23 Jan 2020 0 minutes to read Contributors
Managers make judgment calls every day. What products should we develop? What markets should we enter? How many new team members do we need?
Sometimes, those decisions are based on little more than ‘gut-feel’. Particularly if managers feel under pressure to make fast decisions. But, savvy managers turn to analyzing data - on their customers, sales, inventory and more - for guidance.
Managers have access to lots of data reports and it’s essential to understand what those reports are actually saying. By analyzing the data, you can answer the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions rather than just the ‘what’ questions. Without that analysis, it’s impossible to make informed decisions and take appropriate action.
Before running reports from your database, it’s important to consider exactly what you need to know. For example, let’s say you’re looking to boost sales. You have probably already collected lots of data about your team of sales consultants.
But, to get real value from that data, you’ll need to ask specific questions before running the reports. You’ll probably want to know which consultants are performing well and what they’re doing that’s different to those performing less well. Maybe some of them have benefitted from extra training or perhaps some are over-stretched and don’t have enough time to service all their clients.
It’s also important to identify your data sources and ensure the data is accurate. For example, to discover the differences between geographic regions or product lines, you need to ensure you’re getting the right data for the job. You also need to know you are comparing like with like, particularly when gathering data from multiple sources.
When building customized database reports for our clients, we find that the most important step is asking the right questions early in the process. To ensure you have the right data sets and right reporting, we dig deep into why you need the data, the problems you’re looking to solve and the action you’re hoping to take based on that data. What makes data useful is the insight you gain from it, how that informs the decisions you make and delivers value to your business.
Decision-making is the essence of good management. And, embedding analytical insights into management decision-making is a huge source of competitive advantage. Don’t leave your business decisions to guesswork. Contact us to find how we can help.
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