Do It Better With Data: Helping Small Businesses Thrive Through Custom Data Strategies

Meet Holly Rachel, co-owner at Rachel + Winfree Consulting, is a data analytics consulting firm that specializes in helping small businesses become more data-driven by developing and implementing their data strategies.

With over a decade of experience in data analysis and project management, in 2017 Holly Rachel started her own company out of the need to help small businesses. The company, also known as R + W Data Consulting is based in Nashville, Tennessee from where she and her co-founder Lena Winfree help their clients develop a data strategy to turn data into insights for the businesses to thrive. Their primary focus is small and medium-sized businesses. Recently, they started doing end-to-end consulting for businesses that don’t have an existing data team or the resources to find one. Holly and her team provide recommendations to connect them with the data professionals for their projects. 

Rachel grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. She studied chemistry at Oakwood University and got her master’s from Vanderbilt University. Prior to starting R + W Data Consulting, she worked as a Forensic Scientist in Tennessee. She and her co-founder started the company when they realized the need for smaller businesses to understand the data strategy. These businesses weren’t able to use the data as effectively as the larger firms. They needed help to develop a data strategy and how to use the low-cost platforms that were available to them for data analysis and get more insights than they already had. That’s when R+W Data Consulting comes to their rescue. The firm offers data coaching, data strategy design, and organizational training for its clients. They work to support small businesses achieve their goals and gain an edge over their competitors. They help their clients “make most of their data by helping them design and implement custom data strategies”. 

Coming to her familial life and how she balanced work and family, Rachel feels that although initially, it was hard to balance, things fell into place over time. She tries to give her best to the business and makes it a point to spend time with her family as well. But she found her savior in virtual conferences where she could work from home. She was hesitant at first, but eventually got used to it. Through this, she was able to devote time to the business without having to compromise on her family. 

R+ W Data Consulting emphasizes on conferences and their podcast to spread the word about the importance of data and their current advancement in the sector. They also use social media as a marketing tool for the company.

Talking about how COVID has affected the business, Rachel notes that not too much has changed as they are mostly based online. However, their in-person networking has taken a small hit, but they were able to pivot and still engage with clients to cater to their needs. She also mentions that many of clients who aren’t based online are facing difficulty in starting new projects and have taken a financial hit. Also, many companies who wish to do more online with the data do not have the budget to go digital at this point. 

Rachel believes in not giving up in the face of adversity. She feels it’s important to keep making steps towards the goal and have patience while you are at it. Leaving a message for the potential entrepreneurs, Rachel says, “The biggest lesson I have learned as far as entrepreneurship is to just keep going. It’s easy to get discouraged and feel that things are not going as fast as you would like them to. But as long as you are moving, it’s still growth.