How to Best Use Data With Your Business
Whether we’re aware of it or not, numbers exist everywhere. Numbers comprise practically every part of our lives, but they start to have meaning when we analyze the numbers, or more specifically, data. This is especially the case for businesses, the best of which realize how important data analysis is towards the success of their company.
Yet data analysis on its own is not enough to produce results. Good businesses know to both look for and look at data, but better businesses turn their analysis into an action. Gathering data and forming action plans might seem like a complicated or complex process, but building this as part of your company’s routine is worth its weight in gold. At SolutionsX, we are a passionate B2B company who thrive on helping your business succeed. Read more about successful data implementation within your enterprise, and contact us for further consultation.
Why Analyze Data?
Before diving into how your company can see results from proper data assessment, it’s important to establish the value behind data analysis. The best data analysis is comprised of three main parts:
1. Collecting Data
Focus on a specific area, such as sales following a holiday, or the conversion rates from a specific email marketing campaign. Remember that whatever source your data is coming from, it needs to be recorded and monitored over time to produce the best results.
One of the best ways to collect data accurately is to implement an ERP solution that can improve the accuracy of financial data. This is a critical part of the data collection stage, because it not only alleviates time from you and/or your employees, it tracks and collects data in a highly efficient manner. Human error is the last thing you want messing with your data; eliminate that step entirely by investing in ERP software. SolutionsX offers an ERP implementation system that will work for a vast range of businesses; message us today for a free consultation!
2. Analyzing Data
Having your data results is the fun part, because now you get to deduce what it all means! One of the best things to do during this stage is to objectively look at data results. It can be easy to say “Well, we weren’t as successful right after the holidays” or “The market was low at that point,” or anything in between. Making justifications for the results is an almost inherent reaction, but make a commitment to look at the data for what it is first.
A great way to do this is by recording data observations with no emotion behind them. Instead of saying, “We didn’t make as much because it was not in season,” say “January was the lowest month for sales.” Analyzing data is not a place for blame, but rather a place to move forward. As mentioned previously, ensuring you have accurate data from an ERP system is crucial to ensuring you maintain objective data for the analyzation to be accurate and objective.
3. Moving Forward With Data
At this point in the analysis, you should have some non-emotional statements about what the data is telling you. Now is the time to move forward, once more ensuring that this is not a place for judgment and blame. Focus first and foremost on two areas that went well. Even if it seems like there was no success to be found, look for the positive with everything you’ve got. At the very least, you’re still here and your business is still alive! Always start positively, before moving onto more constructive measures.
Look at areas of improvement next. If you have a culture where blame and judgement are nonexistent, your company will be able to have more frank conversations about the data at hand and will be able to move forward in a vastly more effective manner.
Many companies reference the important of SMART goals—goals that are Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. If, for example, you want your company’s conversion rates to double within two week’s time, this is not a reasonable amount of time to expect the results you desire. If employees feel they are unable to reach goals, the discouragement can understandably lower morale, and produce even less desirable results.
Other Important Considerations
While it may have appeared that proper data analysis can be performed in three steps, there’s an additional, equally important part: Repeat! When your timeline for your goals come to an end, start the data analysis process once more! This goes back to the necessity of building proper data analysis into your business’ strategy. The more you practice data analysis, the faster you’ll get, and you will have such a better chance of seeing the results you’ve been working for.
An additional thing to note in terms of data analysis is transparency. Keep your team and employees in the loop on what you’re hoping to see happen. As a next-level portion of data analysis, include the team on goal-making and the analysis process itself. Goals and data analysis can serve as incredible forms of motivation. Would it make more sense for a worker to mindlessly show up and do seven or eight hours’ worth of work? Or should they show up with a purpose, and work towards meeting their intention (and that of the company)?
Finally, the number one step in data analysis goes right back to the first thing needed to make the process possible: accurate data. This is where SolutionsX is proud to come in, as a B2B enterprise that lives to serve other businesses. Our ERP software is designed to help your business thrive, and we are here to make the first step of data analysis possible. Contact us today to receive a free consultation, we would love to see how we can help make an ERP implementation work for you. SolutionsX is here to take care of the parts of business you shouldn’t have to. Schedule a free consultation with us today, and begin to see the results and the data you’ve been looking for!