Start-ups: Let’s talk data

Partner content: Djembe Consultants

By Wilford Akwasi Asare Adjei, Djembe Consultants

Gold is one of the most reliable economic assets buried deep down the earth’s surface. It gains some value when it is mined, but it becomes much more valuable if processed into jewellery or artifacts.

For centuries, gold remained a valuable asset for nations, organisations, and individuals – that supremacy is now challenged by “something new” that does not need ground digging, explosives, or crane operations. This new gold is data.

Data is defined by Oxford as “distinct pieces of information, usually formatted in a special way”. It has undoubtedly become one of the most important resources of our time; it drives innovation, growth, and productivity. In the face of new global dynamics across sectors, businesses, nonprofits and governments leverage data to make informed decisions that drive results.

Just like gold, gathering and using data comes at a cost as it requires significant investment in new technology, training, and infrastructure development. As start-ups start to leverage it for decision-making, they need a way to manage their growing volume of data more efficiently while ensuring its integrity over time.

Businesses that collect the right data, analyse and utilise it to shape decision-making have a significant edge over others that simply rely on traditional reporting to decide the next move. Data is shaping the globe and every aspect of human living. Data is an essential part of every business process today and the growth of a start-up depends on how effectively the available data is used.

Any time consumers use their platforms, big tech firms like Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, or Apple collect pieces of information about them. Facebook for example has enabled its users to create their own networks and share public and private details with the world, such information is leveraged for targeted advertisement by third parties.

You may not know it, but your company is missing out on a lot of valuable data because you’re not using the right tools. Telemetry is information that companies gather about their customers and how they use their products or services to help them improve their business. When you do this well, you can learn what makes people buy from your brand versus others and what features are most important for your product to have. By knowing more about your customers in general, you can better understand who they are and why they make purchasing decisions the way they do.

Every business has a mission and key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure its success. It is important to know how well your team is executing its KPIs so you can adjust and adapt to new dynamics. Business intelligence (BI) tools can help you understand the current state of your company with real-time data visualisation, which allows you to see briefly what’s happening in your organisation.

With all the data that’s being created and stored today, it’s easy to overlook its value. However, there are several ways that data can help you improve your operations and processes.

While it may not always be possible to predict with exactitude what consumers will want in the future, there are many things that companies can do to make their products better. One way is through storing data about past purchases and customer feedback on current products or services.

By reviewing that information, a company can identify customers’ preferences or dislikes. For the success of start-ups, founders must ensure to make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions. Without facts and statistics, there would be no basis for decision-making at all and we would be unable to make intelligent choices about our future.

Bernard Marr said, “Those companies that view data as a strategic asset are the ones that will survive and thrive.” One such company is Djembe Consultants. Operating at the intersection of ecosystem building and communications, Djembe effectively leverages data to provide cutting-edge communications advisory and mentoring for start-ups across the continent. Communication strategies have proven to be more effective when backed by data, and while it may be expensive to gather, keep, and process the latter, it has so much more benefit in terms of customer profiling, competitor analysis, market research, and even regulatory compliance.

You may be at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey and focusing all your energy and resources on product design and fundraising; while at it, remember to be like Djembe and leverage your data.