Many business owners and managers make decisions based on gut feeling rather than hard facts. Sometimes this works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. The truth is that facts are far more likely to lead to consistently good business decisions – and that’s where data can help.
In an age when everything can be measured, quantified, and analyzed to gain new insights, it makes sense to use that process to improve your decision making. Basing decisions on what data tells you helps you to implement your business strategy faster and more efficiently, whether you want to increase staff retention, increase efficiency in your manufacturing process, or achieve some other meaningful objective.
However, doing this requires a bit of a mindset shift for most companies, toward a culture of data-based decision making at all levels in the company. There are two key steps in building a culture of data-based decision making: getting buy-in across the whole company, and emphasizing the positive outcomes of using big data. Let’s look at each in turn.
Your ultimate aim should be to create a culture in which people naturally want to make better decisions and look to data to help them do so. A good way to sow the seeds for improved decision making is to engage key personnel in developing your big data strategy. For example, if you want to use data to better understand and target your customers, you should involve your marketing head from the outset. Or if you want to improve manufacturing output and reduce unexpected downtime, then you’ll need to get your manufacturing people on board. Encourage those key personnel to become data advocates, creating a “trickle-down” effect.
Another key step is to make sure you actually use the insights you gather from data; don’t just sit on them. This sounds obvious but, after analyzing data to get answers, you really need to act upon the insights found. What you do will encourage your people to shift their thinking toward evidence-based decision making. If you do nothing, you really can’t expect the overall company culture to change.;