More data has been created in the past two years than during the entire history of the human race. Big data is exploding. With data comes insights, patterns, and opportunity - but only if your business can capitalize on data tools.
Data is what it sounds like - 1’s and 0’s. Even basic charts or spreadsheets are information, not data. Staring at an enormous list of numbers and letters won’t grow your company - or empower your employees.
Data need to be accessible. Once sorted, labeled, and presented in a comprehensible way - data is money. Following a 10% increase in data accessibility spending, typical Fortune 1000 companies made an additional $65.7 million. And that fact is five years old.
Today, Netflix saves at least $1 billion a year, using data to fuel customer retention. Most of this shouldn’t be a surprise to you. A Forbes survey found that 95% of businesses already face problems in structuring data.
For those who already understand the value of data, the question is how to manage it. Data tools help you extract revenue from the data you already possess.
Information about how many contracts you signed last year, or the net loss in revenue from counterfeit products. That’s where data analytics tools and data visualization tools come into play. Data science tools help you turn 1’s and 0’s into 1,000,000’s.
Let’s dive into the details.
So you have access to data and the tools to understand it. But why do you need to provide these tools to your entire team? Isn’t it enough to be able to make better managerial decisions?
Empowering your team with data tools is multiplying the ROI of the data. Remember, data is only as useful as the insights which can be extracted from it. Each insight requires a unique viewpoint, problem, or curiosity.
Gathering data and outsourcing reports now and then won’t provide immediate feedback. Setting up data analysis with tools can give your team the power to see how their decisions affect the business as a whole.
In doing so, teams can make better predictions and understand the impact of their decisions. Slow access to information impedes decision making.
Presenting your team with figures and numbers tends to switch people off. Utilizing data tools can bring life to your data, and more importantly, help you be more persuasive.
Data dashboards (like Microsoft Power BI) should provide a visual, data-based overview of essential indicators. At a glance, you can see your business’ performance as well as individual teams.
Responsibility and the capability for decision making are two sides of the same coin. Data tools and analytics won’t grow your business unless your team is empowered to use them. Decision making has to start with your employees.
Here are a few essential tips to help prepare your team to make a difference in a world of big data.
Businesses are complex. Typically, most companies will have several teams working on different plans, goals, and schedules. Ideally, each team contributes one piece of the pie that is the common aim of the company.
Make sure you start every project with a common goal and ask team members to contribute to creative and efficient ideas.
Clear strategic goals produced by the team itself will help them utilize data points. Clear goals are the context for your data insights. Otherwise, you can spend hours compiling analytics and dashboards with no particular purpose.
Help employees as much as possible to work on projects that allow them to use their talents. Employees that aren’t able to do what they’re good at are 8% less productive and 15% more likely to quit.
If they sound like small numbers, try cutting 8% from your annual revenue. If your team lacks insight on a project, invest in data tools to help them. Make sure your data analysis is supporting the right teams in the company.
Investing in data tools that help your employees progress, rather than whatever IT suggests, will go a long way. Standard software may not have the tools for proper analysis. Give your teams as much influence as possible to roll out new software.
Sometimes data doesn’t just show us where to improve, but also where to double down. If your data tells you that a particular employee or project is doing well - make sure you recognize them for it.
Don’t use data only to check on and punish team members for slacking or failing. Fixing weaknesses in your business are important, but this may set a negative understanding of the purpose of data within your company. Management may end up nitpicking at small inefficiencies rather than seeking innovation and opportunity.
Data is worth more than to confirm or deny already existing beliefs. Let your teams ask and answer questions with the data. Try to begin with broad questions and narrow them down to specific hypotheses.
Empower your team with tools and then let them use it. Gathering data only to tell your team exactly what to search for isn’t productive. Close familiarity with each project in the company gives each team unique questions that lead to useful insights.
Gathering data can be an advantage or just a time-consuming jumble of stats that aren’t useful. The difference is data analytics tools. Data tools directly translate to better decision making amongst all your employees, not just upper management.
Data tools help you translate your data into information that fuels decision making and innovation. If you feel that your company lacks insight into its business’s key areas, or feel that your data could be put to better use - contact us.
Acxtron can help you give context to the numbers and make trends and anomalies stand out. Data doesn’t have to be boring or useless - it can help your business stand out and make money.