Applying data and analytics to navigate through challenging times

December 2, 2020

Having the capabilities to collect insights and important data concerning your business is vital for making informed decisions and managing difficult challenges that many businesses are experiencing now with the pandemic.

There continues to be a great level of uncertainty for many organisations around the world. By utilising reliable data and analytics, businesses can become more intelligent and efficient in dealing with the current situation. Businesses can harness this information to understand what path their business is taking and make informed decisions to improve the situation.

Periods of uncertainty and challenging events are always inevitable, however, we are resilient and capable of adapting to changing markets and needs. There are several key ways businesses can use data and analytics effectively to work through the recovery phases and look towards a positive future.

Data Management – In previous years it was realistic to react to new data sets when they arrived because the information would arrive at a relatively steady pace. Businesses could collect the data, assess it and respond promptly using conventional spreadsheets and other tools. Today, however, the sheer volume of data available in real-time means it has become very difficult to collect, manage and put the information to good use. A lot of businesses become overwhelmed and lack the time or ability to utilise all of this information effectively. Applying the necessary tools enables businesses to gather and measure data efficiently. This allows businesses to work through challenging times and create a strategic and stable plan to move forward with.

Some of the best and most efficient organisations are more reliant on data and analytics to manage their operations.

Measuring and identifying data patterns

There is a considerable amount of data available to businesses today, from multiple sources and often providing varied information. Collecting all of this information together, understanding it and making informed and accurate decisions for your business can be challenging. To begin with, a business should be capable of identifying the key signals specifically relevant to your organisation. This can be supported further with other unstructured data, information from customers and competitors for example.

For example, collecting unstructured information from your customers can enable a business to create a clearer understanding of their customers and the potential to identify risks, as well as discover new opportunities.

Integrating your data systems

Individual teams within a business may be observing signals and information in different ways. For example, finance teams may identify changes in revenue spend or changes to payment terms, whereas other services could identify these changes as standard account updates or individuals moving to a different position in the business. In short, information that could be regarded as indicators of required change may be interpreted differently by other teams.

It is essential to integrate these data points and determine exactly what information you are presented with. Applying a triangulation process enables businesses to make more informed decisions within a single platform. When a business is presented with varied data, it allows all teams to assess, ask questions and get more clarity on the information.

Use the information to allocate resources effectively
Every business is experiencing significant changes in resources and capacity. Data enables businesses to understand what areas will enable flexibility and areas which lack room for change.

In some cases, sales employees may have additional time due to deals being relatively slow. This may be an opportunity for a business to reallocate sales professionals to an alternative temporary role focusing more on post-sales or services. Businesses can utilise tools to monitor certain factors that will reveal where best to allocate resources. For example, with many now working remotely, the reliance on new technology has increased, and so some businesses are reallocating resources to provide customers with additional training and additional services to improve efficiency.

Right now businesses cannot operate without having the right information to make clear and strategic decisions. The effective use of data and analytics can enable businesses to understand their position and what specifically is required to determine how to improve their overall performance.

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