Home » Articles » Data Assets - Building Business Value with CRM

In this latest blog focussed on business management, we examine, how in this modern information-driven world, data is progressively being recognised by CEOs as a critical business investment and asset and why it is increasingly coming to the forefront of business valuations as never before.  

We also explore how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions can help, not only in managing your data, but adding value to this critical business asset.

We chat with one of our Maximizer CRM customer’s, who with early insight, has already achieved this goal within his own business.

State Of Play

Businesses cannot function without data and information. Some businesses such as Google, Amazon, Facebook are built on the abilities to extract value from their captured ‘big data’ and are leading the way in corporate business success.

And yet many are still struggling to become data-driven, extract any real value from their data or view their data as a critical business asset.

NewVantage Partners’ 2019 Big Data and AI Executive Survey, published January 2019,  reports that very large corporations  are still grappling with data as a business asset, with:

  • 69% yet to create a data-driven organization
  • 53% yet to treat data as a business asset
  • 52% yet to compete on data and analytics.

However, the more positive news is that these very same organisations are continuing to increase and heavily invest in big data and AI innovations, a clear indication of the priority and commitment to delivering data-driven businesses.  Interestingly, they also sight people and processes issues as key obstacles to realising meaningful benefits, with resistance to culture change and new business alignment being underestimated.

The demand for data and extracting its value will only continue to increase, as technological advances in AI, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation and the Internet of Things become even more sophisticated and in themselves, perpetuate and generate even more complex and useful intelligence.

SME Low Down

It’s understandable that big business is struggling to fully adopt data-driven business transformation with complexities of their size, structure, people and processesbut are the medium to small businesses fairing any better?  

As our previous blog contested, many SME’s are still giving little thought to future use and value of their datacontinuing to capture, use and store information within disparate platforms and formats as reported by Capterra   

DATA TERMINOLOGY

Big Data:  is complex sets of information too big for conventional software to handle. Big data challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating, information privacy and data source. And requires the use of predictive analytics tools, user behaviour analytics, and other methods to extract value.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): describes machines (or computers) that work and react like humans and can recognise speech, learn, plan and problem solve. Requires big data and advanced computer power to achieve valuable results.

Machine Learning: application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA): refers to software that can be easily programmed to do basic repetitive tasks across applications. The software robot can be taught a workflow with multiple steps to alleviate office workers of tedious activities, such as receiving a form, sending an email receipt, storing the form and adding the data to a database.

The Internet of Things (IoT): describes a network of interconnected things/devices which are embedded with sensors, software, network connectivity and necessary electronics that enables them to collect and exchange data making them responsive.

Some 32% of SME’s still rely on the capture, storage and tracking of vital customer data and interactions in spreadsheets, with a further 20% via email platforms and 15% using manual methods.   

However, promisingly, a more recent IDC Infobrief in 2019, states that best-run midsize companies devoting significantly more time and energy to every aspect of data management than their lower-performing competitors. 

78.1% best-run midsize companies reported that they are gaining better visibility by connecting and collecting data across different corporate silos to recognize previously unseen patterns.

Becoming a Best-Run Midsize Company Graph - IDC2019  

Building Your Data Asset Value

The first step to securing more value from your data assets as indicated above, is removing data silos and delivering a single source, centralised, easy access database across the business.  

 Investment in a company-wide CRM solution provides the ideal platform for achieving this and offers opportunities to further build the value of your data assets and overall business worth, delivering:  

  • A growing, consistent, accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date set of customer records 
  • visible and viable pipeline of leads and opportunities 
  • Evidence of customer numbers, value and satisfaction 
  • Embedded, established, proven business processes  
  • Improved team collaboration, working and culture 
  • Business performance transparency and results 

 CRM also allows you to access, use and analyse your data and intelligence in many ways across the whole of your business, improving strategic decision making and day-today activities, productivity and efficiency. 

Proven Case

One of Maximizer’s longstanding customer’s Derrick Levy from Boating World, very early in his business journey, recognised the value of investing in and becoming a data-driven organisation. As Derrick explains: 

We adopted Maximizer CRM some 18 years ago and now have a substantial centralised structured database consisting of suppliers, customers and prospects with associated histories, pipeline of sales opportunities and embedded business processes.  

Over nearly two decades we have built over 4000 digital records of qualified clients, which is exceptional in our industry. This would not have been possible without CRM.  

 Maximizer has enhanced the business in many ways, including building company value. Apart from our sales stock, our main business asset is our CRM database. This means, in theory, if in the future we were looking to sell the business, a potential buyer would not only have a substantial customer base to work with but have a proven structure and working practices in place to ‘open for business’ on day one. This substantially increasing the worth of the company. Maximizer is an excellent value add tool in this regard. 

 Learn more about how CRM is benefiting Boating in their business operations. Click Here. 

Data Asset Worth

Whilst, as demonstrated above, data is recognised as contributing to business value, it is currently viewed as an intangible asset and under existing accounting rules, cannot be listed within a business’s balance sheet.

However, companies currently demonstrating data-driven strategies are securing valuations well above standard market value. Just look at the likes of Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook, now all  in the top 10 biggest companies in the world by market capitalization and all within the data technology arena.

Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2022, companies will be formally valued on their information portfolios. Douglas Laney, Gartner VP and analyst further states “Anyone properly valuing a business in today’s increasingly digital world must make note of its data and analytics capabilities, including the volume, variety and quality of its information assets.”

But with no current standardised approach available within the business valuation industry how do you evaluate the value of your existing and potential business data assets?

Asha Saxena published an informative blog post last year on this very subject, referencing several approaches to data valuation. Certainly, worth a read!

One key point observed is that unlike other tangible assets that decrease in value over time, data moves in the opposite direction and with more use becomes more valuable.

So how can any business in today’s data-centric world continue to ignore this unique opportunity to build their company’s worth?

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