6 Steps to Data-Driven Business Decisions

Written By Alla Levin
May 18, 2022
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6 Steps to Data-Driven Business Decisions

Decisions lie at the heart of any business and occupy every aspect of it, from menial decisions to high-stake decisions that require critical thinking – efficient decision-making is the key to your business success. As an executive, making timely decisions can be your business’s make and break moment. Your decisions hold the power to help you seize an opportunity when you see it or lose it due to a wrong decision.

But to err is human, and it’s okay if you sometimes make wrong decisions so long you learn from the experience. One way to ensure competitive decision-making is by making use of data available. As technology has permeated every aspect of businesses, it’s high time to use it to make decisions driven by facts and data to guarantee success.

Make better business decisions

If you don’t feel confident making significant decisions due to failed past decisions or self-doubt, then data-driven decisions answer your worries. Data-driven decisions can improve your decision-making process by leaps and bounds. They reduce the amount of second-guessing, which translates to better decisions and encourages critical thinking throughout every business process.

One important thing to note is decision-making is a skill that not everyone is born gifted with, but it is something that you can work to refine and master to perfect the craft of decision-making to make successful decisions.

Equipping yourself with the right skillset is the best way to make informed, data-driven decisions, and what better way to acquire in-demand skills than by earning an advanced degree. Getting enrolled in an online MBA with data analytics helps your business thrive in today’s cut-throat industry competition. Furthermore, an online degree program allows you the flexibility to study at your pace while providing the perks of an on-campus program.

Ways to make informed decisionsData-Driven Business Decisions

Informed decisions are critical for business success. Luckily, if you still feel clueless, we have some tips to help you make analytically enlightened decisions to transform insight into actions that boost your business.

Define your goals and objectives for the data

The data needs to be processed and analyzed according to your business goals to be useful in the decision-making process. Hence, defining your goals and objectives is pivotal for your overall data strategy. It helps you focus on the data relevant to your organization by eliminating everything that isn’t.

The first step is defining what you want to achieve, finding out which aspects of your business support the data, and prioritizing the most important organizational needs – it could be finding a new lead or figuring out the efficiency of your current business processes.

Prior to dealing with data, it is critical to establish clear and exact KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). A plethora of KPIs exists in the corporate sector. It’s best not to rely on every KPI available but instead focus on the ones that matter most to your business.

Identify your target areas

Modern businesses are surrounded by technology, which translates to an influx of data from every direction. Making the proper use of this data in your decision-making processes is critical for smart business decisions. You need to figure out which data is most valuable for your business needs and how you will manage your data. After figuring out the datasets, you need to focus your attention on those relevant to your needs.

You can streamline your data by observing which datasets provide the most useful data. It’s crucial to note that a decentralized business structure can lead to inconsistent data reporting. Hence, we advise you to use a standard system across all organizational levels.

In essence, by identifying your target areas for data usage, you can keep your data storage expenses in check, focus solely on your business goals, and ensure that only the most valuable and relevant information is gathered.

Gather relevant dataData-driven business decisions

Identifying and evaluating potential decisions and their respective alternatives is part of the data collection process. The first step to making intelligent business decisions is getting the appropriate data. Having access to the right data is as crucial as asking the right questions. Therefore, you must know what data you have collected, the requirement for each business goal, and which are the most significant ones. We cannot emphasize the importance of data security and quality assurance within this context.

Data integration with appropriate technologies like ETLs is also critical for optimizing data collecting. As a result, it is essential to have well-organized and regularly updated dashboards to handle the vast amounts of data you have collected.

Analyze collected data

Infographic created by: Fiserv, a commerce solutions company

Once you’ve gathered all the relevant data, you need to analyze the data to find the answers to the questions you’ve posed.  While carrying out the analysis, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of context and to conduct the analysis within a specific context.

You may need integrated systems to connect all data sources to analyze the data successfully. Depending on your needs, you may require a different set of expertise. The more specific skills you’ll require, the more complex the query.

On the other hand, basic analytical skills may be as basic as being familiar with Excel. Some analytics tools allow all employees to access data, which can help connect the entire workforce and create a more integrated organization. The more easily data can be accessed, the greater the number of new insights that may be gleaned from it.

Data-driven business decisions: Revise and reevaluate your decisionsData-driven business decisions

To ensure that your analysis, findings, and results are accurate, we must re-evaluate them multiple times. Furthermore, it also prevents bias from occurring in the judgment. Generally, it’s best to revise your work at least once every few months, with a brief break between each revision.

Revisiting and revaluating your decisions can help you find errors and inaccuracies you might have missed the first time around. Misjudgment in decisions is harder to spot, but as we go back and analyze our work, we’ll see even more areas where we can improve.

That’s why it’s important to review the data and ensure that you base your decisions on the appropriate indicators. Never leave results to a single member. It would be best to discuss them among team members to get a wider range of perspectives. It also helps improve the overall procedure and the outcome.

Visualize your insights for a better understanding

Visualizing your findings and insight in a digestible manner makes them easier to understand. And the way you visualize them directly impacts the value you get out of your insights. Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) will be easier if we have the correct data visualizations in place, which will also speed up the decision-making process.

Various business intelligence tools can bring together even the most complex information and present it in an understandable way to executives. Furthermore, presenting insights in a way that’s accessible makes it easier to comprehend what actions you can take in light of your findings and how you can use this knowledge in the business.

Data-driven business decisions: Final Thoughts

Data is the driving force behind the success of any ludicrous business, as you can only make better decisions with the help of data. Taking the time to make well-informed decisions will lead to higher profitability and better results for any organization. Making sound decisions is critical to a person’s career and personal success.

Using the points we’ve discussed today, you can make better decisions and feel more in control of your life. Data-driven decisions ensure that you make the right decisions to meet specific objectives and promote strategies that make our business grow.

It’s paramount to revamp your corporate culture and build it around the importance of data to make the most out of data-driven decision-making. As you begin implementing data insights into your business, the organization will begin to rely on them for decision-making.

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