Cafe owner and young man exchanging some ideas.
A new free analytics tool introduced on Sept. 10 by the Atlanta-based lending platform Kabbage analyzes the live data of more than 200,000 companies in an effort to give small business owners a way to assess how their businesses are performing in real time. It’s daring to meet the demands of the ever-changing world of small business.
“The preponderance of small business health reports are reliant on survey responses or static research,” says David Snitkof, head of data analytics and strategy at Kabbage. “This is the only tool available with an ongoing pulse on the financial health of local American small businesses, such as restaurants, hair salons, dentists, lawn care providers, boutique shops and more.”
Using the interactive tool, users can toggle among 15 industry options, choose a date range or year from 2016 to 2019, and select a state. The online tool generates a customized revenue growth report in the form of a line graph, and there is also an option that allows users to compare small business performance in up to four states or up to four industries. The data is based on businesses that have given Kabbage “permissioned access” to cash flow data, according to Snitkof.
In analyzing trends from the live data, Kabbage’s three-person small business revenue index group has generated some data of its own: 83% of the participating small businesses have fewer than 10 employees and a median annual revenue of $ 280,000; small businesses in Vermont had the greatest revenue growth (118.2%) since January 2017; and the transportation and warehousing industry generated the greatest revenue growth (71.9%) since January 2017.
“We’ve witnessed a historic period of economic growth in this country, and small businesses are both fueling it and benefiting from it,” says Snitkof. “Kabbage hopes to promote research into small businesses and deepen the understanding of this critical part of our economy.”
Research by the Congressional Research Service shows that small businesses are indeed a driving force for job creation, with small-business employees making up nearly half the U.S. workforce. Kabbage’s real-time data index focusing on the health of U.S. small businesses could prove to be an invaluable tool for this sector of the economy.