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The SME's secret missile to launch a global business: Data discovery

Terry Smagh, Managing Director and Vice President, Qlik Asia | Dec. 2, 2015
Creating actionable intelligence at the click of a mouse and sharing insights in a user-friendly format is a massive advantage for a small business which may not have the manpower nor resources of a large business.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Terry Smagh, Qlik
Photo: Terry Smagh

Data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore shows that the local economy grew by 2.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015, so you can see that the country is holding on to a thriving economy.

What's at its heart? Underpinning all that growth is actually a robust and thriving ecosystem of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Singapore has 180,000 local SMEs in the city-state, and they represent 99 percent of all enterprises in Singapore.

That's impressive enough before you even take into consideration that these SMEs contribute to almost half the GDP growth, whilst employing approximately 70 percent of the country's workforce.

It is great news for the economy but yet, with so many SMEs coming to the fore, what can they do to make sure that they are gaining the competitive edge over other companies and really thriving in their industry? I believe access to real-time, responsive and timely data is the answer.

Intelligent data discovery
After all, knowledge is power. SMEs must learn to adapt their business models to leverage the sheer volume of data that they uncover internally and externally on a day-to-day basis. As the business world evolves, the need for up-to-date data will continue to explode as SMEs find they have to be able to keep up with the latest industry events and market changes if they are to deliver real value and remain relevant to their customers.

The key challenges SMEs face in a fast-moving business world are lack of manpower, capacity and funds. Therefore, in order to upgrade, expand and restructure, management teams must be smart about their investment into the technology they choose if they really want it to have the potential to drive sustained positive change for their business.

Fostering collaboration with the right platform
Investing in a genuinely self-service analytics solution is the best way forward for SMEs. After all, if they can access data themselves, then it will empower users to go in directly and understand what is happening both internally and externally to their business. The right data analytics platform will be user-friendly and simple enough so teams can manage and visualise their own data into different formats of charts and graphs so they can readily understand what's happening — without needing to involve the IT department whenever they want information.

In addition, the platform an SME chooses should also enhance collaboration across the team. In a highly mobile world, this means that all users must be able to access the same set of data in real-time through their handheld or desktop devices. In line with this, users on should also be able to seamlessly share screens, hold discussions and add their own set of data into the conversation for joint analysis.


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