Everyone talks about data. Companies want it, but do they really understand its value? Managers and executives can easily get distracted by metrics that don’t actually move the needle.
However, from decision making to market insights, data leveraged strategically can vastly improve your business. It’s important to understand how data can drive your organization’s initiatives, improve operational efficiency and boost profits.
Understand what your Users Need
The business analytics market is becoming increasingly saturated. You want to deliver the right solutions for your team at the lowest cost.
Before shopping for tools, ask the right “why” questions to truly understand what your team, the end users, need. You may think your employees may benefit from an automated Excel report, when they really could use a dashboard.
Drill down into the real reason why your team requires analytics and determine the most effective form of delivery.
Stop Before you Shop
Before entering the marketplace for analytics tools, stop for a moment. Determine if current tools exist within your organization that can be manipulated or expanded to suit your needs. This is a good time to collaborate with IT, end users and stakeholders early in the process.
During the development process, hold frequent huddles to gather feedback from the end-users. Waiting until the end of the development process to reveal a tool or dashboard may be detrimental to your efforts.
Once the methodology is selected and developed, it's time to start measuring for action.
Turn Analytics to Action
The bottom line for analytics isn’t to generate pretty graphs or flashy presentations, it’s the ROI. What this typically boils down to is actionable data. When data tells a narrative that leads to corrective or strategic action.
A recent article by SMA Marketing illustrates an example of customer acquisition cost or CAC. After acquiring customers following a marketing campaign, it’s important to analyze the cost to bring on each new customer. CAC is calculated by dividing the sum of sales and marketing spend divided by the number of new customers resulting from the campaign. If the CAC results increase over time, then it may indicate your company needs to re approach its marketing plans.
When it comes to deploying analytics tools, keep the user at the center. First understand their needs, obtain their buy-in and keep them engaged in the development process. After go-live, get their feedback to drive continuous improvements. Then, turn the power of data into action!
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