Despite its recognizable promise, advanced data and analytics are still underused and even unappreciated by many businesses. Although 47% of business leaders claim that D&A has been instrumental in transforming their industries, many organizations still can’t seem to make data work for their businesses. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to take advantage of the power of data once and for all. With that said, here are 5 excellent tips on making data work for your business.
Establish the “Why”
When moving towards success, it takes the collective effort of a team to move towards the goal. It is for this reason that Simon Sinek, author, and inspirational speaker, encouraged companies and working teams to share a common “why”. This way, no matter the route or the length of the journey, the drive and the destination remain secure.
This works as an effective strategy for data & analysis simply because if you know what you want, you know how to use your resources to get there. If your business aims to provide a service to a certain demographic, you can narrow down your pursuits and focus on how you can make the most out of your data. Without the why you may just waste your resources for the wrong reasons or the wrong direction overall.
Furthermore, if you firmly establish the reason behind every effort, you can properly interpret data and analyze if your methods are indeed effective, or if something needs improvement. You can predict the outcome of consumer patterns, and the trajectory of market trends.
Lean Towards Realistic Goal Setting
Not every start-up, business, or company gets lucky with a competent team and a continual line of successes, but if yours prove to be promising, you may need to be careful. Early success can cloud your mind from all possible pitfalls, and this may lead you to overestimate your potential and disregard the available data. The retail industry is the most common culprit when it comes to unrealistic goal setting, especially if they fail to analyze and predict any fluctuations in the market. This failure can drastically affect your revenue in the long run.
Another good example of an industry that has a promising future, but still needs more research to back its methods is Renewable Energy. As of 2020, the United States accounts for 12% of energy use as processed from renewable sources. However, if startups invest too much in the early technologies of the venture, it may cost more without a guarantee of an immediate ROI. That said, we recommend these companies set their goals more realistically and give more time for research and development. It also helps to secure data on how the price of renewable energy installation lowers over time. With enough time, more states may eventually have full confidence in the venture and offer substantial tax incentives to companies that offer such systems and services.
Use Unstructured Text for Relevance & Alignment
As a business expands, a company grows, and the complexity of the problems at hand increases. In this situation, a disregard for data will eventually rear its ugly head and affect your progress. A common pitfall of companies is that they rely on structured data that can be processed by the machine and turned into statistics. In the process, unstructured text is neglected in the data gathering process.
Unstructured information is the text that is user-generated and qualitative. A prime example of this would be the comments and feedback section in surveys given to customers. This type of data helps you connect with your customers and clients, and it gives you an overview of how you are perceived by the market. This information also provides a more organic and human insight into how you are currently running your business and how you can improve.
Moreover, the importance of relevance and alignment in business cannot be overstated. By eliciting data about your business, you can move forward in the right direction. You can also avoid getting diverted to other approaches that may further add to the complication of any predicament at hand. Conclusively, this information helps you assess your relevance in the market and re-align yourself towards your business goals.
Build an Effective Network
One key purpose of data and analytics in business is to serve as a platform for effective communication – not just between the company and its consumers, but also amongst the participants in an industry. There are continual advancements within any industry and to keep to yourself would be akin to creating an echo chamber for yourself, and this is not conducive to growth.
By investing your resources in D&A, you get to build partnerships with other leading companies in the industry and even improve upon your assets with the help of IT pioneers. Given that in the modern era of the internet, data is almost an essential commodity for maximizing your impact and expanding your consumer reach. That said, data leaders have access and expertise on the tools you need to make your mark.
With the help of a robust network of experts, you are also given more information about opportunities you can take on and updates that may affect business – by niche or as a whole. While this investment means shelling out assets that could easily be considered profit, putting your money towards the growth of your business just ensures that your company will eventually outlast and endure any market dynamics.
Monitor Quality & Productivity Regularly
For the last tip, we encourage business owners to employ a D&A strategy that utilizes all available information about their venture. This is not just for the purpose of securing profit. You need to assess the data to see how far you’ve gone, how much you’ve done or changed, and what decisions should be repeated or avoided. If you’re still in the early stages of your business, it is only ideal that you invest in anything that puts anything on file, whether it’s on an online logging platform or set in a written document.
Business information is vital on all fronts, and you need this to monitor two key things: quality of production and productivity over time. As a business, you are geared to sustain the demands of a market, and any show of disinterest or inconsistency could mean a competitor taking a customer’s attention from you. There is a saying that goes, “what you cannot measure, you cannot manage”, and this is especially beneficial to all types of ventures. Data and analysis is a resource that keeps on giving. And, for as long as you invest in it, this keeps you on top of things.
Let’s wrap up these tips in five key points on how to properly make data work for your business. Firstly, you need to establish your “why” so you can orient your business towards your goals. Secondly, make sure your goals are realistic, so you don’t waste resources on impractical pursuits. Thirdly, make use of unstructured text to add an empathetic aspect to your data gathering. Then, build a network to encourage growth and collaboration. Lastly, you need to monitor what you put out into the market and use data to your advantage every time.
Setting up an actionable strategy involving data and analysis for your business should be a priority from the get-go. Remember that the internet is dynamic and ever-changing, and if you want to get ahead in the industry, or make an impact in the market, data is a considerable currency that can buy you your success. That being said, invest in data and optimize them towards your business goals. We’re hoping that with this quick guide, you can integrate these tips into your business plan and foster optimal growth for your ventures. All the best!