The rise of no-code applications

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As a company, we focus upon serving small to medium sized businesses because of a startling statistic.  Last year (2020) there were just 8,000 businesses in the UK that employed 250 people or more – and 6 Million that employed less than 250.  Both groups delivered 50% of all business turnover. (All figures are approximate).

Imagine if each business within the latter group grew in value by just a few percentage points – the growth in jobs could potentially be huge.

We provide intense workshop programmes and technical services aimed at helping SME businesses to do just this.  We equip them with the ability to use data and digital applications to find and develop new customers, and become leaner and more efficient organisations.

And the door is open.  Management teams are typically very interested in digital applications, and many have spent the last year putting a large number into place – lifting their ability to reach out to new markets and stay in touch with their customers.

But management teams are typically not practiced at using data to measure, understand and influence factors in the business that ultimately drive growth – a discipline that many of our larger businesses have become good at.

For four reasons:

  • Lack of awareness of the potential value from data – and therefore it’s not seen as important;
  • Lack of time and lack of people with the right skills;
  • Systems siloed and hard to access;
  • Bad experience of data and systems offering little value.

No code analytics can transform this situation. 

As the name suggests, no-code platforms allow the ‘citizen developer’ to build their own digital applications without needing to learn code.  This means that people from any part of a business can build and adapt an app in response to rapidly changing business needs. 

That said, the no-code application of greatest value to a business is one that allows the Citizen Analyst to source and work with data.

The moment that management teams see data that opens their eyes to what’s working well and what’s not within the business – whatever their understanding and previous experience of data, they quickly come onboard.  They begin to refer to data as a key asset and emphasise its importance to Stakeholders across the business.

This is most likely to happen if the citizen analyst is someone who knows the business backwards and knows exactly how to use data to measure and communicate the critical issues and opportunities.

The importance of the transformative effect that this change of mindset can have cannot be over-stated.  It’s the first and most important step towards connecting data into the big growth drivers within the business – reflected in the way that budgets and forecasts are put together, strategy and long term plans developed, the business is presented to funders and shareholders.

Two quick examples of the transformation that’s possible.

There is a Housing Trust that gives elderly people of limited means the ability to live as independently as possible despite having a range of care needs.   The Finance team assembled a complex array of data in support of a bid to secure funding to build new homes and a dedicated Care Centre.  The Merchant Bank commissioned to broker the deal used the visualised data produced by the Finance Team to help secure all the funding needed at very favourable rates.  The biggest factor influencing the decision of the banks providing the funds was the Trust’s ability to use data to forecast, and therefore manage operations to always remain within the financial covenants stipulated in the funding agreement.

A management team undertaking a management buyout within a US auto components company put together a compelling set of data that demonstrated their ability to forecast sales better than any of their competitors – a forecast that commanded confidence and would therefore be acted upon to avoid risks and grab opportunities.  It helped to secure the venture capital funding they needed. It also put another $5M on the value of the buyout, an outcome that delighted the UK parent company.

So, in summary:

  • No code technology allows people who know the business well to become a one-stop shop – business expertise combined with the ability to quickly and easily communicate using data.
  • This inspires management confidence in data and therefore investment in using data and skills to do great things.
  • Management’s use of data in turn inspires confidence in the business and a desire to invest in the business.

No code tech is on the rise.  What’s not to like.

Paul Clarke

Director

FiguringOutData.com Ltd

Tel: +44 333 301 0302

paul@figuringoutdata.com

We help organisations to develop data strategy, and we train your people to build and use data to unlock value.

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