There are many steps involved with a corporation’s strategic planning process. The very first step involves assessing your business, industry, competitors and market trends. To do this correctly, you need data and business intelligence. Making strategic and tactical decisions on a simple hunch can lead to a decline in the bottom line and even lower employee satisfaction. Incorporating data analytics into your planning process minimizes risk. Making better business, financial, and operational decisions can not only improve profits, but can contribute to employee empowerment and morale.
But why do companies still struggle to incorporate data analysis into their business strategy? One reason is a lack of talent and perceived obstacles. There are customers to sell to, orders to process and operations to run. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities and put what seems overwhelming to the wayside. A good intention but a bad approach can lead to a negative result. As a manager, you may need to adapt your culture to properly incorporate data analytics.
One solution is to work with a data analytics partner. Once you understand what question you want answered within your organization and planning, that partner can identify the different datasets in your organization. Once those datasets are identified, it can be consolidated into one controlled data source. The importance of validating that data and using cleaning schedules is imperative to ensure that the output data is “clean” and trustworthy.
Finding patterns in your data can be done through visualization and analysis. Depending on the scope, anything from simple aggregations of values to advanced machine learning is possible. Close cooperation is key so that future projects come easier to the organization and your teams can become more comfortable with integrating analytics into their processes.
The real magic happens within the visualization and business intelligence that can be gained from a good analytics project. This is the point in which the data truly speaks, transforming the raw data into actionable insights that can be later integrated into your strategic plan.
So what are you waiting for? Making good decisions based on quantifiable data points can lead to better finances, smoother operations, and a motivated team. Harness the power of your data today!