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How to Structure Your Data for Startup Success

For startups in the modern digital era, data has become an invaluable asset. Yet, understanding how to structure this data, especially for non-technical founders, can be daunting. We caught up with George Ionita from Sand Technologies to discuss accessible approaches to data structuring that can benefit startups regardless of their tech proficiency.

The FutureList: George, why is structuring data essential for startups, especially from a non-technical perspective?

George Ionita, Sand Technologies: Well, think of data as the building blocks of your startup’s intelligence. Properly structured data enables startups to make informed decisions, understand their customer base, and optimise operations. From a non-technical standpoint, it’s less about the intricacies of data schemas and more about ensuring data is accessible, interpretable, and actionable for all team members.

The FutureList: Let’s break it down. What’s a simple and intuitive way for startups to begin structuring their data?

George Ionita, Sand Technologies: The first step is often categorisation. Group data based on its type or purpose. For instance, customer data, sales data, product usage data, etc. Once you have these broad categories, you can delve into specifics, like demographics for customers or monthly sales figures. This hierarchical approach provides a clear data roadmap, even if you’re not tech-savvy.

The FutureList: For startups using multiple tools or platforms, how can they ensure data consistency?

George Ionita, Sand Technologies: Integration is the keyword. Today, many tools come with integrative features or plugins. It’s about ensuring that data flows seamlessly between tools. For instance, if you’re using a CRM and a separate sales platform, they should ‘speak’ to each other. While this might sound technical, many modern platforms have made integration user-friendly, with drag-and-drop functionalities or simple settings adjustments.

The FutureList: What about startups that aim to scale rapidly? How should they think about future-proofing their data structures?

George Ionita, Sand Technologies: The key is flexibility. Startups should opt for data structures that can evolve. Using cloud-based storage solutions or scalable databases can be beneficial. They often come with the advantage of adaptability, allowing for more data and varied types as the startup grows. The idea is to think long-term and avoid getting boxed into rigid data structures.

The FutureList: How can startups ensure their data remains secure while still being accessible to relevant team members?

George Ionita, Sand Technologies: Role-based access is a good practice. Essentially, you define who gets access to what kind of data. Maybe the marketing team only accesses customer demographics, while finance handles transaction data. Modern tools allow for such specifications. Additionally, regularly training team members about basic data security practices goes a long way.

The FutureList: Finally, for non-technical startup founders, any resources or platforms you’d recommend for getting started with data structuring?

George Ionita, Sand Technologies: Absolutely. Platforms like Airtable offer a blend of simplicity and functionality, allowing startups to structure data in a visual manner. For those keen on learning, online courses from platforms like Coursera or Udemy on basic data management can be invaluable. Remember, it’s less about mastering the tech and more about understanding the principles.

As George Ionita shares, structuring data is less about complex technicalities and more about clarity, consistency, and forward-thinking. Even for the non-technical startup enthusiast, a basic understanding of data structuring can significantly enhance decision-making and operational efficiency. With the right tools and approach, startups can harness the true power of their data.

Need a second opinion on how to approach your tech team resourcing plan? Get in touch with the team at Sand Technologies.

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