The importance of data-driven decisions

Business analytics tools can help companies move in the right direction.Business analytics tools can help companies move in the right direction.

When it comes to making important choices for the greater good of an organization, intuition only goes so far. While a gut feeling can point executives in the right direction, having some concrete evidence to back up that thought can go a long way in convincing others of its correctness. It’s critical for company leaders to utilize data in order to make the best decisions for the current and future state of their business. Failing to do so could come with consequences that leave enterprises in the wake of their competitors. SFG has a closer look at data-driven decisions and why they’re important for all organizations:

The definition
Back in the day, businesses relied on Excel spreadsheets and other more simple forms of crunching numbers. Today, the world of analytics has opened the door for companies of all sizes to look at more in-depth data relating to past and present figures and how they will relate to future forecasts. In essence, data-driven decision making (DDDM) values choices backed up by verifiable materials, according to TechTarget.

Organizations no longer need to wait for specific data-minded and capable employees to interpret company numbers. Instead, executives themselves – along with workers at all levels – can now mine for information without the input of IT technicians. While analytics can be a bit of challenge at first, learning how to run reports and understand critical numbers is very beneficial to business leaders.

“”Setting a specific focus will assist companies in making more informed choices.”

Selection of a goal
Data can open up a number of doors for companies, but leaders need to know which avenue they’re truly interested in. A clear focus is necessary to truly use the data yielded by business analytics to make a change.

Executives should work together to designate a specific purpose for the outcome of their information. Whether it’s understanding the inefficiencies of their supply chain or identifying what products or services are challenging revenue, a goal is a vital element of DDDM, according to Inside Big Data.

Realism is key
As their business analytics tools churn out streams and streams of data, it’s understandable why organizations would get excited at the prospects of what the information holds. With these materials, leaders may think they can alter their practices and processes to become more effective in no time. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Implementing data-driven decisions is a step-by-step procedure, requiring executive input every step of the way. It’s important for businesses to be realistic about the actions they can take and how quickly these steps will truly make a change. Jumping into a decision without consulting peers and employees could result in reduced workplace satisfaction. Workers want to know their opinions are valued, so choices that will affect them should include their input – to a certain extent. Ultimately, the selection is up to business leaders. The data will help executives be more informed, but real-life insight could make the right decision even clearer.

Ignoring the data
While many businesses choose to utilize the data they glean from business analytics tools to make decisions, some companies opt to go another way for various reasons. These information-packed decisions are mainly handled by organizational leaders, so executives should know that there are negative consequences that result from ignoring critical figures.

The majority of these outcomes depend on the goal of the data research. Let’s take, for example, companies looking for inefficiencies in their order management system. If they decide to overlook the figures pointing to the root of the problem, the issue will continue to exist, furthering hindering their organization over time. In addition, deciding to wait to make an alteration to certain processes could hurt a business’s competitiveness in its industry. To stay ahead or at least remain neck and neck with opponents, companies need to act quickly but intelligently.

“SFG offers a suite of business analytics services.”

You’re not alone
All of this information as well as the thought of making important decisions using business analytics can be overwhelming for executives. These aren’t small choices and company leaders frequently look for as much expert advice as possible. Luckily, organizations don’t have to complete this process all on their own. Enterprises have the option to work with a third party that can not only offer business analytics tools and break down the information to companies, but help implement the actual change. SFG offers a suite of services built to help leaders truly understand their data as a way to maximize critical decisions. With immediate access to their data as well as customized reports and graphs, businesses working with SFG can make more informed choices regarding their organization.

Data-driven decision making can seem overwhelming to company leaders, especially those unfamiliar with the wealth of information they’ll glean from business analytics. While the practice opens organizations up to a number of advantages, the materials can also be challenging for leaders to decipher and use wisely. Partners like SFG can help enterprises through every step of the process, giving valuable insight and experience into how data will continue to improve a business over time.

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