The biggest reason that a rocket launch is delayed is the weather.

Imagine it. You’ve spent hundreds of millions preparing to launch your spacecraft. The launch date has been set for months. Your team – in the control room and in the cockpit – are raring to go. And then an unexpected rain cloud, temperature drop, or rogue lightning strike grinds your preparations to a halt. An expensive halt.

Sound a bit too close for comfort?

For a lot of businesses with plans to scale up, the last few years have been a bit like a change in the weather on launch day – except instead of a shower, it was a freak storm front that lasted for months. Now, with growth plans firmly back on the radar, it’s time to return to the task of propelling your business forward. But that’s not the only similarity between launching a rocket and growing a business.

Getting a rocket out of Earth’s atmosphere and propelling a business to the next level both need investment in technology, the funding to match it, a lengthy plan of action, and teams of people to define the purpose, calculate the trajectory, and steer the ship.

They also both need the right fuel to get it there. For a space launch, it’s liquid hydrogen. For a business, it’s data.

Data helps you make better decisions, solve problems, respond quickly to opportunities (as well as challenges), understand your market and customers, and assess your performance. It flows through every part of your business, and on the path to growth, it’s a vital component of any strategy.

But just like rocket fuel, the quality of that data is important – as are the technology and people that process and use it.

If your growth strategy was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, data is key to getting those plans back on track and accelerating them – enabling faster decision-making, better insights, and increased efficiency, to list just a few of the potential benefits.

Now is the time to address your data management, making sure you have the right data, processes, technology, vision, and engagement across your business.

Fuel quality: is your data good enough?

Fuel quality is crucial: you can’t launch a rocket with diesel, and you can’t grow a business with poor-quality data.

Data inaccuracies, anomalies, and omissions aren’t always obvious, but they pose significant risks to growth, from inaccurate growth projections, consumer data breaches, and incorrect product details, as well as expensive budgeting and cost analysis mistakes.

Take this opportunity to refine your data quality with a full data quality review and put data governance procedures into place to ensure that data quality standards are maintained.

Apollo, we have a problem: engaging teams with data

Keeping teams engaged when exciting plans come to a halt or change direction can be difficult, but it’s important that everyone – especially key stakeholders – across the business re-engages with data and understands the importance of data in your growth plans.

Focus on communicating your long-term vision for data – and the impact it will have on the business and individuals. If that vision has changed in recent years, explain these changes and listen to feedback.

Make sure best practice procedures are understood and put tools in place for people to communicate ideas and data priorities.

Technology: avoiding mechanical difficulties

Now the weather has (hopefully) cleared up, make sure your launch can take off without a hitch. Think about the technology you have and the technology you need to achieve your goals with data – whether that’s MDM, PIM, virtualization, or something else.

The current crisis may have changed the goalposts or spurred a need for new innovation with data. If so, ensure that you reappraise your data technology and what you can achieve with it – this could be a case of accessing new capabilities in your existing technology or assessing the benefits of new technology.

Wherever you are on your flight path – whether you’re ready to launch or still waiting for clearer weather – robust data management has to be part of your flight plan. It will bring better data quality and processes to your business, fuelling your business with what it needs to take off. Amplifi can help you with every part of the process: from data governance to technology selection and implementation.