The process of guiding business strategy using facts is called data-driven decision-making and actually not just facts, but it also uses metrics and data to help you achieve your goals, initiatives, and objectives.
This data helps you to make better decisions for your business and company, whether you are a manager, analyst, or consultant.
1. What is the Process of Guiding Business Strategy Using Facts? – Data-Driven Decision Making
Having a normalization of data-driven decision-making helps employees to build curiosity and think critically.
All the conversations and decisions then become data-backed, and their data skills gradually improve with practice and application.
What you need for implementation is quick and guided access to the required data, which is stored safely and the access is governed too.
The whole shift towards this data usage across all job levels will create proficiently trained people, who can then encourage others to follow suit.
2. The Importance of Data-Driven Decision-Making
Data that is available with any company, or with the decision-making sector of any company is huge, analyzing this data is a big task.
Indeed, it has been seen that many companies even after spending a lot of money can not really succeed in helping their businesses using this data.
This is where data-driven decision-making comes into play and it starts with companies building data proficiency, analytics agility, and community.
Transforming the entire data analysis and decision-making process is not easy but eventual incorporation of these will help you and your organization.
3. Data Culture
Collective behavior of people and their beliefs to value and practice, encourage the use of data in the decision-making process.
Data thus becomes a part of the operations and its mindset and helps in identifying the organization. This data-driven culture helps you to tackle complex business challenges.
To follow data culture one must align the data and its analysis to come to business outcomes/conclusions. Organizations also need to prioritize data in all decisions and processes of their business.
4. Steps for Making Data-Driven Decisions
4.1. Identify Business Objectives
This lays the foundation of the goals and targets of your organization, both executive and downstream.
Targets can be literally in any spectrum like increasing sales, or website numbers it can be something as simple as increasing brand awareness also.
Having these goals figured out beforehand you will be able to identify your key performance indicators and other data and metrics that will help you form decisions.
This will also give you an understanding of which data needs to be analyzed and what are the questions to be raised, to get closer to the objectives of your business.
4.2. Survey Business Teams for Key Resources of Data
The short-term and long-term goals of the employees as well as the organisation as a whole should be clear.
This data will help in the analysis process, the data strategy will inform you about the relevant questions that need to be asked and what data sources should be considered.
In the end, this will help you to make better decisions when it comes to deciding about roles, responsibilities, and processes of your business.
4.3. Collect and Prepare the Data You Need
If all your data sources are disconnected then fetching data that is of good quality and that can be trusted becomes very difficult.
So having an idea about the amount of data that you possess, you can start data preparation.
The first step is to create data with high impact and low complexity, for this first prioritize the data sources with larger applications to create quick impact.
4.4. View and Explore Data
Visualize all your data and try using impactful visualization methods so that you can have a better understanding, and it can influence the decisions made by the seniors as well as staff members.
This can be done using charts, graphs, and maps so that you can easily accentuate any trends, pretends, and outliers to provide conclusions and even inferences where usually, a bar chart is used for comparison, maps for spatial data, a line chart for temporal data, and a scatter plot to compare two measures.
4.5. Develop Insights Using Critical Thinking
Use critical thinking, which basically means finding insights and communicating them in a useful and engaging manner, as well as using visual analytics to ask and answer questions from your data in an intuitive manner.
Find out opportunities or risks that could help your business grow.
Based on the analytic interpretation, develop business recommendations that strategically align with the objectives of your organization.
4.6. Act and Share Your Insights
Once your insights are in line, you need to put out the word for implementation and collaboration on the same.
You can build hypotheses about the possible strategies that could work as solutions to your business problems or opportunities.
Then test these hypotheses by various methods like A/B testing or surveys, whatever seems fit.
Once you have validated your hypotheses highlight, the key insights and use proper visualization methods to help influence the decision-making process, by taking the route of the most effective strategy.
4.7. Monitor and Evaluate
When you are presenting the findings to the decision-making authorities or to the board members make it clear why everything has been suggested.
After the presentation and the collaboration has started you need to continuously monitor the work progress.
Check for bottlenecks if any, and make sure that the data collection and analysis process is perpetual and that the implementation is being done in a manner that benefits the business.
As you go along the whole work, tweak any shortcomings, add what has been missing, and measure the effectiveness by analyzing the results.
5. Final Thoughts
We can clearly see now that data-driven decision-making is evolutionary. The transformation is huge and leads to better interpretations and understanding of the problems and the risks.
It helps to get better decisions that are data-backed and helps your business to grow bigger and better every day.