5 Steps Towards Implementing a Data-Driven Business Model

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Author: Orlando Trott

Digging deep into an organization’s operations will often surface the fact that many executives still make decisions based on gut instincts and narrow observations. On the contrary, data-driven decisions take the guesswork out of business tactics.

It’s imperative that senior executives, middle management and lower middle management utilize data when making high impact decisions. In order to empower data-driven decisions organization wide, it’s important to develop a sense of transparency. By surfacing the current climate of each department within an organization, executives allow senior managers, team leads and employees alike to make highly informed decisions based on the current pulse of the organization. Many organizations are looking to make the switch to a software assisted business reporting model. This is typically a process within the digital transformation of an organization.

Crafting an organization wide data-driven approach is often the first step (of many) within a business’s digital transformation. Here’s a look at how a data-driven culture can positively impact a company’s bottom line.

Starting With Strategy

Transferring your business to a data-driven organization can be a timely yet valuable process in the long term. However, if the strategy behind the transition is not done correctly it can result in a constant rise of invaluable data points.

When analyzing large clusters of data, it’s important to set a clear business objective and create a framework outlining the organization’s growth strategy.

This helps the transition team to focus the initiative on value driven data points that can help drive growth within each department of an organization.

Identify Key Streams of Data

Data is consistently flowing into your organization from all directions, from customer transactions via point of sale to the cloud-based platforms used by your internal workforce.

It’s essential to manage the multiple sources of data and identify which areas will bring the most benefit. Tracking the right data points within an organization can be lucrative during the decision making process. This allows an organization’s management to make data-driven decisions while amplifying synergy within the day-to-day operations.

Mastering Internal Data Segmentation

Now you’ve identified which areas of your business will benefit the most from analytics and what issues you want to address, it’s time to target which data sets will answer all those burning questions.

This involves looking at the data that you already have and finding out which data sources provide the most valuable information. This helps to streamline the data. Remember that when different departments use separate systems, it can lead to inaccurate data reporting. The best systems can cross-analyze data from different sources.

Segmenting internal data according to your business objectives will help keep the costs of data storage down. Internal data segmentation will also ensure that you’re gaining the most valuable and useful insights.

This is very different from customer segmentation. Internal data is centralized around identifying internal blocks in organizational processes whereas customer segmentation is focused on identifying who your core customer is based on product, location and consumer behavior.

Collecting and Analyzing The Right Data

To analyze the data effectively, you may need integrated systems to connect all the various data sources. The level of skills you need will vary according to what each department head needs to analyze and/or report on current success.

Analytics will require a data specialist versed in necessary data wrangler, analysis and visualization platforms/software. The more accessible and visually compelling the data is, the better a management team can easily spot insights from it.

Turning Quality Insights Into Actionable Responses

There are multiple business intelligence tools that can pull together even complex sets of data and present it in a way that makes your insights more digestible for decision makers.

It’s not just about presenting complex visualizations, it’s about driving true value from the data in order to empower actionable responses.

Businesses of all sizes have always depended heavily on data. Data flows through an organization in multiple forms such as managing operations, sourcing lines of credit, paying employees and vendors, predicting future revenue, and so on. Companies with the best strategies around leveraging data have always experienced a significant advantage.

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