The Importance of Big Data in Financial Management

Running a small or medium-sized business isn’t easy. As a business owner, overseeing business activities and leading the entire team is certainly overwhelming. Even if your startup isn’t necessarily new, the role of a business leader is challenging, especially during peak seasons. Taking lead roles in marketing, vendor sourcing, and managing business finances is very demanding.

You should find ways of streamlining operations, improving employee productivity, and generating profits. A great way of achieving this is by embracing technology. A recent report found that slightly over 30% of businesses have formal data strategies. These companies have better ROI than those without. Data-driven businesses use digital tools to support business activities, such as hiring, accounts payable, and others. Businesses should embrace big data for the following reasons:

1.   Simplifies decision making

Businesses should focus on becoming adaptable and flexible to survive the dynamic market and maintain relevance amidst new trends. For instance, only adaptable and flexible businesses survived the recent COVID pandemic. Business leaders shouldn’t be afraid of making difficult decisions, such as making the necessary budget cuts, automating repetitive business tasks, and more.

There are endless ways businesses can benefit from big data in such situations. Data analytics provide insights that help managers and business owners make informed decisions. These include:

  • Use of predictive analytics to forecast customer behavior and market trends. Managers can then design effective marketing strategies and allocate sufficient resources.
  • Leveraging data mining technology to make better hiring decisions.
  • Evaluating ROI of various business assets using internal data.

2.   Making the right investments that drive business growth

The fact that you are running a startup shouldn’t limit you from making investments that can spur business growth. You should always prepare your business finances in readiness for potential investment opportunities. Forward-thinking businesses should prioritize innovation, regardless of business size.

Unfortunately, identifying such business opportunities often prove difficult, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Such businesses can use big data to forecast market sizes and make better investment decisions. Data analytics also helps business owners anticipate possible barriers in the market.

3.   Fraud detection and risk management

Businesses use big data to combat fraud and mitigate operational risks, while achieving compliance and regulatory objectives. Financial institutions, such as banks, have access to real-time data, which helps flag fraudulent activities. For instance, if the same bank card is used to make transactions in different cities within a short time, the bank can notify the cardholder immediately or block the transactions.

Insurance companies also leverage big data in many ways. When processing claims, most insurers evaluate their customers’ past insurance claims, social media posts, telephonic conversations, and criminal records. The company can flag the claim if they come across anything suspicious.

4.   Proper owner compensation

Small business owners and entrepreneurs often forget to pay themselves. Ideally, you should include your salary in business finances. The main challenge is determining how much you should pay yourself. Data analytics helps business owners determine how much they should compensate themselves. Forecasting investment needs and cash flows helps owners settle on a good amount.

Endnote

More businesses have adopted big data for various reasons. Big data helps businesses streamline various day-to-day processes. This improves productivity and facilitates the smooth running of the business. Data analytics provide insights that help businesses make better decisions, detect fraud, and manage risks.