It seems like everywhere you look online, someone is offering their opinion about what is and isn’t important when it comes to business data and decision making. Sometimes these are legitimately useful tips, other times they’re being controversial just for the sake of engagement, and occasionally the person is just flat out wrong.

We’re not in the business of creating clickbait or coming up with edgy “hot takes” to start an argument, we just want to help make sure you don’t fall trap to ideas and advice that could cause you to lose time and money! Let’s take a look at six common data myths that we think should go away for good. 

 

Data Myth #1: Data Is Only Useful for Big Companies

It’s no surprise that many big companies credit much of their success to data analytics. But people often overlook the fact that thousands of flourishing SMBs are largely fueled by data, too. Unfortunately, lots of business owners think that they don’t have the time, resources, or technical expertise it takes to leverage data for revenue growth.

Au contraire! Thanks to modern advances in automation and cloud computing, small- and medium-sized companies can use many of the same processes and platforms as the “big guys” to analyze data, reduce expenses, boost sales, and create new pathways for growth.

Data Myth #2: All Data Is Created Equal

Once they’ve realized the huge potential/power of data, many organizations will begin to frantically gather as much data as they possibly can … and then they’re not really sure what to do with it. The key is actually to focus on data quality and integrating it into your overall business strategy, because data is only as good as it is accurate. 

Depending on the size of your organization, you may have hundreds of gigabytes or even hundreds of terabytes worth of data at your disposal. If you view all that data as being “good enough” and equally important, you’re going to have a bad time. The important question to ask is, “What data is worth my time or most crucial to analyze?” Check out this article for more tips on gathering and managing accurate data

Data Myth #3: Utilizing Data Requires a Significant Budget

Another common misconception is that doing anything useful with data (a.k.a. needle-moving activities) demands a huge upfront investment with substantial ongoing costs. Sure, massive conglomerates and multinational corporations are currently spending millions of dollars on data centers the size of a city block, but that’s totally unnecessary for the vast majority of companies.

20, 10, even 5 years ago, the cost of data management may have raised a few eyebrows. But today, data storage (especially in the cloud) has become extremely affordable, and the cost of using digital data analytics has fallen considerably. There are even low-cost, fully managed (technical support + maintenance done for you) data analysis solutions that are compatible with any company, of any size, in any industry

Data Myth #4: It’s Too Late for My Company to Get Its Data Organized

Many companies assume that just because everyone is talking about using data to improve business performance, they’ve somehow missed the boat. That’s not the case at all. Data isn’t a zero sum game – the more the merrier, actually! Plenty of businesses and institutions are generous about releasing some of their data records so that others may benefit from it. 

According to a 2020 survey from NewVantage Partners, over half of organizations don’t treat data as a business asset, and nearly 70% say they are not data-driven. So if you think your company is late to the data game, worry not, because the party’s only just getting started. 

Data Myth #5: We Need to Hire a Dedicated Data Team

At the beginning of the 21st century, building out a data-driven organization would almost certainly require some top-of-the-line data talent, such as data scientists and engineers. But today, data automation solutions can do all of the heavy lifting for you at a fraction of the cost. 

In addition to being cheaper, data automation is much faster, too. This is important because in the modern business environment, there’s almost no time for a group of humans to crunch all the numbers: the volume, variety, and velocity of data are increasing every day. All of us need tools that can handle large sets of data, quickly, and at high levels of granularity.

Data Myth #6: My Company Doesn’t Need Access to Advanced Analytics

“We don’t need anything fancy, our spreadsheet system is working just fine.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking an old school approach to data collection and management, if it’s done right correctly. The problem is, many companies actually have big gaps in their current data systems, even if everything looks fine on the surface.

As mentioned above, the need to process, review, and make decisions based on real-time data and performance metrics can’t be ignored, and the companies who have equipped themselves with such abilities are currently in the driver’s seat. “Advanced” doesn’t mean it’s more complicated for you to manage, it just refers to analytics that can give you greater depth, better understanding, and more options for getting creative about how to solve your most pressing challenges. 

Have any questions about the six myths above? Want to get our thoughts on common data wisdom you don’t think is quite right? Curious about how AuVisMDS can help bring greater data flexibility, accessibility, and accountability to your organization? Send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!