Happy New Year!
I trust that you managed to enjoy some time to relax with family and friends over the festive period and are now ready to return to work.
For everyone at Beyond Analysis, it’s more a case of putting data back to work: pressing on with our efforts to help clients realise the very real commercial potential of the information at their disposal over the course of the 12 months to come.
Rather than offer any firm resolutions of our own, however, I thought it might possibly be useful to share some tips about how data can best drive your organisation forward.
Starting – quite literally – from the top, it’s worth making time to ensure those leading a business know just what data can contribute to what they and their colleagues do. Once the penny drops with board members, the results at all levels can be almost immediate.
The most critical element of your data policy should be purpose, not personnel. Just throwing cash and people at data doesn’t in itself make you more effective in using it. Giving the right people the right insight into how they and their customers behave by being smarter in how data is analysed is the key.
Challenge your analysts by directing them at specific issues rather than tasks which they’ve undertaken countless times before. By changing their workload, you develop their own insight, motivation and the quality of their reporting.
In the same vein, free yourself from the spreadsheet straitjacket in order to speed up the application of your most relevant data. Rather than producing a huge number of different reports, choose just 12 important indicators from within your business, pull them together in one simple document which everyone can see and understand the value of.
Instead of only regarding data as a way of reflecting on past performance, use data to shape your future and that of your clients by taking advantage of AI in order to generate instant insights. Machine learning is fast becoming a crucial means of swiftly capturing and filtering information in order to personalise a customer’s shopping experience, tailor marketing campaigns and give yourself a competitive edge without breaking the bank.
Finally, try to concentrate on getting insight to those within your business who can make most use of it. That can include helping sales staff by giving them the kind of precise information which they need to hit their targets.
Ahead of the introduction of GDPR in May, talk of ‘Big Data’ has been everywhere. Make 2018 the year when you use data to have a big impact on the way you do business.