The importance of analysis in the digital era
In today’s fast-paced business environment, disruptive technologies and new innovations have become the new normal. These technologies are characterised by their ability to challenge the status quo and, in some cases, significantly alter the way businesses and industries operate – creating new markets and disrupting existing ones.
These changes represent opportunities. In having the ability to quickly and accurately analyse and understand the situation, organisations can stay ahead of the curve by making decisions that capitalise on the moment and give them the competitive edge.
Everything is digital. Now what?
Digitalisation is the process of converting information into a digital format. It has been a core business strategy in companies for years. No wonder, with promises of automation of manual processes, streamlining of tedious workflows and access to real-time data-driven decision making.
In today’s digital world, there exists a reporting system for almost any business activity. The challenge, however, is no longer to convert activities into a digital format. Instead, the challenge is to access and relate data across systems. Identifying the most relevant reporting system and accurately relating its data to your goals and objectives are key activities to capitalise on the opportunity to become a data-driven company.
How can you engage in data-driven decision making?
First, you have to clearly define your goals and objectives. This helps identify the metrics you need to monitor in order to ensure you stay on target. Furthermore, this helps identify areas and specific activities that provide you with the most reliable data.
Let’s take a look at an example:
Say you want to measure how many people attended a conference. The first assumption is to count the amount of tickets sold for that event. This will give you the number, but not how many buyers actually attended the conference. The most accurate data would instead be to measure how many tickets were QR scanned at the entrance. Therefore, the system you want to access is the ticketing system at the entrance door, and the data you want to measure are the number of scanned tickets compared to tickets sold.
Thinking of data in this way means you can speed up the process of finding relevant systems and activities to be used in data-driven decision making.
What are the success factors for data-driven decision making?
Data-driven decision making is the process of using data to inform decisions and business strategy. The quality of the decision can only be as good as the quality of the data. Making sure the data quality is at the highest level becomes a key success factor for any data-driven decision:
- Ensure data is accurate and reliable – data needs to be verified for accuracy and come from error-free records that can be used as a reliable source of information.
- Ensure data is relevant to the decision at hand – clearly defining your goals and objectives can help you identify which decisions you need to make to stay on target, and consequently identify which focus areas, products or user activities need to be measured to provide you with the most relevant data.
- Ensure data is timely and complete – data usually consists of many smaller pieces of data – referred to as data fields – that, only when combined together, contribute to a useful dataset. Therefore, when collecting data fields from an operational log or system, you need to make sure you collect it along with enough supporting data fields. This means that when transferred to a business intelligence tool, it does not lose its context and, consequently, its value in reports and analysis.
- Ensure you have a complete set of data necessary to inform the decision, as well as making sure the data is up-to-date and reflects the current situation.
By ensuring that our customers have the right data to back decisions, track their output, and are able to stay on top of daily activities, we’re giving them the tools to operate with the utmost speed and time to market – and ultimately maintaining their competitive edge and continuous growth.