Being proactive about the utilization of data and making data driven decisions has been a topic of discussion in our industry this year. Most companies in our industry are just jumping on this strategic initiative, diving deeper into their businesses and identifying what is actually moving the needle (yes, more sales). Getting started, however, seems to be challenging and can leave one stopping midpoint, only tapping into a portion of what they could be capitalizing on.
When this happens, we see a lot of business owners and leadership members slip-back into old habits and rely on gut instincts; leaving their competitors with a strong strategic advantage. When we see leaders leave their decision making to assumptions and gut instincts, it leads to a rabbit hole of unsuccess for themselves, their employees and most importantly, their customers.
Being a data-driven organization has many benefits:
- Remain competitive and adjust their mindset, company culture and enhance their brand
- Allows you to become more customer-centric, understanding the behaviors of your followers, prospects and customers.
- Make business decisions that reduce risk, are more sound and allow you to get buy-in from your teams using evidence as a back-up.
- Identify new or missed opportunities, to help you grow and improve regularly.
- Better understand the changing needs of your market
Don’t Let Data Lead You Down a Rabbit Hole
Utilizing data, whether it’s sales performance, website performance, marketing campaign initiatives, etc. will only be helpful from the insight you gain from the data at hand. Ensure you look at the same data set for a specific period of time to make sure you are focused, specific and can gather insight from a solid perspective. Too much data will leave you with too many questions and uncertainties.
The key to drawing real value from it is identifying which data to use. The metrics you use (what you measure, such as page views or conversions) will determine how successful your data-driven decisions are. Always ensure that the data you choose to analyze is most crucial to the growth and development of your organization. Always remember that if it’s related to business development, measure marketing success (leads = conversions) and sales.
These are some tips to help you get started with data driven decision making:
- Make sure you know where to pull your data from and that it’s a true representation of the business development initiatives you are looking to measure.
- Are you making assumptions based on data? Would these assumptions still stand under a different set of results? If not, why?
- Identify the outlier(s) in the data set you are looking at, list out anomalies and discuss them with whoever is accountable in producing results.
- Consistently review your analytical approach to your data and know when to make adjustments (not frequently) to meet your business needs.
- Are you utilizing the correct technology for data analysis? Keep a running list of improvements you would like to see in the resources used from a software standpoint.
By Natalie Lane, VP of Marketing and Product Development at Spinstak