By Daniel Hunter

The UK's small businesses are missing out on commercial opportunities because of a so-called data 'underload', according to a study.

The research, commissioned by Digital Catapult, found that just a third of small firms have access to the data they need to make key decisions.

Thirty-six percent said that although they're aware of the benefits presented by data, they don't have the tools, budget or expertise to exploit it. As a result, 25% are calling for more help to understand what data is and, what is available to them and how it can be utilised.

Perhaps highlighting the lack of adoption among those surveyed, just 21% said data is crucial to their business strategy. Only 22% are currently using data to help develop new products or services.

Neil Crockett, CEO of the Digital Catapult, said: “Many small businesses are still unable to realise the full potential of data due to a lack of resource and expertise. This is leading to missed opportunities for the creation of new products and services. Data can be a key driver of innovation and growth, used to develop more targeted products, to expand into new markets or even to improve operational performance.”

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