It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, that’s been the saying in business for many a year.
It’s still true; face-to-face meetings, personal relationships and meeting new people are still vital in growing a business.
But, ‘what you know’ has never been more important. Because we’ve never known so much.
We can now acquire information in such vast quantities that we’ve had to give the huge data sets a new name. Big Data.
This came up at the recent Chamber technology event. Our annual gathering has always been about making technology relevant, and usable, in commercial life and the Big Data concept is certainly that.
These huge collections of data give us the opportunity to spot trends, see patterns emerging and make better informed decisions on strategy.
They can guide us in knowing what our customers want, and help us in building relationships with them.
This is market research and intelligence on an unprecedented scale.
And it comes to us because of advances in technology.
In the digital world every purchase, transaction and ‘browsing’ is an opportunity to learn, and a connection to a customer.
The point is that it doesn’t stop there. Firstly, all of that information is wasted unless you do something with it.
Secondly, as I said in this column just about a year ago, technology now is more than the future of business, it is business.
We can no longer see it as an ‘add on’ or luxury. Technology is the conduit through which we design, make and deliver the goods and services that fuel the economy of our region.
We have to embrace and use technology at every level of business; from the initial research to the manufacturing process, to the promotion and packaging.
And, we’ll be more cost effective at every stage, and more precisely targeted, because of the intelligence we’ve gathered.
‘Who you know’ will always be vital in business. ‘What you know’ will be the game changer for making your business grow.