Every business goes through a stage when the owner or operator needs to be critical about the overall market and economic situation. If you own a business, you will need some empirical evidences to help you do some analyses. How do you analyze the situation? Here’s a caveat: never rely too much on a hunch. No matter how strongly you believe on your intuition, you still need solid bases for your market and economic analysis. This is where statistical data come very useful.
No single analysis perfectly fits a business; thus, you will have to be the one to deal with huge volumes of statistical data that are available out there. If tables after tables of numerical data scare you, don’t be. Here are two easy steps to deal with it:
1. Determine what you want to know
When you’re establishing your business, your passion will drive you further to want to understand more about the overall business situation. Suppose you are interested at learning about the buying behavior of your target consumers, then you probably might want to determine other characteristics like how much your consumers earn and how much they spend for a particular item.
According to Alpha Social Media, Inc.: “Getting the right information for your business can mean the life or death of your business. Thinking of placing your business into an area before you get the cold hard facts is unwise. Why? It is important to find out if the area can provide employees and the right customers for your business. Stats will also tell if the area is growing or decreasing in size. This is critical information to a business.” (Read more.)
2. Check for reliable sources of data
“To the non-statistician, business statistics may appear to be an endless stream of numbers that continue from here to eternity, or at least for several boring pages. For the first-class business manager however, statistics is an extremely important science, which uses numbers to collect and categorize facts.” – Aveta Business Institute
Official statistical data comprises one of the most reliable sources of information. These are the ones that have been collected and tabulated by government agencies. You don’t use the information provided in tabloids or popular magazines. What makes them less reliable sources is that some or many of the essential information may have been lost in the process of their interpretation. News articles can be a jump start when they cite the source of their statistical facts. From there, you can always direct yourself to the original source or sources.
Statistical data serves to provide various informational needs of various individuals and entities. They are not exclusively for the think tanks, nor are they obtained solely for academic purposes. Widely-used in policy and decision-making process, these pieces of information are highly valuable to small businesses. Business is more than an art. Beyond the passion is the integration of critical analysis utilizing systematic ways in operating a business such as the use of official data that are also products of systematic (which others loosely refer to as scientific) process.
Have you used statistical data for your business? Tell us what you think about their use? Please write your experiences and your thoughts in the comments below.