In a world that is ever-increasingly reliant on Big Tech, we are all familiar with the importance of big data. Or, we at least think we are. There is an underlying consensus in the startup world that data solutions are necessary to drive innovation. But why? Echelon aims to explore these questions and help you better use data to find product-market-fit.
Data Is A Startup’s Most Important Tool
Startups have very few advantages in comparison to the big players in their industry. Even a truly innovative idea is far more likely to sink in the ocean of competitive players who are looking to take as much market share as possible. Your creative idea won’t do much if it doesn’t have the team, tools, and data science there to back it up.
But why is that?
It’s often not the great idea that makes a startup successful, but the decisions made early on by founders that lead to their success. Before massive amounts of consumer data were available, entrepreneurs used theory and good judgment to take risks. But, as an entrepreneur in the biggest marketplace, the world has ever seen, you need more than luck in order to thrive.
That is why we encourage entrepreneurs to start implementing data solutions as early as possible to increase their chances for success. You don’t have to start big, but you need to start somewhere in order to make use of the two advantages you have over the major leagues:
Startups can look deeply into problems that other larger firms don’t want to see, and startups can move much faster because their teams and systems are more agile.
As a startup, you have to grow quickly with essentially no resources, which sounds impossible. But, if you capitalize on your novel idea and your ability to act and pivot quickly, you can solve problems the larger corporations won’t touch.
Most major corporations don’t have the time to look at the problems you see, in part because their momentum is already headed in one direction, and partially because their inner bureaucracies make innovation more difficult. They do one thing well, but you can do something different. With the right decisions made faster than other startups in your industry, you can challenge the status quo and move forward regardless of your current position in the market.
Smart decisions made quickly are the startup’s #1 advantage over their competitors both big and small. This is where data solutions come in.
Decision-making that is fast and reliable only happens when founders have the data necessary to make them. Data turns historical information into insight, which can lead to faster decisions that are not only favorable but become competitive advantages when not implemented by other competing startups. Data also helps you reduce uncertainty about your decisions, making them more reliable.
If your data solutions can decrease uncertainty and speed up decisions, you gain the competitive edge needed to be the 1 in 10 startups that actually succeed.
However, big data doesn’t provide insight alone. You need three key components to turn smart data into real tools for the decision-making process:
- Team – You need people responsible for data analytics and processing, as well as advisors who can help you translate raw facts into useful insight.
- Tasks – Data doesn’t have a direction on its own. You need to provide clear tasks and goals for your data team to orient themselves and “separate wheat from the chaff.”
- Tools – You have countless tools available, but only some that are affordable and effective for your given goals. Choosing the right tools depends on your resources, stage of growth, and the tasks you give to your team.
Data is changing the way startups maneuver in an ever-increasingly competitive marketplace. You don’t want to venture forward without this advantage. It could be the difference between a failed attempt, and an idea that changes the world.