rely on spreadsheets to import data from different departments and export these to a separate platform before running analytics.

Business intelligence drives outcomes and companies must prioritise data management at all times. Before gathering data, companies must design a robust storage solution that centralises different datasets. A centralised solution can use multiple containers and locations. Access is the critical point.

If different parts of the organisation can contribute and access data in a controlled manner, insights can spring from every part of the company. With such a structure, department heads can run ad-hoc analyses to figure out issues in their world, giving the overall company a boost.

This centralised structure also solves data quality problems that arise from constant data imports. Formatting errors, import issues, and failed ETL cycles reduce data quality, leading to employees not trusting their data.

By implementing good data management principles via a robust solution, start-ups can build a data-driven culture that can generate positive results.

It can also lead to data swamps

Gathering data is pretty easy these days. Start-ups, for instance, gather data during marketing and sales cycles to understand their customers better. They track app usage data to understand what product features they ought to prioritise. They check in with customers regularly to keep tabs on what features are in demand the most.

These datasets are a mix of structured and unstructured data that can be tough for legacy systems to parse. For instance, a data warehouse will struggle to hold unstructured data, making it impossible for a company to run analytics on it.

Good data management considers the kinds of data a company will collect and defines storage solutions accordingly. Most importantly, it prevents companies from pushing their data into a swamp where no one understands what data is present or how to use it.

Much like failing to take advantage of a gold mine due to a lack of tools, such companies take best guesses in their market and are forever vulnerable to competitors. Needless to say, these companies do not achieve high growth rates since they cannot follow market trends hidden in their data.

A good data management solution helps companies establish data governance rules that simplify data parsing. For instance, with a good governance structure in place, companies will always know where a set of data is stored and easily retrieve it.

All of this makes it easier for a company to unlock growth through analytics.

Poor data management compromises security

Data security is paramount these days. While data breaches lead to regulatory penalties, the real damage happens to a company’s brand. Consumers simply stop trusting a company causing a downward spiral in its business.

Good data management simplifies security since it gives start-ups a map of where their data is and the degree of infrastructure sprawl. Modern companies rely on everything from cloud service providers to microservices to leverage their data.

This sprawl can be tough to secure since security teams can quickly lose sight of additions to a network or changes in automated jobs. Start-ups that experience a decent level of growth are the most vulnerable since their infrastructure can expand out of control.

A good data management tool enforces a framework around this expansion, giving start-ups a proven way to sustainably scale themselves. It also helps them preserve user trust by fulfilling data privacy and security norms like GDPR.

Data management is critical to growth

Start-ups routinely seek high levels of growth and rely on data to power this. However, without good data management, high growth is unsustainable and is a disaster waiting to happen. Start-ups that invest in good data management practices not only secure growth but also preserve customer trust, fortifying themselves against their competitors.

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