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How SMBs Can Drive Growth with Data Automation

There’s a mantra you’ll hear in nearly every business sector these days: “Put the data to work.” Data is at the heart of modern innovation, from next-generation statistics optimizing an athlete’s workout to inventory analytics powering Fortune 500 shipping departments. Nearly everything we do is measured, benchmarked, reported, or simply recorded in the digital age. Businesses from the largest banks to the smallest farmers’ markets all collect data; how they use it through data automation sets them apart from the competition.

Data collection and analysis can seem like a daunting endeavor for small- to medium-sized businesses. Does someone on the team need an advanced degree to put that data to work? Is data analysis so time-intensive that it requires additional staffing?

Luckily, the tools and insights once housed in a department of number-crunchers have become available for SMBs. Thanks to the power of data automation, SMBs can gain insights and implement them into their business with relative ease.

What is Data Automation?

Like other automated tools helping SMBs thrive in the digital age, data automation takes on repetitive tasks that often require little-to-no human intervention to complete. These tasks can range from data discovery to data preparation to report generation. For companies handling large data sets, data analysis automation is an essential, game-changing solution.

Whether data sets are large or relatively small, data automation provides several constant benefits regardless of the user: It saves organizations time, money, and resources while offering critical insights into the valuable information businesses collect every day.

Organize Your Data Under One Umbrella

One of the immediate and inherent benefits of implementing data automation into your workflow is finally organizing all your data under one umbrella. This data lake—a central repository for all data—is one way to house such vital information. Unlike a data warehouse, which houses data within predefined rules, a data lake is a collection of unstructured data ripe for data automation. According to Amazon Web Services, organizations that use data lakes outperform similar organizations by 9% in organic revenue growth.

By organizing—or simply pooling—data into a lake, organizations can bring clarity to the size and scope of their data while staging to unlock powerful insights and productivity.

Process and Understand Data Faster with Fewer Errors

The amount of data flowing into an organization is only predicted to increase in volume. Since data automation works best when tackling repetitive tasks that require relatively little human intervention, it only makes sense from a human resources perspective to allocate that computing power to those tasks.

Employees are free to focus on mission-critical tasks. The potential of human error is taken out of the equation so businesses can be confident in the integrity of their data as it’s analyzed.

Leverage Rich Data Storytelling

Data storytelling is one of the most essential parts of data collection—it’s how we communicate important themes and insights derived from huge data sets. Data analysis automation makes it possible to tell those stories by making sense of raw data in new ways.

Real-time — or near real-time — data analysis allows companies to pull data mid-campaign and either confirm strategy or pivot towards new directions. Because data analysis is automated, the number and variety of insightful reports generated allow stakeholders to create compelling arguments for strategic moves based on facts as relevant as real-time figures.

This kind of computing power enables businesses to generate data stories across all imaginable categories.

Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

When a sales or marketing campaign isn’t working, businesses often don’t understand why until well after the campaign is over. This puts businesses at a disadvantage when data analysis lags far behind real-time action. Data analysis automation provides businesses with real-time data insights. Leaders can proactively adjust their efforts instead of waiting weeks or months later for a campaign post-mortem.

Another way data automation can make a business more proactive is by providing proactive analytics. These real-time insights monitor the entire scope of data—from collection to forecasting—and proactively predict imminent errors or issues. A system can then alert key stakeholders to the problem before it spirals out of control.

Foster Better Organizational Collaboration

The power of data is democratized by pooling data into lakes and providing tools for key stakeholders to generate insights. This has an incredible impact on two major areas of the workplace.

First, by offering these tools to relevant departments, a business proves the power of data automation for its key areas of operations. Eventually, with buy-in, leaders can integrate it into its overall operational culture.

Secondly, it connects siloed departments, so everyone moves forward in the same direction using the same tools.

Bring the Power of Data Automation to Your Business

Data automation has an immediate and long-lasting strategic impact on businesses, especially as the workplace becomes more reliant on data to maintain a competitive edge. Automation frees up employees to focus on mission-critical tasks and takes the potential of human error out of data management. All the while, data automation unlocks potent abilities in storytelling, insights, and proactive planning.

Teaming up with a trusted IT partner is essential to better understanding how data analysis automation can benefit operations. Soliant Consulting is an experienced partner that delivers solutions designed to transform the course of your business. Reach out to Soliant today to explore your options.

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