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Data – To Do or Not to Do

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India has been home to many entrepreneurs over the last few years. But very few of them attempt to think outside the box and organize workshops for much needed awareness and technical know-how on a particular area of concern. Data is of utmost importance today and lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, Ananya Banerjee, Founder of Unico Legale, and a Speaker, has taken it upon herself to make India data aware.

Data is important, and I have discussed why.

Introduction

Many entrepreneurs often find themselves in a tight spot where profit made is but a mere trickle of an otherwise vast pool of profits just waiting to happen. In this era of digitization, many large scale entrepreneurs quickly understand that sky’s the limit for profits. Data is a gold mine waiting to be exploited endlessly by entrepreneurs, even the startups.

Unlike the large scale businesses, who employ experts and teams to handle market business analytics, the small and medium scale entrepreneurs do not employ these services because mostly, they are unaware of the results they could get, or the data they are already generating. There are a whole lot of startups which start with an edge because they are data aware from the very start. But unfortunately, that group is still limited and the general entrepreneurial industry is still unaware of what kind of data they are sitting on. The sooner an entrepreneur knows his business better, the sooner can he be back in the game or simply become a larger player.

Lack of Awareness

Indian entrepreneurs still haven’t created brands like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple who continue to retain the Indian customers, accessing and buying their products from halfway across the world. The team lead of Know Your Business Better, a workshop creating data awareness exclusively among entrepreneurs, chief executive officers, investors, and for or not for profit founders, Ananya Banerjee says: “Amazon knows about our habits even before we realise we have any. Apple makes everyone a tech geek. Google uses AI to finish all our sentences, literally and quite efficiently. There’s just one thing in common – they are continuously evolving with time and understanding our needs more than we do. In the primitive ages, it used to be called business mind. But, intuition isn’t enough anymore. Data is there in the market. Make use of it.” It’s undeniable that these businesses have successfully analyzed the consumers of the second most populated country in the world and use such analysis to their advantage.

Most small and medium scale Indian entrepreneurs constantly fail to make informed decisions because they focus on enlarging their business without giving much importance to data analytics that by and large involves the analysis of the target customer base closer to home. They focus on short term business strategies instead of ones that would be sustainable in the long run. As a result, they lose out on the market and eventually resort to selling their businesses.

Additionally, many veteran entrepreneurs who are not well-acquainted with the concept of data and its importance, fail to remain a market player and lose out to modern ones. They struggle to analyze their businesses and know it better and are often clueless as to how to reverse their reality. There are many businesses who become but a miniscule speck in the corporate history of India being written and re-written every day. Remember how Nokia had everything but failed to evolve? See how Airtel could only launch data packs after Jio thought of it? No matter how big or small your business is, understanding the data is the most important aspect, in this digital era.

Importance of Data Analytics in Business

Data analytics has been noted to be of tremendous importance to a business. Take the Home Depot case for instance. It is pertinent to know what changes were undertaken by the company in their business strategy to enable a 113% gain within a span of 16 days after the lull in 1985, resulting in it becoming the largest home appliances company by the fiscal year of 2012 by surpassing Lowe’s. It is pertinent to know how they strategically analyzed their customers and used the data available to their advantage. Now the term analytics was not present back in the days, but the concept was very much present.

Today, with the large pool of consumer data available that includes everything from most common searches to customer reviews, it is even easier for a business to expand itself by analyzing the market through data analysis. Fast forward a few years, it is interesting to see how American Dairy Queen Corp. in 2012 grew its business based solely on social interactions with consumers, even the potential ones. And again, Amazon in 2018 evolved into a successful retail store while keeping its online business intact and retaining more customers than ever.

Who Could Use Analytics

Now, having highlighted the importance of data analytics in businesses, the question that arises is – how does one know his business better through data analytics? The answer is simple – by learning to use it. Businesses use the huge pool of existing data available to them and use it to their benefit.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of businesses you run or aspire to run. You could be running a non-profit company or an NGO or be running an online service providing company or simply a retail store.

Every entrepreneur aspires to make his / her business the best that there is, or a worthy competition to the already existing businesses. You could use data analytics to simply reduce costs and retain more profits. You could revolutionize your marketing strategies and widen your customer base. You could evolve your business infrastructures. You could make an impact, big enough to become the mouth-of-word.

Awareness Drives

Several entities and organisations are introducing awareness drives on data analytics over the years. But, there’s a communication gap as most of these events are very technical in nature and you can’t teach someone the technicality when they don’t know where the need arises.

The team of “Know your Business Better” spearheaded by Ananya Banerjee, Founder of Unico Legale, is here to change that. Ananya says, “KYBB intends to impart the technical know-how on how entrepreneurs can use data analytics to know their business better. It targets all kinds of entrepreneurs, founders, business owners, business enthusiasts, and even the key managerial personnel of companies such as CEOs and CXOs, from all kinds of industries and spheres. To make them data aware, we are explaining how analytics could help them to take better decisions, create better products and services, build better infrastructure, and a better economy, in general”.

That being said, Indian ecosystem is always a little resistant to change and in using new techniques. But, if I had my own business and I knew that I wasn’t using the data I was generating, I would have changed that. Hope India becomes data aware in times to come.


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