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How to be a Data-Driven Company

20 July, 2016

How to be a Data-Driven Company

image of a data trend

‘Data-driven’ is a buzz word which is currently being used by businesses across the globe – but what on earth does it mean? Yes, many companies have high volumes of data to deal with, but what do they have to do to be labelled as data-driven?

The word is often used to describe a company’s approach to a certain part of the business, such as marketing or sales. But what does it take for a company as a whole to become data-driven? Obviously it involves a lot of analysing data, and InfoWorld.com pinned down Bryan Harwood from Outsell to lay down the criteria:

  1. The company should use data from internal and external sources, and be able to combine the data to create actionable insights
  2. The insights should be used to make real-time decisions at every level of the business
  3. The data should give measureable results which then informs the company about which data is useful.

Using Data as a Tool

There is no denying that data is growing in volume and variety, which is why we’re seeing such a growth in data centre builds. While companies try and figure out how to store that data, it’s also important to know how to use it to their benefit. To be truly data-driven, an organisation needs to make use of all of the data it has access to – its own company data in addition to outside sources for analysis.

The next step in becoming data-driven is ensuring all departments and staff have analytics tools. From marketing to finance and IT, it is essential that the right people have access to data which can drive improvement. Data needs to be shared throughout the entire company in many different ways. Try using reports, dashboards, intelligence tools and other collaborative programs.

In addition to skills in analysing data, staff need to be trained in making real-time decisions influenced by it. Ask managers to write down every decision they make in a day, and then find the data to back up the reasons behind it. Every decision should be impacted by the data they have access to, and then measured to see whether it has a positive or negative impact.

Many businesses are jumping on the ‘data-driven’ bandwagon – if you make the claim, make sure you can back it up. With more company data!

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