It’s time for companies of all sizes to think Big

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Top 10 reasons why Small to Medium Size Enterprises could benefit from data analytics
  1. Market analysis to spot trends and opportunities

  2. Customer analysis to understand purchasing behaviour

  3. Predictive analytics to see how changes in costs will affect the future

  4. Inventory optimisation to never over- or understock again

  5. Streamline processes to reduce costs

  6. Financial analysis to gain insight into revenue trends and financial decision making

  7. Marketing effectiveness to understand customer acquisition costs and return on investment

  8. Risk management to allow proactive strategies to reduce risk

  9. Pricing strategies to maximise sales revenues

  10. Report design to secure funding and investment

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the beating heart of the global economy. It’s estimated* that in some 38 countries, SMEs contribute more than half the GDP and globally, that figure could be as high as 70%. They’re crucial to our future economic wellbeing as a force to create employment and economic opportunities, drive innovation and ensure competition in the global marketplace.

So it’s critical to maintain a healthy SME-driven economy. One area we need to keenly focus on is digital transformation – everything is now governed by data with advancements in technology trumpeting a new economic era. Now is the time for SMEs to look to the future and embrace these changes, no matter how daunting that feels and no matter how small the business.

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What’s In It For Me?

Data and AI are here to help and there are lots of data tools and simple AI processes that are beginner friendly, enabling even the smallest teams to do mighty things. In fact, there’s a Silicon Valley sweepstake on when the world’s first $1 billion company run by just one employee will emerge. The optimum size of a company is shrinking rapidly and the future of the world looks set to mainly comprise small businesses.

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The benefits of digital transformation for an SME include:

Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity

Numerous processes can be handed over to machines which would have taken a large team hours to complete in the past and can now be handled by fewer people, freeing up their time to work on other things. With the right tools, output can increase exponentially.

Competitive Advantage

Even the smallest change to an increase in digital leads that turn into business can add up over time. Improvising efficiency in automated social media flows, for example, can reduce pressure on both cash flow and staff time. Something as minimal as this might give you the edge over your competitors.

Improved Customer Experience

Nowadays we all expect personalised service via a range of channels, whether it’s face to face or digitally. The right data can ensure you meet these needs and tailor them specifically to the individual.

Staying Ahead

No matter what your size, digital change is here to stay and the sooner you evolve, the easier it will be to ensure your business is ahead of the curve and your staff are upskilled in these new processes.

The Six Stages of Digital Transformation

The Six Stages of Digital Transformation will help you to understand where you are on your digital journey. Click on the description that best describes your business to learn more about your best next steps:

Stage One
Business As Usual

A Stage 1 business often finds comfort in the familiar refrain of "this is the way we've always done it," echoing throughout its approach to customers, operations, measurements, business frameworks, and technology. It tends to favour a traditional "business-centric" approach to marketing and sales, relying on outdated processes and technology that often prove ineffective.

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Stage Two
Present & Active

As businesses advance into Stage 2, a palpable urgency permeates their operations, fostering a culture of experimentation and a heightened emphasis on digital literacy. Formalised trials of emerging technologies, social media platforms and mobile solutions become increasingly prevalent.

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Stage Three
Formalised

This is a pivotal stage where businesses need to think about crafting a measurable digital strategy geared towards fostering more structured growth. At this point, the people pushing for change within the organisation have successfully constructed a compelling argument, garnering executive sponsorship for investment in personnel, processes, technology and external expertise such as membership to the IoA.

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Stage Four
Strategic

Stage 4 is distinguished by a profound synergy amongst departments, fostering collaboration, information sharing and research exchange. At this juncture, the Digital Customer Experience (DCX) assumes a central role in the business's operations, transcending platforms and departments. Leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, the organisation achieves a unified view of customers across marketing, sales, sales-enablement and service functions. Insights garnered are instrumental in refining and advancing buyer personas.

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Stage Five
Converged

As Stage 5 unfolds, digital transformation becomes ingrained in an organisation's DNA, permeating governance, leadership, personnel, operations, customer experiences, data management, analytics, technology integration and digital proficiency.

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Stage Six
Innovative & Adaptive

Digital transformation embodies an ongoing, iterative journey, perpetually evolving without taking time out. Stage 6 epitomises an everlasting phase characterised by a pervasive culture of innovation coursing through the business. Resources and strategic focus pivot on fostering innovation, accelerating transformation and uncovering novel, "unconventional" avenues for growth.

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Join the IoA

There are two ways to join the IoA to support digital transformation in your business:

Corporate Partnership

Get recognised as a progressive company that operates ethically and for the investment you make in your staff who receive access to IoA Membership benefits

Support your team’s professional development and the needs of your business with access to 1400+ hours of training from beginner to advanced, ranging from the first steps moving away from spreadsheets and intuitive decision making to MLOps

Receive exclusive opportunities for enhanced visibility for your company and special rates for in-person events

Sign up as IoA Corporate Partner
Individual Membership

Gain recognition for your professionalism, achieve your goals and work towards attaining the highest levels with Chartered status

Access structured career progression with custom tracks (Business Analyst with R and Data Analyst with Python) and upskill with specialist Tool Kits including Analytics for Accountancy & Finance and Data Engineering

Stay up to date with advancements in technology, changes in regulation and thought leadership with our monthly webinar, masterclass series and insights

Sign up as IoA Member