Successful startups often find new ways of doing things that set them apart from the competition. Whether it’s predicting new market opportunities, expanding product capabilities, or tapping into data monetization, the innovative ways that new and disruptive companies use big data analytics can provide valuable lessons for any company, regardless of size. Building data analytics into their business and products is one important example.

We uncovered a recent article posted by the MIT Sloan School of Management on why analytics is the “secret sauce” for start-up success. According to the article, “Startups find success when they possess information unique to their industry and apply analytics to interpret and deploy that data in strategic ways.” An example of this is provided by San Francisco-based startup Kinsa, a smart thermometer provider that not only takes a person’s temperature but also uses “aggregated and anonymous” data to track fevers across the broader population, and predict potential illness outbreaks by location.

Furthermore, another example is Massachusetts-based Onduo, which provides wearable monitors to track glucose levels for diabetes patients versus requiring finger pricks to take blood for testing. The company then provides the ongoing data to doctors and users to track their condition and take action as needed—all without having to go to a doctor’s office.

According to the article, “All businesses can learn from what these startups discovered at the outset—analytics matter.” To help your company apply these learnings, check out these strategic tips and examples:

  • Good data has a personal impact: In the case of the startup examples above, there is a clear human benefit from providing and analyzing more data. With better insights delivered to customers in the moment, organizations have an “incentive” to take immediate action, according to the article. They also have tangible data-driven examples that they can learn from and change behavior in the future.
  • Data and analytics should be a top-level function: From early on, successful startups typically treat analytics as a business function, rather than simply a tactic used by departments. This enables companies to apply analytics across the business at a level that delivers strategic impact, delivering better projections for growth, and properly scaling the business.
  • Data should be shared widely across teams: Data should be made available and easy to use for key stakeholders and employees, not just data scientists. Cloud data integration tools and platforms that enable employees to monitor trends and quickly take action help open up the benefits of big data analytics across the company. 
  • Bring in analytics expertise early: Involving data experts from the beginning allows your company to properly set up experiments with best practices and business context. This helps ensure that analytics projects deliver useful results by building a solid data foundation from the beginning.  

To learn more, you can read the entire MIT Sloan Management School post here.