We have an incredible amount of data at our fingertips. Yet, most businesses still struggle to use that to their advantage. In fact, research shows that only 4% of companies make good use of data analytics.
Both failing to utilise the data we have, and failing to obtain the right kind of data in the first place, can lead us to missing out on valuable insights. Decisions shouldn’t be made off the cuff or blindly, especially when it comes to the success of your company. Big decisions should be based on all the information that you have. While this includes your instinct, experience, emotions, research and personal knowledge, it should also include all applicable data that you can lay your hands on. Relevant data will help turn daily decision making into a well-crafted decision making strategy.
Here are eight tips to help you use your data to enhance your decision-making strategy.
8 Tips to Use Data for Better Decision Making
Tip One: Eliminate Your Bias
Good leaders can make bad decisions. Often this is because we carry around unconscious biases that make it difficult to verify the logic of our decisions. We can sometimes view data through the lens of these biases instead of seeing the real meaning and natural outcomes.
Studies show, however, that when organisations worked to reduce the bias effect in their decision-making processes, they achieved up to 7% higher returns. One great way to eliminate bias is by working collaboratively with others who can help keep you in check.
Tip Two: Set Your Objectives
There’s no point in gathering data if you don’t know what you want to do with it. Set a strategy that takes into account your business needs and strategies and defines your KPIs. The better you understand what you want to achieve, the more your data will be able to drive those achievements.
Tip Three: Start Gathering Data Now
Gathering the right data is crucial to making informed decisions. If you are just starting up, include data collection as part of your strategy from day one. If you are in an established business, get onto it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more essential learnings will slip away.
Tip Four: Analyse Your Data
After setting the framework for obtaining your data, it’s essential that you learn how to mine it for meaningful insights. Using analytical reports and a centralised reporting system that combines and confirms data from your different sources will help you be organised and enable you to extract information that you can action.
Tip Five: Visualise the Data
Implementing a business dashboard is a great way to visualise your data story. Business dashboards are essential tools that help every organisation to better understand the insights that arise from their data. They can be organisational, strategic or analytical and can focus on a specific task or the big picture. But each one will help you drill down into your data to understand what it is telling you.
Tip Six: Establish a Data Use Culture
Encourage your teams, both individually and within the organisation as a whole, to adopt data-driven analysis. You should help them to adopt self-service reporting and to work collaboratively to understand the data story.
Tip Seven: Set Measurable Goals
Setting measurable goals will give you a way to ensure that you can turn your data insights into success-building actions. And measuring the success of these actions will give you a thorough understanding of the results of your efforts.
Tip Eight: Make Better Business Decisions
Once you have all your goals, your data, your insights and your data story, then you need to apply those findings to your decision-making strategy. You can start answering those tricky business questions with data-driven decision strategies. You’ll feel confident that you are making the best decisions for your business based on all the information.
Keep your company data driven by continuing to analyse questions, look for answers and acquire relevant data and you’ll soon see measurable results.
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