Data is something that can be tedious to collect but the payoff is often well worth the effort that it takes to collect and organize the data. Data can help organizations make sure they're making the right decision in nearly every level of operation.
Decisions are one of the more stressful aspects of a job, especially if it's something that can have a long lasting effect on the organization. Data-driven decisions help alleviate a bit of the stress because it allows the decision maker to reference past decisions and their results to allow for evidence based decisions to be made.
Management, finance, customer service, business growth, and marketing can all be improved by tracking data and making decisions based on the data that has been collected to better your organization through each decision.
Managing is an art. It requires great communication skills, leadership abilities, and administrative experience. With all of these tasks and responsibilities, why wouldn't you want to take advantage of some data-driven management strategies?
'I think realizing there is a way to make an organization work better that has statistics and numbers and feedback to back up the decisions was something I didn't consider until I heard about it,' says Roman Taranov, CEO of Able. 'But there are ways to get feedback from people in your organization and organize it in a way to produce data that can help you lead and make decisions.'
'Regular check-ins and surveys that are sent out to your staff can provide valuable data that will help you manage your organization with more efficiency and accuracy,' says Amaury Kosman CEO of Circular. 'Make sure these are able to be anonymous - they're much more likely to be accurate and provide useful data that way. These surveys can let you know how your staff feels about the current operational plan, what they want to see in the future, what improvements you can make as a leader, and give everyone a chance to voice their thoughts that they might otherwise not feel confident enough to say to you in-person.'
Financial data-driven decisions are probably the most common type of data-driven decisions because finances are most likely already being tracked and translated into data that can be used to drive business decisions.
'Take a look at your financial strategies and explore how you can use the data you're already collecting for financial purposes to make decisions for the future, " says Jeff Meeks, VP of Sales and Marketing for Energy Fit. 'There might be trends or other information that you simply haven't realized are there. There are many softwares out there that will help you generate tables, graphs, charts, and more.'
Financial data is helpful to have on hand for the daily decisions as well as those long-term decisions that could affect the future of the organization and everyone who's employed there.
Similarly to the management data decisions, customer service data can be gathered in a way to make sure that you're running your organization in a way that optimizes the results for your customers.
'Customer surveys are fantastic because they allow an organization the insight they need to make sure they're making the decisions their customers want to see,' says Heather Pulier CEO of Outset Financial. 'Figure out what type of survey gives you the best results from your customers and stick with it so you can gather the data for a long time and track trends and the difference your decisions are making.'
'Throw incentives into your customer surveys,' says Remon Aziz, Chief Operating Officer for Advantage. 'The customers are more likely to fill out the surveys if they're going to get something out of it too. Discounts, freebies, and coupons are fantastic ways to incentivize the completion of the surveys.'
Business growth is always something to explore. Did you know that this can be done through data-driven decisions too, though?
'Look at how you're growing your business - whether that is over social media platforms or through in-store sales,' says Michel Mosse, Co-Founder and Head of Revenue for Hoist. 'Data can be collected and examined to make decisions for better growth.'
'Data can be used in many ways to promote the growth of your business,' says Adam Shlomi Founder of SoFlo Tutors. 'You can track data to get a better idea of what types of changes are helping or hindering your business growth.'
'Look at how you can grow your business through things like customer retention and trends,' says Benjamin Meskin, President of Cabrella. 'The key here is consistency. Growth isn't something that happens overnight so you have to find a good way of tracking this data so it's usable in the future when it's compiled and analyzed.'
Marketing is something that every business is doing and with the move to digital platforms over the past few years it's something that needs to be analyzed more carefully than ever.
'Traditional advertising allowed for data collection through coupons or discount codes, but digital media has been able to provide even more data,' says Jesse Richardson, CEO of The Brothers Apothecary. 'Social platforms and web advertising have allowed for tracking of who is viewing what information and when so you can make the decisions that will increase the chance of people seeing your marketing materials.'
'Social media and digital marketing options make it simple to see what material is making an impact and what's not accomplishing the set goals,' says Brett Sohns, Founder of LifeGoal Investments. 'The platforms themselves often track the impacts, but it's not a bad idea to log that data in your own software to view the trends for each campaign.'
In conclusion, there is a lot that can be done to track data to make data-driven decisions for your business. From marketing to customer feedback, tracking data can help you make better decisions for the future of your organization.
In short, the more consistent you are with collecting data, the more accurate the decisions will be. Each decision will lead to the collection of more data which will allow you to see the long-lasting impact of the decisions that are being made.
It feels great to make a decision that can be backed up by data and know there is a higher chance that the decision will lead to success because of the information you've collected. Try out some of these tips for your next business decisions or take a look at your current data collection methods to make sure you're optimizing your organization and decision processes.