The pandemic has upturned business plans, processes, and strategies. This has led to technological trends becoming central to growth and stability with Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) increasingly getting integrated into the fabric of businesses and strategies.
This has not only enabled businesses to personalize their customer experience but also transformed the way day-to-day operations are carried out. Incorporating AI/ML helps employees make strategic decisions rapidly, precisely, and with real-time insight. In other words, Predictive analytics is evolving into a strategic imperative for growth while building business resilience amidst changing markets and evolving customer needs.
While it may seem that this level of digital transformation is required only for large? corporations, the past year will make you think again. SMEs today have gradually evolved to pose fierce competition and have ample reasons to digitally transform and prepare for the future.
Research shows that compared to pre-pandemic, 49% of companies are using data analytics “more or much more”.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of the analytics capabilities required to stay relevant, handle unforeseen changes, and scale up. While it is evident that SMEs have graduated to algorithm-based analytics from orthodox methods, many of them have adopted technology that has enabled them to transition from simply collecting data to structuring and analyzing data.
These advances are guiding the next wave of innovation in data analytics. Ranging from AI/ML to digital assistants and blockchain enabling SMEs today to bring the firepower of a large enterprise with the agility of a startup.
SMEs today are investing in technologies that offer meaningful insights similar to what large corporations are using. While industry giants might be investing in multiple technologies, SMEs are looking to gain an edge by choosing selectively, limiting their risk whilst maximizing benefits.
To make this transition easier, subscription pricing now has various levels aligning with the different stages of an SME. Economical cloud subscriptions are helping SMEs, particularly retailers, access a spectrum of analytics tools on a single platform. This allows decision-makers to access relevant data, gain insights, and share knowledge without toggling between numerous applications or requiring the assistance of an IT professional.
For instance, several SMEs today are using SAP Business One to gain end-to-end visibility. This is accomplished with transparent budget cycles, pattern recognition using clear data visualization, personalized and responsive UI/UX, and an agile framework. SMEs deploying data analytics are leading the next disruption to deliver the best insights on changing customer requirements.
SMEs are gradually moving away from antiquated systems ranging from spreadsheets, static dashboards, and in-house reporting templates. The goal in sight? Insights without significant resource drain.
Evolving business needs are being met by combining data analytics and cloud. This allows SMEs to scale data management and analytics capabilities based on evolving business requirements.
Actionable insights are helpful in developing and maintaining successful products. These insights are obtained through qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques. Understanding customer behavior through the lifecycle of their purchase journey, their experiences help in driving customer loyalty. Acting upon data-based insights helps build differentiated marketing strategies, including compelling value propositions, appealing product designs, and pricing all leading to a great customer experience.
This builds a robust foundation preparing the SME for intelligent, intuitive growth in an unpredictable landscape.
While SMEs were aware of, and practice, data management in the past, the industry has evolved, rendering prior rules obsolete. With an overload of data sources and unfiltered information flooding business systems, it is essential to work within a framework that is responsive, agile, and connected.
Recalibrating the strategy and their data analytics capabilities empower SMEs to truly connect with their users and target demographic.
This drives reduced overheads, regulatory compliance, and access to insights to meet customer demands and deliver desirable outcomes.
Getting started with Data Insights
As an SME, if you have access to data, you are halfway there. The next step is understanding the kind of insights you require. For instance, it might be necessary to know more about which platform generated the most traffic for your website and how the company was able to retain these customers.
Furthermore, using this data to shape business strategy and operations will require differential access. Different departments work differently in using these data sets to generate the insights required.
At the outset, creating a template is a fairly straightforward process. However, it is essential that you are asking the right question, using high-quality data, and have the right tool. Therefore, figuring out which software works best based on the present needs and future plans of the SME is critical.
Calculate how various tools perform over specified time periods and how helpful the insights generated are. Do they fulfill your requirement? Are they helpful in propelling the company forward in the direction you want to grow?
The advantages of becoming an insight-driven SME
- Data analytics offers an enormous financial lead to SMEs
- Increased savings on infrastructure
- Reduction in recurring costs
- The company as a whole becomes intelligent and connected
- The SME now has the arsenal to digitally disrupt their specific market
- No more data silos
It is important to assess the quality of data, the datasets present, and the kind of insights required to move forward.
About Akshay Software Technologies Limited
Founded in 1987 and based in Mumbai, India, Akshay Software Technologies Limited is one of the leading SAP Business One Silver Partners that provides SAP Business One ERP Consulting, Implementation, Support, and License resale. With the experience and the expertise to successfully power the digital transformations of SMEs across various industries, Akshay Software is committed to helping businesses leverage the opportunities of the future.