9 Tips For Improved Data-Driven Decision Making

Data-Driven Decision Making, Analytics, Data Analysis, Decision Making Process, Data Visualization, Data Interpretation, Data Accuracy, Decision Making Strategies, Business Intelligence

Recent research highlighted data as a valuable resource in today's workplace. From improving customer satisfaction to boosting revenues and profits and enhancing problem-solving, it is almost impossible to grow your business without data.

Whether you are a small family-run business or a large global corporation, data should facilitate your strategic decision-making. Do you seek a competitive advantage over your rivals or want to rely on data to make your decisions? Below are nine tips for improved data-driven decision-making. 

Have a strategy in place

The vast expanse of the big data realm can be confusing, and you can easily feel overwhelmed. Embrace the path of strategy to find an escape and hone in on what truly matters for your enterprise. Concentrate on your company's goals instead of on what data you could or should possess.

Forge a well-defined blueprint with a crystal-clear objective, and gather and assess the relevant data. Also, remember to subject your strategy to continuous scrutiny and periodic reevaluation to ensure you stay on the right path and improve your decision-making. 

Establish a data quality standard for the entire business 

Developing a data quality standard throughout the organization is critical for encouraging better data-driven decision-making. A strong data quality standard assures that the information for decision-making and analysis is accurate, trustworthy, complete, and consistent. Establishing data governance practices, defining data quality indicators, and then implementing data verification and validation methods are all part of the process.

By enforcing data quality standards, you can identify and address data inaccuracies, redundancies, and inconsistencies, enhancing the integrity and trustworthiness of their data assets. That, in turn, enables stakeholders at all levels to have confidence in the data they rely on for decision-making, resulting in more accurate insights, reduced risks, and better-informed strategic choices.

Identify when not to rely on your instincts

When you have several cycles of pertinent knowledge with the identical problem you now face, your intuition may be a valuable friend in your decision-making. However, many judgments today entail ambiguity and a lack of appropriate experience. In such cases, one's gut instinct may be linked to various foreseeable choice traps, rendering it untrustworthy.

When making a significant decision in areas where you lack expertise and numerous cycles of making similar judgments, a decent rule of thumb is to start with objective facts and employ rational analysis. You can also consult others with relevant experience to ensure you make objective and well-informed choices, not dependent on instinct alone.

Improve your data accessibility 

Agility and adaptability are more vital than ever in the ever-evolving realm of data and technology. You have no option but to make rapid judgments to stay current. Unfortunately, the data required to make these judgments are sometimes difficult to get promptly. Data collection and analysis involve time and money, but both may be in limited supply when required.

Making your data process more accessible to diverse individuals on your team is one of the finest ways to enhance it. The more individuals who can view data, the capacity to comprehend it, and the desire to act, the simpler it is to reach data-driven decisions. Fortunately, tools like BuildOps field service management software can make data more accessible by reporting your information in one location to empower teams to make data-backed decisions. 

Improve your pattern recognition skills

At its core, data analysis is an attempt to discover patterns within various data points. You may use these correlations and trends to derive insights and conclusions that can then be used to guide your decisions. Instead of merely perusing the web, seek similarities in information around you and train yourself to identify patterns everywhere.

Once you've identified these, attempt deriving ideas from them and drawing assumptions about why they exist. Also, practice asking yourself what counter-intuitive connections or patterns could be buried in the information before you. This pattern detection exercise can help you teach yourself to be more curious and data-driven in many areas of your business.  

Experiment before going all in 

When confronted with a significant and impactful decision, exploring avenues for conducting experiments before committing is advantageous. In software development, for instance, it is common practice to release a minimum viable product (MVP), a simplified version of an application containing essential features to make it functional and test its viability.

This approach allows for gathering valuable data from real customers, providing insights into their usage patterns, and informing future iterations by determining which features to incorporate and what adjustments are necessary. The concept goes beyond software development, resembling how people try before buying. You can apply it to nearly every aspect of your life, including your business.

Apply the 70% rule

According to research, people have an innate tendency to desire 100% of the knowledge needed to make optimal judgments while making uncertain decisions. The difficulty is that gathering all pertinent information requires time and effort, and frequently the delay in reaching an outcome is more expensive than any advantage gained from possessing 100% of the data.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon executive chairman Jeff Bezos appreciates the need for timely decisions, urging his staff to follow the “70% rule” to make decisions even when not all the data is available.

Make your data more agile

Agile data is required for agile decision-making. If you monitor your data, you can easily notice warning signals and handle issues before they become significant problems. For instance, a low click-through rate may indicate that you're targeting the incorrect audience.

Delayed delivery might indicate that dissatisfied consumers are on the way. The longer you assess data, the simpler it is to comprehend it. Promoting collaboration among your teams, department, and systems can help make your data more agile to improve decision-making and avoid the problem of silos.

Don't hesitate to go back and re-evaluate everything

As you work towards improved data-driven decision-making for your business, it’s best to occasionally reconsider your initial assessment to ensure you don’t always make hasty choices. Verifying data and confirming that you are recording the proper metrics will assist you in doing this. Depending on others in the team to have a viewpoint and communicate it might help you identify biases.

Don't be scared to step back and reconsider your choices. It may appear to be a failure for a short period, but it is a vital step toward success. Understanding where you went wrong and immediately rectifying it will yield better results than waiting and seeing the outcome.

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