2020 – 03/06 This is the story of the data that could. Could what, you ask? Could enable a small business owner to make the best business decisions of his career.

There was just one problem.

The data was scattered, exiled to lonely and forgotten filing cabinets, stored in long-term employee heads, isolated in multiple software packages that didn’t talk to each other, and always at risk of premature destruction. The one place the data was not was on the business owner’s desk in real time in a clear and consistent format.

When the owner hired Bland Garvey to help with taxes and accounting, the CPA team asked about challenges he was facing with his business itself, not just tax planning. He admitted that he would really love to know what was going on with his business in near real-time, but he was doing well to get a partial view a couple weeks after the end of each month.

Missing Data. Missing Opportunities.

Yes, the owner could get his hands on a revenue report or the bank balance, but how did the revenue correlate to expenses? He often worried that he wasn’t doing enough to manage the costs of his growing business. He could never be fully certain where the business was performing to its full potential and where it was falling short. Or identify which clients and products were most profitable.

The Bland Garvey team shared the owner’s concerns, knowing better data would mean better decisions and improved performance. And we knew how to make it happen. And so began the journey to unify his scattered data and elevate decision making to a whole new level.

The Journey to Better Information

First, our team talked with the owner about all of the places his data lived, which pieces needed a new home, which pieces needed a new format, which pieces were missing altogether, and which pieces should be destroyed in order to make way for more current, relevant and actionable data.

Second, we put these findings in action. We helped locate all the scattered and isolated data, select appropriate programs for managing it, convert it to compatible formats, and move it to its new home. We also worked with the owner on his client onboarding and offboarding questions and other pieces of his information picture that were missing.

Third, with all of the relevant data as consolidated as possible, we worked with the business owner and his information technology (IT) team to make sure everyone who needed to add, manage or access data could do so. We also set up rules and system permissions to ensure that people who should not have access couldn’t get to it.

Fourth, with the new information management system in place, the company entered a new era, where business decisions were based on solid data, rather than gut instinct or sporadic reports. The already-successful business grew even faster and the owner felt much more confident as he made decisions at both the operational and strategic levels.

Fifth, as some of data reached a certain age, the IT team followed the retention guidelines that had been set up. Some data was archived. Archiving removes older data from the main system and stores it elsewhere, saving storage capacity but making it harder to access. Other less important data was permanently deleted. With the help of his IT team the owner was also prepared to deal with deletion requests related to privacy laws like those of California and the European Union.

The Data Difference

Small to mid-sized businesses face many challenges – from attracting customers and retaining employees to sourcing materials and funding growth. All of these challenges depend on making smart decisions based on the most complete and timely information available. As a result, data is becoming one of the key elements of competitive advantage for growing businesses, and not just in technology sectors.

Every business can benefit from more effective collection, integration and analysis of business data. If you’d like to get started on that journey, Bland Garvey can help.

By Emily Brewer, CPA
Bland Garvey, P.C.
2600 N. Central Expressway
Suite 550
Richardson, TX 75080
972-231-2503

 

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