Every business owner sees growth as one of their most important metrics for success. Business growth tends to come with exponentially correlated rewards. The larger your company becomes the larger the rewards for any given action. Most people would also agree that the best way to spur commercial growth is through data-driven decision-making. Logical decisions based on careful examination of every data point provide the best possible path to successful expansion.
Using Data as a Stepladder
You can begin data-driven decision-making by creating policies that focus on the practice. This can be done most efficiently through regularly scheduled meetings. The reason why this is so important has to do with the way we usually approach decision-making.
Think about how you drive familiar routes. You probably aren’t really paying too much attention to all the actions you take during the drive. You’ll speed up, slow down, and probably even make turns while hardly even fully aware of the fact that you’ve done so. Familiarity with the routine means that you can do it while essentially focusing on something else. The problem is that you’re not really at your best when you’re sleepwalking through the decision-making process. When we discuss strategy in a meeting we’re forced to carefully examine our decision-making process. Everyone who’s discovered new actionable information will end up examining it in more detail during a meeting. And this will also help everyone form a more efficient way of working with that data.
Finding Data Points Through Business Intelligence Software
Of course, this also raises the question of where you’re finding actionable data to use with this process. Data-driven decision-making works in parity with business intelligence software. Business intelligence software refers to programs that create, retrieve, manipulate and report data for business intelligence-related decision making. Some companies, like grow.com, know that this data usually comes from within a company’s internal systems. For example, the program might draw information from your company’s sales and customer information database. Information might also come from the real-time scraping of web data or similar endeavors.
One of the most important aspects of business intelligence software is how it can provide objective information. If you’re like most people then you’ll often create fuzzy or ill-defined goals. But software works with firmer metrics with solid definitions. By working with the software you’ll be reminded of the objective rather than subjective goals. What’s more, the software will also provide solid and objectively defined metrics to use for companywide growth.
Using Visualization to Enhance Communication
You might have noticed how much emphasis has been placed on communication. This is in large part because data-driven decision-making works best when every person within a company or department is working in unison.
This process can be further augmented through the use of visual aids. For example, many business intelligence software packages offer visualization packages. You can use these systems to create graphs and presentations which display data points in an easy to comprehend manner.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t something that you’ll only try once. Proper data-driven decision-making is an ongoing process that should form the foundation of your business planning. By doing so you’ll have a more agile and informed method of operation. What’s more, it’s a system that will ensure you’re always a step ahead of the competition.
Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber