Small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to data collection. Data quality concerns, limited resources, platform integration issues, security risks. Wearing multiple hats is tough enough for small teams, without having to address these challenges as well.
Data has the potential to propel small businesses toward success. But failing to follow data collection best practices may be a reason why your team isn’t reaching your goals. And it could lead to serious legal issues too. In honor of Small Business Month, we’re sharing the common challenges that small businesses face when collecting data.
Challenge #1: Limited Resources
A lack of funds, staff, and time all make it difficult to maintain effective data collection practices. Processes take time to implement and learn. Expensive software chips away at already tight budgets. Keeping data collection workflows running smoothly isn’t easy when your team has limited resources.
Often, a single employee is responsible for data collection, management, and security. Without specialized skills in these areas, it’s difficult to collect data that is meaningful and accurate. Low-cost or free tools commonly lack the features needed to properly collect and analyze data. Small teams only have so much time to devote to data collection processes, including data clean-up. This quickly leads to incomplete data or inaccuracies that reflect in reporting.
Challenge #2: Low-Quality Data
With limited technology and time, data quality often becomes an issue for small businesses. Small teams often do not have the bandwidth to dedicate a person to overseeing data collection processes. Teams may also only have the budget for paper forms and spreadsheets to collect and manage data. This makes it difficult to standardize data and increases the chances of data entry errors.
All these limitations can lead to duplicate, incomplete, or inaccurate data records. And this bad data will require significant effort, time, and resources from an already burdened team to clean up. Until data quality improves, small businesses will have no accurate information to rely on for analysis, reporting, or decision-making.
Challenge #3: Lack of System Integration
Technology is supposed to help streamline processes. But if your team uses applications and systems that do not integrate with each other, you’re suddenly faced with data silos. Without system integration, manual data entry is the only way to transfer data between software. This can quickly become time-intensive and lead to data errors and inefficient processes.
A lack of system integration can also result in delayed updates and data discrepancies. Multiple, separate data collection sources do not provide a holistic view of the information at your disposal. This can result in data backlogs or misinformation that directly affect how efficiently your team can operate, make decisions, and support customers.
Challenge #4: Security and Compliance
Small teams often lack the expertise to maintain comprehensive data security measures or the resources to dedicate to cybersecurity. They may also rely on low-cost applications and systems that do not have robust security or compliance standards. Yet, small businesses still collect a large amount of sensitive data from customers — data that needs to be kept secure and compliant.
Even with limited resources and infrastructure, small businesses are still held to many of the same data privacy and compliance requirements as any other organization. This poses a big challenge for data collection, processing, and storage, especially as breaches become more common and sophisticated. Small businesses that have customers across borders must also comply with data residency requirements.
Overcoming Data Collection Challenges with FormAssembly
Data collection can be a challenge for small businesses, but the right solution can help your team streamline processes and improve efficiency. FormAssembly’s data collection platform offers a no-code form builder that non-technical users can have up and running in minutes. Our small business customers use FormAssembly for contact forms, registration forms, payment forms, questionnaires and surveys, and much more.
Your team can quickly build custom web forms and connect them to Google Sheets, Salesforce, and payment connectors like Stripe and PayPal. Plus, you’ll get security and compliance that meet standard requirements of GDPR, CCPA, and FERPA. FormAssembly’s flexible, yet powerful solution gives your team the ability to streamline data workflows, minimize manual data entry, overcome integration issues, and boost productivity.
To test out FormAssembly, reach out to our team and request a 14-day free trial today.