Data Is the New Oil for Your Business
2021 is knocking on the door! While we will soon leave the challenging year of 2020 behind, 2021 still holds a lot of uncertainty, which requires businesses to get prepared and be agile.
As you know, data is the new oil; let’s pocket some quick tips so that you can take advantage of this valuable resource to strengthen and grow your business in 2021.
Identify three key questions in which the answers are important to know faster.
“I have like a thousand of those questions, where to start?” Well, let’s start somewhere simple. Whenever you are in a situation in which you think to yourself, “I wish I had this insight three months ago,” immediately jot that down in a notepad. The list might be longer than you can imagine, but it is really beneficial in order to track how often information or insight has come to you outdated or could have been much more valuable if you had known sooner. From this list, narrow down to the top three that will be most impactful to your business.
If you would like something to jumpstart the process, here are common questions that we have heard from our clients:
- Who are our most profitable customers and how do we get more of them?
- What are our strongest markets and what are our biggest potential markets?
- What is our marketing ROI? What channel is the most effective?
- How can we improve our marketing ROI?
- How can our employees spend less time on manual reporting and more on optimization and added value?
Define a strategy to understand the data needed to answer these questions.
Work with data analytics experts to develop a data strategy. You need to clearly communicate with them the goals (i.e. questions you are trying to answer) and expectations on data update frequency (i.e. how can you get the answers faster). This is a very critical part of the process that requires thorough and transparent discussions. The important thing to remember here is to articulate key goals but also do not omit other questions lower in the priority list. Understanding both the immediate and long-term goals, and having a view of the bigger picture or overarching goals can truly affect the efficiency of data management.
You absolutely should leave the implementation to the experts, whether that is your internal team or an outsourced partner. The biggest hurdle that we have seen for companies who utilize their own team is the lack of human resources to complete the project in the expected timeline. To avoid the hassle of hiring and training, consider using a professional analytics partner as an extended arm of your internal team, especially for temporary development tasks.
There are three key areas you should evaluate when considering an outsourced analytics partner:
- Years of experience in data management and analytics
- Experience working with various types of businesses and industries
- Tools and technologies for data ingestion, management and visualizations
Execute in phases and build up a data-driven culture along the way.
We highly recommend that you break down the project by phases and review results in each phase. That allows you and your team to continuously evaluate the efficacy and identify areas for improvement throughout the project. Absolutely celebrate each milestone and communicate it to your whole company so that everyone is aware of the importance and impact of the data project.
As you complete each phase, think about how you can get as many people in your team to utilize the results and insights on a frequent basis. This is a good approach to gradually build up a data-driven culture across your company, amplifying the value of data at all levels of operations and reaping a higher ROI from investments in data and analytics.
Up next: Building a Data-Driven Organization.