Are you effectively using data to identify weaknesses in your company’s operations and work on improving them? Do you really analyze, compare and contrast data to get a sense of where you stand in a project, timeline or delivery?
After people, data is your company’s most crucial asset. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most undervalued and underused assets, but it is never too late to turn that around. While you’re busy trying to roll out new services and features, keep customers happy and file financial reports, it is easy to push data analysis to the backburner. But studying well-organized, comprehensive data can be one of the most worthwhile tasks a company can undertake.
Data can tell us an incredible amount about the state of our business, from the good to the bad. Numbers don’t lie and they should be used in a positive manner to begin solving problems, identifying bottlenecks and moving your company in the right direction. Instead of solely relying on the information in front of us and potentially making the wrong call, we can use data to reveal the full story.
When a company takes the time to analyze facts, present them clearly and share them with the team, efficiency as a whole, increases. Maybe the facts are obvious, maybe you already knew what the charts are telling you, but it’s incredible how organizing information in a clear way allows us to see things in a new light. You can get as much detail as you need, so you can focus on fixing the issues, whether it be page load times or locating bugs.
Data is also a motivator. When you have a visual reference for a company’s progress (or even their failures), you can begin to create something tangible to aim for, whether it be as simple as reaching a certain number on a chart. Likewise, if you need to show a team where they are failing, it will be much more impactful (and obvious) with a chart full of concise data.
If you own a web design or software development company, for example, you can use data to pinpoint issues in workflow, team capacity and client deliveries. If you notice that there are an unusually high number of bugs open in the backlog, you could be forgiven for thinking your team was slacking off. In fact, it could simply be that they have undertaken a larger project than usual, required in a short timeframe. By analyzing the data, we are able to learn more about our current situation, avoiding dangerous misconceptions and focusing on moving forward.
When we use technology to our advantage, we put ourselves ahead of the competition. Data allows us to gain an incredible insight into our businesses, so we can learn from mistakes, fix issues, focus on the future and continue to grow our company.