Business Advice

Should We Make Decisions Based on the Data?

The answer to the question is that it is the data that will guide a business in terms of its decision-making. This will be at all levels from the operational level to the very top of management. So it is always good to think about the benefits of data-driven decision-making.

Seeing the Results

By acting on data, you can see the results of the planned strategies. It allows for an informed decision to be made rather than one based on prediction and projection. We do have to bear in mind, though, all the factors that have created the data. It is then that we learn how the figures have happened and can repeat the action that achieved the best possible results. Conversely, it could be a case of coming up with a better strategy to achieve the opposite of what has happened.

Seasonal Data

When there are seasonal variations with a business we have to be careful not to assume that the same strategies will work at all times of the year. We made need to come up with different strategies that take into account the fact that sales will be less at certain times of the year because of a lack of demand. For instance, we may need to make sure that we are not over-staffed and do not employ seasonal workers earlier than we need them. This will be about managing the costs side of a business.

Observing Data from the Actual Time

There is no doubt that observing data from an actual time is invaluable in decision-making. Time differentials would, after all, have us make different decisions which may then be the wrong ones. Real-time is the best time to decide because we can see just what is happening to our figures as they are produced. We can monitor the traffic visiting our website on a particular day of the week or month of the year. Sales figures can be checked from the various categories to see how they relate to expectations. We can ask ourselves the questions: Is the product normally popular at a certain time of year selling better than it did out of season? And, is our new product proving as successful as we might have hoped? If the answer to either of these questions is in the negative, then we need to review our selling, branding, or marketing strategies. It may be that we are not promoting ourselves in the right places. Perhaps our SEO and digital marketing campaign need an extra boost. We are in control of that as a company, whether it be that someone is looking for that on our behalf or not. We can be in regular consultation with those helping us so that we are ultimately helping ourselves as a business.

In summary, decisions should be based on data but with caution. We need to bear in mind the factors that are producing good or bad data. It may mean us coming up with different strategies depending on the time of year. It should be noted that changes in economies affect markets and can potentially obscure a previous year’s results beyond a seasonal difference. Having said that, it is extremely useful to have real-time data to help us to strategize and to grow our business as we would like.

Getting our strategy right will mean that we are getting the most out of the staff that we employ, pleasing customers, and satisfying investors. By continuing to grow our business we are ensuring its survival. This is at a time when others with perhaps lesser strategies are struggling to stay open and function as they once did. We have to move with the times so that we are not left behind as a business. The way to do this is to have strategies based on the data. This is to understand the data and to use it the correct way when it comes to formulating a strategy. All this may mean having an outside agency help us to achieve the correct strategy and to know how best to constantly revise it in terms of the data.

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