Although data is one of the greatest assets at the disposal of startups and small businesses, it is also one of the most underutilised.

Globally, we’re producing data at an unprecedented rate. According to IBM research, more than more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated each day; and analyst firm IDC estimates that all data created, replicated and consumed is doubling every two years.

By 2020, it’s expected that there will be over 44 trillion gigabytes of digital data. This is significantly less than what was predicted by CSC in 2010 – that is, global data production to increase 4,300 percent from 2.52 zettabytes in 2010 to 73.5 zettabytes in 2020 – however, this is enormous enough to create opportunities for innovation, identify new service and policy approaches, and support the delivery of existing government-led programmes.

The concept of data-driven marketing is no longer something reserved only for large corporates with a massive budget. These days, nimble bootstrapped startups are learning to leverage the information in their organisations and turn it into business success.

When companies use ‘Big Data’ to gain a deeper insight into their customer’s behaviours, they end producing better results which could mean growth in users, better customer retention, and an increase in overall revenue.

In addition to becoming better at forecasting future business results, data can be used creatively within a business to produce high quality engaging content such as blog posts, videos and podcasts.

For example, FinTech startup PocketBook has been able to attract new users through to its site by using its customer data to comment on trending Australian topics like the rise of Netflix in the country.

These types of activities can position a company to be the go-to place for certain things. For example, by putting out data-driven content like the Netflix story, PocketBook is positioning itself to be an expert for Gen Y consumer spending data and trends.

For sales and marketing activities, data is now the key to improving and refining business strategies. Every activity within your business should be measured, studied and analysed at regular intervals.

In doing so, startup founders will begin to create a stronger business.