Why Data is the Heart of Business
Businesses are always looking to grow and innovate. One of the most valuable assets of a business is its data. Data is the fuel that drives your business. It’s the fuel that drives your marketing and your customer service, it’s the fuel that drives your product design, your production, and your operations. Data is the heart of the business.
Your data is a powerful tool that can help your business grow by providing a better understanding of your customers. Because it’s not just the numbers, but it is the stories behind the numbers. Data can also help your business make better decisions, and provide you with a better understanding of what to expect next.
Which Businesses Should Track Data
It is important for ALL businesses, as small as solopreneurs to large companies can use their data to make confident and clear strategic and tactical decisions in order to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.
Tracking and measuring the essential data points companywide will improve confidence level and reliability in operations and marketing for stakeholders. Seeing the data visually or in reports, assist decision-makers in learning to trust their instincts while seeing the challenges that they are facing clearly.
It’s tempting to want to hold off on analyzing your data until you have an established business. However, collecting, tracking, and measuring early on in your business gives you an advantage over your competition. It also gives you the decision-making power you need in the early stages. And while It’s easy to make decisions on intuition, it’s always better to have data to back it up. Data-driven decisions are more informed and can be analyzed to be more effective.
Start simple. Track your website stats, sales, expenses, advertising, and survey your audience consistently to gauge where you are with your product or services.
Who Needs To Analyze Data
Since CEOs and Business owners don’t always have the time to sift through the data and analyze it to make key decisions, having data analysts, and other experts know where to look for (mine for data) as well as how to present it in a way that gives the stakeholders the clarity that is necessary to understand and add context to the colorful charts and bars. Taking the numbers and visualizing them in a dashboard that tells the story, is the key to understanding your data.
If you are a DIYer and want to go deeper into your data and metrics there are some great tools available to build your dashboard.
The first step in being able to use your data is to get it into a form that is easier to work with. With a spreadsheet, for example, you can easily create formulas and manipulate the data. Once you have the data in a form that is easier to work with, you can start to truly analyze and makes sense of ratios, averages, totals, and trends.
There are complex visualization software tools, like Tableau, and Microsoft BI, as well as other tools like Klipfolio, Gyana, and if you want to start somewhere Google Analytics is a great option.
Getting comfortable and familiar with your data and the stories they represent are at the heart of making confident decisions for your sales, marketing, resource planning, and operations. This is data is at the heart of all businesses.