For many of today’s organisations, data-driven decision making (DDDM) is a core component of their overall strategy, leading to evolution, commercial growth and an improved bottom line.
DDDM is a data collection process based upon key performance indicators or measurable goals, analysing facts and patterns and using insights to develop plans for the benefit of the business.
However, some businesses struggle to adapt their culture to ‘big data’. They lack the time or tools to assess data and identify what is actually useful. Here we outline five steps that will lead you towards optimised data collection and useful analytics.
1. Work out what you need
This step is twofold: firstly, develop a strategy built around your business objectives. Then, identify where you’ll source the data to back up that strategy. Data comes into your company from all directions, so it’s vital to manage these multiple sources and ascertain which areas are key to achieving your business goals. For example, this might be operations or finance.
2. Target the relevant data
The data you need is probably submerged in a vast pile of unnecessary information. So, look at the data you have and figure out which sources provide the most valuable knowledge. This will help you pare back the data flow to the essentials and saves you future time and energy. You’ll know who to talk to or where to look when you need a particular item.
In summary, only collect the data you really need (and make sure it’s GDPR-compliant).
3. Get the company on board
A major part of moving towards a data-driven business culture is staff education. This means that everyone in the organisation should understand the importance of data and its role in strengthening the business. If you’re the data expert, you can take advantage of other colleagues’ knowledge to fill in any gaps and enable you to interpret data more accurately. You can strengthen that cultural shift through the people you hire, by looking for candidates with the talent and attitude you need.
4. Collect and analyse the data
Identify the key staff (often department heads) who manage the data. Then you might need an integrated system to analyse all the data accurately; when different departments have separate systems, it’s more difficult to get the reporting right. Establish how information moves around your company and how you can connect potentially disparate tools in order to make data flow as easy and user-friendly as possible.
5. Turn it into actions
Once you have your insights, you can present them in a relatable way to the decision makers, making it easy to see how the information can be used for the improvement of the business. Once company leadership is on board with the value of analytics, the business culture change trickles down to everyone else and leads to more accurate capture, reporting, an overall improved understanding of everyone’s work and ultimately improved corporate performance.
While the challenge of big data for today’s businesses may be unprecedented, it also offers great opportunities. Why not contact us at RC&A to see how we can help your organisation to find the best digital, analytics and marketing, candidates.
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