The Importance of Facts & Data for Business Success
With rapidly evolving technology, the increasing amount of data that has become available is a vital tool for business leaders and decision-makers when it comes to growing a successful business. Insights gathered from user data make it an exciting time for analysis and provides a range of opportunities for businesses, regardless of their size.
In evaluating the benefits of data, analytics guru Bernard Marr contends, “While the average small business has less self-generated data than big players...this doesn’t mean big data is off-limits. In fact, in many ways, big data is more suited to small businesses, because they’re generally more agile and able to act more quickly on data-driven insights.”
Recent surveys suggest that a majority of business leaders and executives have expressed that analytics help them to make better and more informed decisions, as well as better enabling key strategic initiatives. Another advantage of data and analytics is that it helps businesses improve relationships with customers and partners.
The only caveat is that to take full advantage of the spectrum of data and analytics, it’s important to know how to get the most value from your data. A recent Forbes article suggests there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day and only a small fraction of that data is analyzed for use.
Data Analysis and Visualization
We visualize data, but there’s more to explore:
Variability: Illustrating how things differ and by how much.
Uncertainty: Good visualization practices frame uncertainty that arises from variation in data.
Context: Meaningful context helps us frame uncertainty against underlying variation in data.
Looking at these together or individually lets us create the meaningful questions we look to answer in business.
Data Is Used to Help Make Better Business Decisions
Regardless of size, all businesses generate data. Whether it’s through a website, social media profile, or through the acceptance of electronic payments, data about customers, user habits, web traffic, and more is being collected.
All these data points have immeasurable potential if you learn the right ways to interpret them.
When it comes to decision-making, there are many influences that can determine how you structure and execute your business strategies. Taking into account what’s happening within one's own business, global news, and intuition are not nearly as persuasive as relying on hard and proven data.
Using facts and data creates a profit-increasing power that is difficult to overlook.
When using data the way it is intended, businesses can make decisions about:
Prospecting for new clients
Augmenting customer retention
Improving customer service
Improving marketing efforts
Tracking social media interaction
Predicting sales trend
Data is critical information needed to help leaders create smarter solutions for advancing their companies.
Understanding Performance Through Data
Data is the driver for performance. An analogy is to think of sports teams as an ideal example of businesses that collect performance data in an effort to improve their teams. Professional teams employ data collectors and analysts to support and improve plays on the field. Constantly updating and evaluating data helps the team exact improvement or change to propel excellence.
Business leaders will look to their own team and look for ways to assess how the company is doing. Data collection and analysis can illustrate how their business is performing, as well as gauging identifying elements that need improvement. Performance data can be the catalyst for improved results.
Data to Improve Processes
Understanding and improving business processes help businesses develop a pathway to reducing wasting money and time. All companies are subject to feeling the effects of waste; from depleting your company’s resources to inefficient time management, waste impacts a company’s bottom line.
An example is exercising the wrong marketing tools. A bad advertising decision is a significant waste of resources within a company. Using data will offer insights about the way marketing channels are performing, or underperforming, and can offer answers on which ones are offering your company the greatest ROI.
Adopting Strategies That Work
While the information we’ve provided only begins to scratch the surface of what data can do for your business, it’s important to look to tried and true strategies that work to improve cash flow, grow your business, and increase revenue.
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