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Data is a vital part of any business and the books available on the topic have grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Jenny Dearborn’s offering in the genre, Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results, offers some new insights for those just starting to learn about the issue.

Data Driven is Dearborn’s first book, but she’s no newcomer. Dearborn is the Chief Learning Officer for the roughly 67,000 employees at SAP. She is responsible for not only developing the learning program at SAP but also measuring just how effective those efforts are for the business. As a result, she has a unique insider’s view on the process of education and how it actually helps business to grow.

For small businesses, Data Driven offers insights on how best to track and analyze data such as small business sales analysis. This can help small business owners to not only grow their business but also identify issues before they become bigger problems.

Data Driven starts by outlining the historical uses of data and highlighting ways in which data is often misused. She combines facts and historical data with a fictional story to make her points easier to follow and applications easier to identify. This combination makes seeing real-world applications like small business sales analysis easy even for newcomers to data analysis.

The only thing lacking in Dearborn’s book are actionable steps for readers. While there are plenty of “Aha moments”, it’s up to the reader to determine how to put these insights into action. Data Driven does a great job of making an argument for the use of data in small business; it just lacks a clear framework on how to do so.

For companies that want to know how to get the most out of their sales and inventory software for small business, Data Driven can offer some insights. But ultimately, it will be up to business owners to determine how best to go about the process. Dearborn’s book does, however, offer plenty of inspiration and motivation.