We live in an increasingly data-driven society, where people plan fitness and well being through metrics, friends reconnect based on mutual connections, and businesses find their footing through web traffic and client stats. Companies are cutting office costs by moving into completely digital workspaces, utilizing remote workers. In addition to increasing productivity, data enables businesses to be more environmentally minded by going paperless.

Depending on the business field, there may be tax incentives and government relief given to companies that embrace digital processes. Data is far more precise than estimation, providing clear metrics on a company’s revenues, loss, employee performance, and customer happiness. Business owners and key decision makers may be reluctant to make the transition. However, data resources are abundant and the rewards of the change are great. Take a look at these three ways companies can use data to drive business.

1. Inventory solutions

Managing shipments, product loss, and inventory adjustments are daily facts of life for business owners. Live tracking of inventory is crucial to profit and costs, allowing companies to identify buying patterns, when to scale back inventory, and when to place more orders for high-demand products. Live inventory data can also deter instances of employee theft, since workers are accountable to product level accuracy.

Excel spreadsheets of inventory won’t cut it, if a company expects to manage data well. A specialized inventory database can interact seamlessly with shipping operations and point of sale solutions, creating more efficient workflows. With a robust data system in place, companies can generate accurate reporting of revenue flow, stock levels, and more. Shipping labels and requests can be generated from a database, allowing for streamlined control of stock rooms.

2. Account management

Businesses lose out everyday, if they allow new customers to walk out of the door without building a bridge toward a better relationship. Email marketing campaigns, future pipelines, and upcoming employee tasks rely on an accurate database of clientele. Employees should be able to access snapshots of customer data, depicting their purchasing patterns, up-to-date contact information, and future business development.

Generating a healthy pipeline relies on relationship management, good customer service, and maintaining clear accounts. Businesses can encourage potential leads to provide information through social media polls, email surveys, and during in-person visits. Learn customers’ stories and discover what drives them to make purchases. Knowing the motivating factors behind clients and their accounts can lead to better product integration, employee training, and future profits.

3. Data protection

While keeping data can increase a company’s projected revenues and decrease costs, a disaster can happen when these systems shut down. Businesses need to learn how to protect their technology and data investments. Hiring educated teams to maintain data and finding the best physical environments for storage are critical. Data warehouseing services can provide dedicated servers, computers, and external hard drives with the best conditions to protect data.

Technology can overheat or corrode when exposed to high temperatures or humidity levels. Fans and climate control are required to keep hardware and software running at an optimal level. Hard drive failures can occur when technology is exposed to jostling or unstable environments.

Companies must invest in IT specialists to properly administer technology, secure data, and maintain information. Whether a business hires consultants or in-house technicians, these specialists should schedule regular data backups and software updates. Since a single copy of data can be lost after a natural disaster, accident, or hardware failure, backups (some off site) can be used to recover important information.

Data is the infrastructure and currency of future business. Companies that invest in long-term data maintenance are less likely to suffer revenue and resource loss due to a technical incident.