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27 March 2021

How to Use Data to Improve Your Business Decision Making

You’ve probably heard this plenty of times by now, but data is incredibly important for your business. Using data improves your business decision-making skills. No matter what type of business analysis process you currently follow, data will help narrow your focus and make difficult decisions become crystal clear.

Leveraging data analytics supports making more informed decisions, leading to growth, change, and boosted sales. Of course, there are right and wrong ways to use data. Practicing great data hygiene is incredibly important if you’re going to use data to make decisions. 

The majority of your business decisions should be based on data related to your customers, sales patterns, and goals. This way, all of your decisions are grounded in actual numbers and decision-making will be a piece of cake (or pie, whatever you favor).

In today’s blog post, we’ll cover what data-driven business decision-making is, why it’s important, and how to develop a strong business analysis process with data. 

 

What Is Data-Driven Decision Making For Business? 

Data-driven decision-making for your business means you gather, analyze,  and utilize data about your customers. As you find patterns, you can use your data to work toward your business goals. Instead of your marketing decisions being a shot in the dark, you can stay informed and work from a place of knowledge. 

It’s really important to focus on data hygiene. To improve your business decision-making, you need accurate, relevant, complete, and up-to-date data. With data hygiene, you continually remove bad data, like outdated, duplicated, or incorrect information. 

Why Is Data Important In Your Business Analysis Process? 

When you use data to make business decisions, you open yourself up to the opportunity for consistent and continual growth for your business. 

 

With data, you can: 

  • Find, create, and embrace new opportunities in your business
  • Boost your revenue
  • Predict trends for your business in the future
  • Optimize your marketing strategy
  • Make decisions based on actionable, factual information

 

With data, you take what you know and advance to decisions that can grow and change. Companies that view data as an asset and essential tool for decision-making, experience much better results. 

Benefits of Using Data for Business Decision Making

Data can help you gain a strategic advantage over your competitors. 

By simply shifting your decision-making focus on the data (rather than relying on ideas or desires alone), you can make better decisions and improve every area of your business, from marketing to manufacturing and everything in between. 

In fact, one survey found that significantly fewer best-in-class companies base the majority of their business decisions on gut feel or experience (40% vs. 70%). This highlights a link between using information for decision-making and being able to benefit from the information and achieve a strategic advantage over rivals! 

Other main benefits of data-driven decision-making include: 

  • Remaining competitive among other progressive companies that use data to make decisions
  • Staying customer-focused and gaining deeper insights into your customers and their experiences
  • Becoming more savvy in cost-effective use of data (rather than simply storing for data privacy compliance reasons)
  • Discovering new opportunities
  • Becoming agile and able to respond to new challenges from a place of knowledge

Here are some of the other specific benefits you’ll experience when you use data to drive your business decisions. 

Effectively Target Your Customers In Deeper Ways

When you develop a business analysis process for customer data, you’re going to gain such a wealth of understanding about who your customers are and what they need. 

Examining data helps you trace patterns. Those patterns unlock the key to segmentation and better targeting! 

And the more personal and targeted you get in your marketing and communications, the better the results of those efforts will be.  

Improve Your Business Processes

Data also can help you unlock the secrets of what you’re doing well (and what needs to be improved) within your business. 

No matter your niche, experience, or growth, every business has areas of efficiency and inefficiency. If you have data on your side, you can identify problems and figure out how to improve. 

You’ll be able to understand what caused problems, why those things happened, what will happen as a result, and how to move forward. 

 

Steps to Create A Data-Driven Decision-Making Culture 

If you are ready to take advantage of data and make better business decisions, now is a perfect time. Here’s what you need to do in order to get there. 

First, address and improve your data quality. Make sure that you have data to use, and that it’s complete, up-to-date, and accurate. Then, store your data in a way that’s convenient and easy to use.

Finally, make sure to consistently examine your data and how your decisions can (or should) change as a result of data changes. 

Although improving your business decision-making is going to take some effort, investing your time into data analysis is 100% worth it. You’ll need to change the culture of your business to focus on the value of data. 

As you develop a business analysis process, you’ll start to understand just how essential data is, and you’ll see how incredible it is for building a business and making informed decisions. 

Exact Data can help you by providing up-to-date customer data, supplementing your current information, and supporting you in shifting to data-based decision-making. To learn more give us a call at 877.440.3282 or fill out a quote form here.