How To Analyze And Manage Data For Better Business Decisions
Nowadays, data is key to every decision that a business takes towards enhancing their revenue and profit for long-term sustainable growth. In fact, research by McKinsey shows that capturing customer data allows businesses to outperform peers in sales growth and gross margins.
Moreover, in an age where large amounts of data are constantly being produced as a result of big data, real-time analytics, and artificial intelligence, businesses can increasingly leverage data for strategic and evidence-based decision-making. This can help optimize supply chains, improve user experience, and assess customer habits to segment customers in order to improve customer engagement and increase customer lifetime value (CLV).
So if you are looking for ways to analyze and manage data for better and improved business decisions, this article will help guide you to mainstream using data to drive significant value in your business decisions.
Define Your Questions And Objectives
In order to be a data-driven company and create value for your business, you need to begin by answering why you need the data and what you intend on answering by using that data. This means having a clearly defined problem statement so that you know what you want to achieve.
This also means that you need to sit with your team to strategize and prioritize your goals, depending on your needs for the upcoming quarters. This may require the highest standards of data governance at the very outset so that you apply the right framework to measure, control, and manage your data and analytic goals in order to be data-informed in your decisions and have better outcomes.
Some common questions and objectives include:
- How to reduce the per-unit cost of production?
- How to use CRM for increasing customer retention?
- How to maximize employee productivity?
Gather The Right Data
Having defined your objectives, you need to dig deep in your data archives in order to obtain the right kind of data. After all, not all data is created equal.
Firstly, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day, your business needs to ensure the optimal data storage solution. So whatever data storage platform you use, whether it’s a cloud storage warehouse, colocating equipment off-premises, or on-premise cloud storage, ensure that the data infrastructure solution is safe and user-friendly.
Next, gather data using multiple channels such as online tracking, marketing analytics, transactional data, social media analytics, subscription and registration data, in-store data, or customer satisfaction surveys.
You may need to conduct adequate training for your team so that they are able to handle the data and analytics tools and are confident in their ability to choose the right data for your objective.
Synthesize, Interpret, And Analyze Data
Once you have the requisite data in hand, the next step is to take a deep dive in data analysis in order to synthesize the data, look for patterns and themes, and interpret it in order to arrive at conclusions that will help your business answer its key questions.
It is important that you manage your data the right way by using technologies like data catalogs. This will help you organize and structure heaps of data in a way that is accessible and supports your data governance endeavors.
Data analysis is dependent on the question you wish to answer. Usually, businesses tend to use multiple software to help segregate data, visualize it, perform data modeling, or manipulate it to obtain interesting results. For this, your business must be ready to hire consultants and data scientists who will have the skills and knowledge to best guide you in this process.
You can make use of predictive analysis tools, natural language search software, self-service data analytics and business intelligence platforms, dashboarding and data visualization tools, and statistical modeling packages.
Identify Learnings And Incorporate Into Business
What you do with your findings is consequential as it impacts your entire business. Visit your current business model, unpack the areas where your findings suggest you can make the biggest difference, and run pilots to see how the data and your findings do when put to the test.
Importantly, it is alright to revisit and go through your data, models, and analysis if you don’t achieve the desired results. Reevaluation is key!
Plus, try to set measurable targets so that your business doesn’t suffer under the weight of unrealistic expectations.
Data can be immensely helpful to improve and expand your business, predict future patterns, personalize content for customers, retain customers, help repeat purchases, and enhance the overall understanding and experience of your target audience.
The future is data, and it’s time you get on board to really make a difference to your business.