Data-driven culture could help SMEs make informed decisions

Friday, 19 February, 2021

Data-driven culture could help SMEs make informed decisions

Small and medium enterprises must develop a business culture that values and seeks out data-driven insights, to help identify and prioritise strategic initiatives. A thinkBIG report by RSM Australia reveals that this could help SMEs manage risk and strengthen their value proposition.

The report outlines why a data-led business culture is key for SMEs to make informed decisions based on data insights, rather than hindsight. Srdjan Dragutinovic, Director of Data Analytics at RSM Australia, said the post-pandemic business environment depends on data-led insights.

“COVID-19 caused businesses to pivot quickly and rethink how they did things to ensure they could retain customers. It’s often said that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. Customer retention is, and should be, a high priority for any type of business. For SMEs, knowing and understanding customers through data-led insights is essential to retaining customers and nurturing relationships,” said Dragutinovic.

Per the report, a successful data-led culture focuses on collaboration driven by information sharing, with business leaders being committed to strategic alignment between the business, analytics strategy and culture. When this is done successfully, organisations can integrate analytics into all decisions to generate foresight about trends that drive successful business outcomes.

Dragutinovic noted that culture change starts at the top, and called for business owners and managers to set expectations that employees must focus on data-led insights in decision-making. Dragutinovic added that this must be supported by training and tools that enable employees to build a data-focused culture.

“The need for buy-in from business leaders when implementing a data-driven culture is crucial because, without that, little will change. Leaders should focus on information sharing, not just collating data and analytics, to build a data capability that encourages use by everyone in the business and is relevant,” said Dragutinovic.

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