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This is How You Can Build A Successful Data-driven Business SMEs keen to transform into a data-driven business need to scale up wisely and scrutinize each move

By Vanita D'souza

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In the recent time, there is a lot of focus on big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. All these four terms are different sides of the same cube and it has a huge potential across boards, which is why it is believed that data has the power to change the landscape of your business.

No wonder the large companies are running in that direction. However, they do have the breadth and the resources to take the risk and rise up after failures.

While small and medium companies that are keen to transform into a data-driven business need to scale up wisely and scrutinize each move minutely. Here are some tips on how to build a data-driven business, which every entrepreneur can follow:

Smart Data

Big data is a heavy term and hence, the moment one talks about big data, it shows volumes as it's a quantitative term.

With the increase in the number of enablers, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Dean - Aegis School of Data Science, Cyber Security and Telecom advice entrepreneurs to focus on smart data rather than big data.

"In today's smart world, when the data volume is too high and if one fails to use it, then there is a big problem. And hence, there is a need to clean it and make it work for you," added Dr Gangopadhyay.

Investment V/S ROI

If a company is planning to make an investment, they evaluate the move in two ways - one as a pure investment and second, what is the return on investment. So, if you as an organization is looking to develop your data-related capabilities understand what your outlook is.

This setup is extremely important because according to Nasir Shaikh, Director of Human Resources at Atos, "If you are probably looking at ROIs, you will stop at intervals in which you don't see the return coming back as expected. While if it's just an investment, small setbacks wouldn't matter much. Hence, ask yourself what kind of investment you are looking at."

Create a Building block

Most of the times, companies failed to achieve their long-term objectives because they have not been broken down into medium and short-term objectives.

Additionally, if you are building a data-driven organization, know whether the impact is being felt by the last person in the project and therefore, Shaikh suggests companies to have a mechanism in place to manage short and medium-term goals, which will take you closer to the larger objective.


Most of the companies today are chained with organizational hierarchy, wherein decisions are passed on to the level below. However, if you are planning to build a data-driven company, you have to unfollow this practice or in other words, entrepreneurs and top management will have to democratize the organization structure.

"Data-driven organization make a decision on quality, quantity and analysis based on available data, instead of following the top hierarchy notch. From, a conventional strategy, data will remove hierarchy and make your organization's structure flat and help you in the long term, " Dr Gangopadhyay points out.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.


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