If you’re a small business or software provider, the topic of business analytics for startups may seem more than a little daunting. There are a ton of different providers out there, all with different features, platforms and technologies. You can’t risk making a mistake and going down the wrong path. That would waste a lot of valuable time, money and resources that you don’t have! Fortunately, this list of the top seven keys to business analytics success will help you make the right decision for your analytics needs.
Key #1 – Make Analytics a Priority… Today
Many small businesses and software providers just assume they don’t have enough data or they’re just too small to need analytics, but nothing could be further from the truth. Analytics can play a vital role in everything you do, and the time to start collecting data and creating an analytics strategy for the future is now. Your company already probably has a lot more data than you think. Files, emails, call logs, server data, third-party data and social media data are just a few types of data that often go overlooked, but can add greatly to your decision making.
Key #2 – Choose the Right Technology
The digital transformation is rapidly moving your data to the cloud, so it only makes sense that your analytics platform lives there too. But while just about every analytics provider is “in the cloud,” you want to look for one that’s built for the future. You may not be familiar with the terms “cloud native” or “serverless,” but when it comes to analytics, they make a big difference in what a platform can do and how much it will cost you. Look for an analytics platform that focuses on the latest cloud technologies and has no legacy server-based products to support. That will ensure your analytics are always moving forward.
Key #3 – Yes, You Can Have Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is no longer just science fiction and you don’t need a team of data scientists to make it a reality. Modern analytics platforms, like Qrvey, can bring the power of AWS’s machine learning to all of your analytics automatically without the need for coding or spending a fortune. Text recognition, object detection in photos, sentiment analysis, key phrases and places are all built right into the platform and are easily accessible to all your users, even the non-technical ones.
Key #4 – Analytics Are More Than Charts & Dashboards
When we talk about business analytics, most small businesses just think about charts, reports and dashboards, and if they’re a SaaS or software provider, they think about embeddable charts, reports and dashboards. But thanks to the cloud, modern analytics has moved beyond just visualizations to include your entire data pipeline. 3-in-1 analytics platforms like Qrvey combine data collection and transformation with analytics and visualizations as well as automation and activation and even machine learning to bring you a complete solution for the next generation of analytics applications.
Key #5 – Collect ALL of Your Data
Seeing the complete data picture can only be achieved if you’re analyzing all of your data. That means your analytics platform needs to be able to process a lot more than just structured, SQL data sources. You need a platform that can ingest all your data, including semi- and unstructured sources like NoSQL, files, emails, audio, video, social media and lots more. If your analytics doesn’t include ALL of your data, you’re simply not seeing the complete data picture and it will hurt your ability to make informed, data-driven decisions.
Key #6 – Watch Out for Infrastructure Costs
The cost of an analytics platform doesn’t stop at the price of your software license. Be sure to consider the cost of all your infrastructure as well. What are you paying for your database and data storage, servers and processing and associated cloud services. These items can quickly add up and end up costing you more than the price of your analytics platform. As we’ve previously mentioned, analytics platforms that are cloud native and serverless can eliminate the need for virtual servers that sit idle by spinning up services and functionality only when they’re needed. Your analytics platform can even save you money, by consolidating your data storage into a single repository.
Key #7 – Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
Many small businesses and software providers make the mistake of thinking they need to make a big investment and do everything all at once. But nothing could be further from the truth. You can start small today with just simple data collection and automation, then add analytics, visualizations and advanced functionality as you grow. The key is to choose the right technology for the future so you don’t get left behind. Start small and make analytics a core part of what you do, adding and iterating every month or with every software release.
BONUS KEY: Choose the Right Analytics Partner
Want to know the real key to small business analytics success? Choosing the right analytics partner. The right partner can help you assess your needs, inspire you with what’s possible and help you with integration and iteration every step of the way. At Qrvey, our team helped build the Analytics 2.0 revolution on the Web and now we’re ushering in the Analytics 3.0 revolution in the cloud on AWS.
See what’s possible when you harness the power of AWS and use business analytics for startups to create better data-driven decision making.
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