The One Asset You Have But Don't Know How To Use
WHY IS DATA IMPORTANT?
Data is the main driver for nearly every non-profit, for-profit or governmental organization across the world. It fuels your business plans, marketing strategies, sales tactics, budgets, business processes and so much more. Creating plans without consulting data is like talking to a wall: frustrating and fruitless.
It doesn’t matter what industry or department you work in, data is the slow train keeping your business moving forward. The industry and departmental differences show up in how you use that data.
WHO CAN USE DATA
Let’s say you work in customer support. You get calls every day from customers who are either unhappy with your products or services or who need your assistance. During your calls you’re gathering data. You track the number of calls you receive – always hoping that number will decrease – and the types of concerns that are brought up – with the intention to fix them early, so your call volume goes down.
That same data can be used by the Marketing, Sales and Products departments. Your products department – or engineering or manufacturing or individual agents – use call volume to determine if there are any real issues with a new product or service that was released that can be addressed now instead of down the road. Your Marketing and Sales department(s) use the content of those calls to determine if there is anything they can provide customers up-front to eliminate concerns or questions they may have so they don’t have to call support.
BENEFITS OF DATA ANALYSIS
Data on its own does very little; it’s the analysis of the data that provides insights that you can implement in your business. There isn’t one right way to analyze your data, nor is there one perfect tool. You just need to find the right way for you because the benefits of harnessing the power in your data far outweighs the costs.
It makes you more productive.
The main benefit from real-time data analysis is context. With data analysis you aren’t just looking at one string of data and trying to make assumptions based on limited information. Rather, you are able to get a fuller picture. With context, you can not only see where your backlogs are happening, but also the circumstances that surround them, which will help you critically evaluate and adjust your processes.
It generates actionable insights.
Actionable insights is the information you use to make strategic decisions about how your company will function moving forward. These insights could be gathered from external sources about your customers (both current and future) or your industry. Either way, they help you adapt to an ever-changing business environment and stay ahead of your competition.
It improves your products and/or services.
Insights don’t have to just be about you or your products. Data analysis also gives you the opportunity to check up on your competition. It helps you keep up with or outpace those who would like to see your customers become theirs. Other types of reports will help you keep your current customers from competitors by allowing you to see and address any issues in your current offerings before they become a larger issue.
THE HUMAN ELEMENT
Obviously, for data analysis at the speed and breadth necessary for today’s climate, you’ll need to rely on some very specific computing tools. Don’t forget, though, that only you can create and implement the strategies, based in data, that will allow your company to grow and thrive.