Using Data-Driven Decision-Making to Transform Your Business Processes

October 9, 2014 Guest Contributor

The payoff for executing on a data-driven management strategy can be huge, but how do you tap into data analytics to improve business processes within your organization? By bringing all the bits and pieces together, and processing them to surface relevant information needed by information consumers in an easy to understand, action-oriented way.

Let’s take a look at four key factors involved in bringing insight to employees.

1. Define Your Business Objectives

Many business challenges can be tackled with analytics, but if you’re not crystal clear on what you’re trying to achieve, or try to boil the ocean by doing too much all at once, you’ll likely drown in poor communication and lack of buy in. Begin with your corporate goals, and create a list of related questions your business needs answers to. Target the biggest problems or opportunities, and focus on areas over which you have control.

2. Get Buy-In

Getting stakeholder alignment on business challenges and related objectives is critical. Given the diverse and interconnected nature of data, business analytics initiatives can’t be managed in a vacuum. You’ll need support from cross-departmental teams, which means identifying early on who the key stakeholders are, ensuring they understand the scope and goals of the analytics project, and are equally committed to achieving them.

3. Plan For Success

Once you have stakeholder agreement on business priorities, the next question to tackle is what success looks like. What meaningful metrics can you track to measure progress against? The definition drives the analytics you need to put in place. For example, if talent is a competitive differentiator, measuring metrics such as the resignation rate of top performers, promotion rate, employee engagement and market vs corporate compensation will provide insight critical to the development of programs and processes to retain your best players.

4. Putting Insight to Work

Once you know what to measure, the next step is determining how to measure. In the past, it was fairly common that those who needed insight the most – managers and front line employees, either lacked access to decision-making information, or couldn’t easily understand what they could get their hands on. Plus, overly complex reporting tools and poorly designed dashboards, jammed with color-schemes and detailed layouts that created visual confusion, all led to low adoption.

Today, access to insight has improved by leaps and bounds. Rather than taking the time and effort to extract meaning from rows and columns in an Excel spreadsheet or a report table, we can now quickly and intuitively grasp meaning through visual representations used in decision support tools such as infographics and dashboards.

A well-designed dashboard acts as a visual portal where business users can see and quickly comprehend critical information compiled from across the organization. By displaying KPI metrics tied to key business objectives on a single screen, employees across the organization are empowered to make informed, proactive decisions.

Creating a data-driven culture is no simple task. Many visualization “solutions” suffer from low user-adoption rates because they’re not aligned with specific business needs, or fail to address specific challenges.

To learn more, download our whitepaper “Using Data Analytics To Transform Your Business Processes And Your Business.”






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