How to Use Data to Drive Growth: Step One

The first of three essential steps

Authored by Raquel Guarino

Maria Elena Duron is an expert in Google, marketing, and SEO. She helps small businesses, startups, creators, and execs manage and develop their personal brands in the ever-changing digital world. This article details one of three essential steps.

We live in a data-driven world. At times, it's even data overload: every new app prides itself on all the numbers, statistics, and graphics it can record. But that data means nothing if you don't know what it means or how to apply it to your business.

“Data makes your briefcase heavy… Insights make you rich.”

Those are the words of Niall Fitzgerald, former chairman of Unilever. Google expert Maria Elena Duron believes that Fitzgerald's words are key to accomplishing the goals of  your business. She says data can help your business grow exponentially but only with the help of insights, which are obvious but unique statistics. To unlock new opportunities, true insights must be:

  • Novel - They must be new details you didn't know before.
  • Credible - Good, solid information based in fact.
  • Actionable - They must provide value to your business.


Read Now: How to Use Google Tools to Give Your Brand Visibility and Measure Success


Don't Trust Your Gut

When it comes to navigating your making business decisions and solidifying your marketing strategy, trusting your gut just isn't enough, says Duron. Always look at the numbers. You can lie about the numbers but the numbers don't lie.

How to Get Started Using Data

The first step to using data is also the number one thing small businesses fail to do: outline goals. Understanding your goals can help you apply the data you learn more precisely, so it's imperative you have a clear definition of success for your business. Your business should have one-month goals, quarterly goals, six-month goals, and end of year goals to mark your progress and success.

But what makes a good goal? Duron says a good goal possesses all of these characteristics:

  • Specific - What would you specifically like to see happen?
  • Measurable - How will you measure the success of this goal?
  • Attainable - Is it possible? What do you have in place to execute on this goal?
  • Relevant - Are your actions relevant to your goals?
  • Time-Sensitive - Your goal has to be time-focused; there must be a deadline.

Bad Goal: I want to boost my sales quickly.

Good Goal: I want to make $1500 in online sales for my clothing business by the end of the month.


Once you've established clear goals, it's time for the next step. Stay tuned for step two in the next blog post!

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