Strategic thinking and planning is crucial to growing your business, especially in trying times. With the advent of data driven decision making, the area is rapidly evolving, and, for the past few years, businesses have increasingly turned towards data analytics to assist in decision-making. Entrepreneurs and enterprise leaders should take advantage of the shift from traditional methods to more modern ones by providing their analysts with the proper tools to uncover insights and design an up-to-date process that drive the business forward.
Here are our essential do’s and don’ts of data analytics, to help guide your organization in transforming data into measurable results.
…accumulate data only for the sake of collecting it.
It’s important not to waste resources collecting a huge amount of data if there is no clear plan or strategy in place. It’s vital to know why you are collecting data, and how useful is it going to be for your business. This is because any data that you obtain becomes meaningless without a proper action plan. Daniel Newman in Forbes has mentioned that organizations that study and use insights on customer behaviour to their advantage will outperform their competitors by 85% in sales growth.
…create a comprehensive plan for your business taking into account your marketing objectives, and synchronize the plans with your team, the tools, and strategy for data analysis.
It is important that you first identify your goals, and, having that as the foundation, you can determine the data you need to collect and analyse. Cultivate a culture in your organization that is data-driven and make sure that all data is properly analysed, understood, and implemented in the decision-making process. Good data strategy is the key to creating impactful change in your organisation.
… introduce data without context.
The biggest pitfall to avoid is the assumption that your audience has the background knowledge to understand the reports you present to them. It is imperative that you relate your report to what is relevant to all the stakeholders, such as long-term goals, KPIs, market contingencies, hypotheses, etc. Otherwise the data will become meaningless.
… tell a story with your data.
The easiest way to make your data relevant is by telling a story. Present the information obtained in an incisive manner, and a clear and captivating format that provides all necessary additional information, and offers conclusions and insights with context. In other words, instead of showing facts and figures, turn them into a meaningful story.
With all sorts of data available today, it is not surprising that you can easily lose sight of the big picture. The more accessible metrics you have in hand, the easier it is to get lost in the data. What is needed is to take some time and regularly consult the stakeholders and decision-makers to filter out what is needed and what is not.
In general, because in todays time everything is easily available and accessible, we can’t really make out what it truly means. What we should be doing is to identify and focus one a specific data that you should be analysing, and that is where you get the most out of it.
… prioritize your goals .
The most efficient way to stay on target here is to always focus on data which can lead you to the most relevant and actionable insights.
… assume data analysis is subordinate to qualitative analysis, or even worse merely your gut feelings.
Every decision should have some basis, which can be provided by using the right data analysis to support your own insights and gut feeling.
… synthesize both qualitative and quantitative analysis in making sense of your data.
To deliver in-depth insights, it is important to start with hypotheses and inferences, and then add contextual data to make it meaningful. Combining both qualitative and quantitative analysis is key in making good data driven decisions, and supporting your claims and conclusions with data is vital.
Stick with the best practices, avoid the don’ts, and data analytics will provide you with complete transparency over your business, and actionable data. With an effective data strategy your company will be able to quickly identify weaknesses and competencies, make more efficient and realistic plans, and also minimize the effort required to evaluate complex interrelationships. Strategic planning driven by data will help you completely transform your business.
The next step for your business is to be updated with the current innovations that can elevate your business above your competitors. The team that is responsible for this task is your business analytics team. Equip them with data and proper tools so they may extract intelligence about the past, present and future of your business.
Click on the link in descriptions for a free 15 minutes discovery call and let us guide you through your data, help you organize it so it may help you use to your advantage.