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How a Well-built Database Can Help Your Business Thrive (and what it looks like)

How a Well-built Database Can Help Your Business Thrive (and what it looks like)

Most successful businesses have a strong database. You might not think what you have is a database, but it’s all down to how you look at it. If you’re storing data on processes, clients, projects and more on cloud-based systems or even spreadsheets then you have a database (of sorts!). 
A database can drive or strangle your business, depending on how well it’s managed.
A good database helps you and gives you and your team real-time access to the data you need. It allows you to make changes fast and deal with multiple products, customers, and problems all at once. That’s the route to growth and success. 
A poor database can cause duplication of work and more errors. It might have slow load times. This results in a slow-to-respond business that will struggle to stay competitive against other businesses who have better databases in place. 
Your data drives your business and being able to access it anywhere and anytime is essential in this high-tech, fast paced business world.
So how does it help? 

The database is the core

Everything that happens in your business can be stored in your database. This could include every project, client, team member, transaction, task (complete or incomplete), and everything good or bad about your business. 
Your data should offer you the looking glass you need for investors, team members, and the starting point for that age old question “Where will we be in five years?”.
We love this quote:
“In God we trust, all others must bring data.” – W. Edwards Deming

Data is what helps organisations quantify important metrics

Making decisions in your business usually comes down to where you want to go compared to where you currently are. Without data you’re unlikely to know the true answers. 
A database can give you information that’s essential to you day-to-day as well as your month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year. Your database can track and help you analyse every single area of your business so you can make informed decisions. How else would you know whether you should change, expand, sell, merge, or do something else, wherever your future is taking you?
A database in your business could cover:
Operational performance – so you can see how business is really going.
ROI – for quantifiable data that helps you know where to invest more time and money.
Sales and retention rates – the big numbers that matter, all in one place for fast and reliable decision-making.
Quality levels – this important metric can help you see where you need to improve.
Customer lifetime value – and then you can track your retention to help drive your lead generation.
Get your metrics right where you need them and build a company based on data, not just feelings and possibly misguided intuition.

Consolidated data

Data comes in many forms and companies all over the world store it in ways that they see fit. Data can be stored in spreadsheets, cloud-based apps and platforms, and of course on paper, white boards, and other non-digital forms. 
The problem with storing data in this way is that it’s fragmented and not joined up to work with and talk to each other. A database consolidates all the information you need. It combines data and extrapolates for the future. A database is a joined up flow of data that at any point can give you a picture or focus on one area to help you make the right move and the right decision. 
If you’re not consolidating your data you’re making it harder to grow and see what’s going on. It’s more likely that you’ll make mistakes. 

Better than spreadsheets or cloud documents

We do love a good spreadsheet. Honestly, we do. We wouldn’t build a company on one though. Spreadsheets can go on and on and for every new problem you can create another spreadsheet. But the problem with this is, it’s not joined-up. It’s far from consolidated and the data ends up not being viewed at all as the spreadsheets bloat over time. 
Cloud-based documents are just the same. If you’re not linking your accounts, teams, products and services, and tasks in one place then you’re working harder. No matter how great that document looks, it’s a silo, a one off piece of data orphaned from the rest of the business. 

A database gives you the intelligence you need to grow

Simply put, a good database is your business. Your data drives everything you do and when you have low cash flow, poor service delivery, or a high churn rate you need to act fast. A database will give you the platform to work from and a place to monitor it before it happens if you use it well. 
So, is it time to build your database properly? Or are you going to keep building in hacks and workarounds to get that data and look at it occasionally?
If you’re looking to grow a solid company this year then we should really talk about building a solid core on which to build. 
Contact us now at iO Studios. Years from now you’ll be glad you did. 

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