Business Intelligence for Startups

Liz Mathew
3 min readMay 7, 2021

Every big business started small. We always hear about successful startups and about unicorns. It is very motivating to read about startup’s that made big, the support and investment they received to grow big. Though, launching a startup sounds easy and interesting, that is not the case. It’s a marathon, and like marathons it a really long journey and takes hard work, determination, endurance and dedication to become successful.

Does all start up succeed?

A study showed that almost 90% of start up do not survive the first year. The intend of such cold statistics are not to discourage new ideas, but to make them realize the hard facts and work smarter. Though, hard work, good product, excellent marketing, and a dedicated team is a killer combination; it does not always guarantee a successful business. While there are many reasons that can break the success of a startup, something that can to a great extend throw light early on and help these start ups in better decision making is the use of Business Intelligence.

Is Business Intelligence only for the big guys?

Large enterprises have been exploiting the benefits of business intelligence for a really long time. However, for startups and SMEs, it’s a different story. They have lots of raw data which is unused or untapped to the full potential. The notion has always been that data analytics and business intelligence is for large enterprises. But the reality is that data analytics is critical to any business big and small alike, as the challenges faced by all are the same, only the magnitude might be different.

Why are SMB’s or start-up’s not using Data Analytics?

One of the major reasons for the small players not embracing analytics, is because of the costs and effort associated with it. Even though there are opensource and self-service BI analytic tools available, the effort and skill that is needed to integrate this with the data is tedious. Having a dedicated Data analyst to setup and maintain the analytics is holding them back. Also, the cost with maintaining and training is another factor. However, with tools that have predefined dashboards this issue can be resolved. They do not require a data analyst for setup and maintenance, neither do their require training. Your raw data is visualized in a structure manner on predefined dashboards.

Also, the belief that smaller data sets does not qualify for analytics is another reason. But the fact is, if your company has 10 employees or 10,000; the challenges faced by all are same in terms of customer acquisition cost, churn, sales forecasting, inventory etc.

Why should SMB’s and startups leverage Business Intelligence?

Faster data driven decision from the start

A big advantage of SMB’s and start-ups are that they have the flexibility to be agile and bring about changes early on. Being data-driven from the very beginning gives them valuable insights or forecasts on the current state of the business, which makes decision making accurate and easy. Data driven decisions, help the start-ups to avoid risks early on and steer the business in the right direction for future growth.

Focused Marketing strategies

Data analytics gives the information on, which market to focus, analysis of customer behavior, which marketing channel to use etc. This helps in avoiding wasteful spending, as you are directing the right product at the right market segment.

Streamlined Operations

Data analysis provide SMB’s with insights on improving efficiency and streamlining the everyday operations. How the projects are running, real-time tracking of service KPI’s, customer feedback etc. Inefficiencies in workflow can be identified to alter processes to make operations streamlined. Also, corrective measures on issues can be taken real-time to provide better customer experience.

Efficient Sales

Data analytics is super important in sales. It gives a clear understanding of where the leads are lost in the sales lifecycle. It gives insights on where you need to focus to convert more customers, is it at the marketing end or the sales end. It also helps in pricing the product rightly in accordance to the market segment, competition and the behavior of the customer. All these data driven info helps in developing a concrete value proposition that helps sales in convincing customers.

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Liz Mathew

Founder @ InsightDials — Analytical tool for Business Intelligence & Data Visualization.