As a business owner, your decisions lay at the heart of your success. Doing what you’ve always done isn’t enough as the world evolves and business becomes globally competitive.
Now, to stay relevant and successful, data has to drive many of your choices, especially the big ones. Luckily, technology makes it easy to use big and small data to see the whole picture.
With this five-step process, you’ll learn how to seamlessly make data-driven decisions. Soon, it’ll become something you do as easily as breathing.
Five Steps to Better Decisions
Follow these steps, and every business choice you make will be data-driven and strategic.
Before you can move forward with any decision, you’ll need to revisit the essential question of what your current business goals are.
How will this question you’re considering help or hurt those goals? Which parts of your business will it impact?
With the answer to those questions, you can design a clearer strategy. Without a strategy, you’ll be shooting in the dark with what data you’ll need to use.
2. Know the Key Areas to Target
Armed with the parts of the business you’re aiming to improve, now you can make a list of the key areas in those sectors.
Take each area and dissect them. What are their current strong points, and where are they weak? How can data be used to improve the weak areas without interfering with what’s already working?
3. Pinpoint the Data
The key areas you’re focusing on will help you pinpoint the data you’ll need to obtain to make accurate decisions.
Keep in mind that there are two key issues to define when you’re pinpointing and collecting data. You need to know the primary purpose of the data itself and how you’re going to use it to make decisions.
But data can be used in multiple forms, and you’ll also be responsible for governing the data you collect, following best practices, and using reliable tools. Data analytics solutions are often chosen by businesses because of the sensitivity of this part of the process.
4. Data Collection and Analysis
Whichever framework you used to pinpoint the data you needed, now it’s time to collect it all and analyze it.
You know the key areas that need help. Create categories for each of these areas and place relevant data under each category. Use your results to validate the possible decisions you were considering and the potential outcome of each choice.
5. Make Data-Driven Decisions
Sometimes, the data will lead you in a clear direction. Most of the time, you’ll have to break your analysis down further before you know exactly what your next steps should be.
Consider the technical aspects, as well as the butterfly effect of consequences. What impact will this decision, based on the data, have on your bottom line? Your customers? Your employees? Is the choice the most ethical, productive, and forward-moving decision possible, according to the key areas you’ve targeted?
Keep adjusting your potential decisions through various datasets until you find your hard yes result. Then, you can move forward confident in the fact that you made the best choice possible based on what you found with the data at hand.