Data can be a business’s most valuable asset, and as a business leader or decision maker, it can be your closest ally. Making data-driven business decisions is your route to business success. The right data, extracted in the proper way, gives you confidence in your business decisions, helping you lead with certainty and conviction.
For example, making tactical business decisions that relate to finances or business strategy can be a daunting task to undertake. But leading the decision with data turns it into an equation that can be backed up with accurate validation. Using data to guide you, you can assist the business in improving your return on investment, reducing costs, improving the use of resources etc. So, how do you use data-driven decision making to move your business forward?
Know What Your Outcomes Are
Whether you are a data analyst or hold a position in management, understanding the goals you are aiming for is essential. It could be anything from analysing a channel of communication for validity, to forecasting what the next financial year could bring, all based on data. Data can be extracted to showcase where your marketing budget goes, and how solid the return on investment is. When delving into product development, data can determine whether or not it’s worth investing in a new version.
It’s important to define your outcomes clearly to make the most of the data-driven decision-making process.
Ask The Right Questions
What do you need to validate? What business requirement do you need to answer? Can we predict what will be happening in the market in the short, medium and long-term? Is there some form of concrete foundation you need the data to provide? Set precise questions that you need exact answers to.
Establish The Relevant Data Sources
Once your outcomes are set, and you have your questions lined up, identify the relevant data sources that can be pulled to illustrate your outcomes or goals. You can incorporate a number of different data sources to get a clear, well-rounded view of your business. Data from your web analytics can be combined with social media data. You can also pull data from your customer support and any customer or user experience analysis you may have conducted. The more data, the more relevance you can apply to your findings.
Clean The Data
A lot of time can be spent cleaning data, ensuring that the data is of suitable quality and can actually be used. You need to understand the data quality required to give you good answers, remembering there is no such thing as 100% quality. You are looking for the quality of your data that is “just right” or, fit for purpose.
Without clean, accurate and organized data, the entire process becomes pointless. Data-driven decision making is based on factual information. Incomplete data or mismatched pieces of data will only deliver false results.
Analyse The Data For Your Needs
Using modern data analysis, predictive and visualization tools and techniques, you can create data stories that address the outcomes you seek. Remember to present data in a way that has meaning and persuasion so that your business colleagues can clearly see the value of following a data-driven decision-making process.
If you’re unsure of where to start with your data-driven decision making, Robinson Ryan is on standby to help. We can help you direct the intelligent use of analytics and insights so that your data can work for you.