In the last few years numerous thought-leaders have touted the value of Big Data, which involves extracting useful information from within and outside a company.
This is because making decisions based on data is far more reliable than ones based on instinct, assumptions, or perceptions, which can be biased.
A study from the MIT Center for Digital Business found that organisations driven by data-based decision making had 4% higher productivity rates and 6% higher profits.
This is because a data-driven approach allows businesses to identify trends over time which can inform effective practices, make them aware of issues, and illuminate possible innovations.
To be truly data-driven, however, businesses need to approach every decision by analysing relevant data and letting the conclusions that data brings drive the direction of the company.
There are four basic steps a company can take to ensure it is truly data-driven.
Collect as much data as possible
Your business should pull both the data you are generating internally – provided by Google Analytics, Salesforce, Site conversions, and so on – and data you can collect from external sources like social media, and the market.
Considering how inexpensive cloud-based software platforms are, there’s really no excuse not to collect and store as much data as possible.
Set measurable goals
Setting goals that are measurable forces you to analyse why you failed to reach a goal. This should help you see which variables affect which parts of your business.
These “goals” aren’t just high-level, they should also be used for individual projects and personal goal-setting.
This not only helps to evaluate your performance, but lets your employees feel that they are contributing to the company’s bottom line.
Data for everyone
Data shouldn’t just be in the hands of the data scientists at the IT department.
In order to foster a data-driven culture, each department needs to take ownership of the data they need to make decisions relevant to them.
For this to be possible, training employees to be more data-literate is essential.
To support making data available to everyone, you need a C-level person who is responsible for your data strategy.
Hire data scientists and data analysts
You can’t expect all of your employees to master complex algorithms and data mining techniques, however.
You will need to appoint data scientists and analysts, who are able to blend in-depth knowledge of the business as a whole with data science, insights, marketing, and strategy.
In short, they must perform the following functions:
- Convert unstructured data to structured data.
- Perform quantitative analysis on this data.
- Determine which data sources to investigate.
- Identify what customers really need.
- Decide how to best incorporate big data-based products and services into an effective business model.
The Drivatic difference
Drivatic is a South African data analytics company with an experienced team of data scientists, business analysts, developers, and professionals.
Its mission is to help businesses maximize the value of their data to gain insights and drive action to improve processes, save time, and ultimately increase revenue.
Drivatic guarantees access to the skills, experience, and execution capacity that you need to succeed in a data-driven world.
This article was published in partnership with Drivatic.