Every business, big or small, should use data to make informed decisions. It will make revelations about your company that need your attention. These insights are hard to point out from the day to day operations of your business. Make decisions based on these revelations and act on them to grow your business. Use this article to guide you in making data-driven decisions.

1. Strategize

Too much data will overwhelm you if you don’t plan on how to use it. There is so much you can do with data. Understand what you want to achieve in your business and make it your goal. It will help you get rid of the distraction that comes with big data. Do not start by finding out the type of data you can access, instead, begin with your goal.

2. Focus on the most significant departments

All departments in business require decision making. It would be difficult to get and work on data from all the departments. Find out the areas that are vital to achieving your strategy. Select one or two areas and focus on them. Consider finance, operations, and customer care as they are critical areas of any business.

3. Identify what you want to address

Find out the questions you need to answer to achieve your goal. This knowledge will help you find the data that you need to use. Your stress levels will reduce as you narrow down your focus to the necessary information.

4. Get the data to answer your question

A well-constructed question will help you narrow down your search to specific data. Every information you have on your business is essential. Aim to get data that will answer the questions you need to achieve your goal. Take note of all the sets of data that can answer your questions. Choose data that is easy to collect and cost-effective.

5. Identify the availability of the data

Once you’ve known the data you need, find out if it’s readily available. Get convenient methods of collecting it if it’s unavailable. Put in place a collection system to get the information or source from external sources.

6. Find out if the exercise is cost effective

Knowing the cost of collecting the data is a requirement in this step. The value you get from making data-driven decisions should outweigh the cost you incur in collecting the data. Treat this exercise as you would any business investment. Find out if the information you’ve gathered has any long-term value to your goal as a business. Get alternative sources of data if you foresee the costs being more than the benefits you will receive.

7. Collect the data

Get the right people to manage your data once you have collected it. This step can be cumbersome, so set up the proper process that will be convenient for the resources available. You can also get access to analysis-ready data which would save you time from collecting it. However, most cases will require you to collect data.

8. Analyze the data

Analyze the data collected to get useful insights. There are many platforms available for this activity. Microsoft Excel is the most common and primary tool available for this exercise. Speech analytics, image analytics, and text analytics are popular types of analytics that you can use.

9. Act on the insights

Present the results to the right people to ensure the revelations gotten are used to inform decisions. Use data visualization tools to make it easy for anyone to understand and use the information collected. Effective communication and application of insights will improve your performance and help in achieving your goal.

Conclusion

Data is being collected now like never before. People have appreciated its significance in decision making. Collecting, analyzing and applying data may be all you need for your business to prosper. Follow the steps in this article and stand out in your industry.