Let’s just focus on the data your business generates every day. Each one of your departments, your employees, your suppliers and your customers create large amounts of data every day. It may be in the form emails, phone calls, social media and company website interactions.
Now what if every business decision you made was not just driven by your innate intuition and vast experience but now also armed with an accurately analysed version of all your data? They call it Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM). Simply put, it is what is says. Imagine KNOWING what your customers, clients or employees truly need and being able to fulfil that need exactly when they need it. It’s one of many advantages DDDM brings to a business. To learn more, have a look at some of the research articles listed below.
The good news here is that you are closer to being data driven than you think. These 5 steps will put your business on the path to becoming a data-driven powerhouse.
To start with, carefully and comprehensively collect data from every source available. At this stage the scope needs to be as wide as possible. Think everything from employee banter, customer service, sales, marketing (websites, social media) and operations to global economy. At this stage it’s all about quantity. It can be recorded on excel sheets or word documents. Keep it simple.
You’ll be surprised how much information there is when you really start to look for it. So instead of trying to tackle everything all at once, start by identifying small chunks of information directly relevant to your business, employees, customers and suppliers.
Once identified move this data into a Business Intelligence or Data Analytics service. There are a host of apps and cloud based services that are free or have free trials that allow you to try before you buy. Most of them are priced per user per month with no contracts. See the reference section below for some options.
Analytics services and tools provide visual and numerical representations of data being analysed. They convert raw data into usable information and provide comparative analysis in various combinations.
This is where you deliberately put into action strategies driven by the precise information at hand.
This one’s a bonus step and also the most important. New data is created every second. To truly realise the full potential of DDDM, the fundamental steps above need to be an ongoing process.
In this Digital age information is gold. The truly rich are not the ones that have the most but are the ones that do the most with what they have. So stop worrying about fancy terms like Big Data and use what you have to transform your small business into a Data-Driven Powerhouse!
Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM)
Small Business Data Analytics Solutions