The trend towards big data has changed the fortunes of thousands of businesses around the world. If you’re not one of them, it’s because you have a missing link. Collecting data is one thing, but transforming it into actionable insights is another skill entirely.
Without the latter, you’ll struggle to spot patterns and warning signs that could afford you more time or lead to expansion. In short, you’ll be reactive rather than proactive. How do you mold the information to your will?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy; however, the following techniques are proven to help companies that need to bridge the gap between collection and action.
You can’t provide insights if you don’t have them, and you won’t have them if you don’t measure specific areas of the business and essential KPIs. They are mostly easy to spot, yet this doesn’t mean you’ll already have an effective program. If your accounting isn’t fluid across the board, making the numbers compliant will be challenging.
You can make it simpler, but you need enterprise accounting software first and foremost. You must also understand the importance of things that appear insignificant or go under the radar, such as the cost of customer acquisition. Obtaining a customer comes at a price, and you need to review whether it’s worth the effort.
Don’t Get Stuck In A Rabbit Hole
Getting lost in the data is one of the easiest things in the world. When it happens, you can finish a session with answers to questions you already knew, which is annoying or have no answers. Both are a waste of time and resources, which is why it’s vital to prepare the right inquiries in advance. Ask stakeholders what they view as their challenges and aspirations moving forward, and mold your process around their goals.
Compartmentalize Your Demographics
It’s true that you should never group individuals together and assume they want the same things. As individuals, their wants and needs can easily differ. However, as a rule, you’ll find that most people in similar demographics will have matching tendencies. By grouping them together, you can not only learn more about them but do it while eliminating resource restraints.
The key is not to focus on age or gender only. Instead, you should take income, lifestyle, and other demographics into account, among other considerations. The wider you cast the net, the bigger the catch.
Promote Communication Over Competition
Healthy competition is viewed as integral to your business’s success, yet it might cause more problems than it’s worth. The reason is that coworkers who are also rivals will gladly retain vital information if it boosts their chances of a promotion or recognition. Once they do, your ability to act on insights drops significantly because the people who need the data don’t have access. Promoting communication is a smart way to encourage colleagues to work as a team rather than individuals.
Is there a missing link between your data collection process and actioning the insights? How will you bridge the gap?
[avatar user=”mike” size=”thumbnail” align=”” link=”file”]Mike Gaudreau is the owner of The Wealthy Boomers, a site devoted to helping seniors make money online. Mike resides in Montreal Canada.[/avatar]