How to maximise your data to gain an edge on the competition

Employment & Skills | How To | Technology

Data and the advancements in technology have changed the business world beyond recognition. By viewing global trends and being able to capitalise on them can help you and your business gain a competitive edge over other businesses in your market.

Making impactful strategic decisions based on these trends through the use of data-informed insights can help solve complex issues and drive the business forward.

Data driving decisions

In 2019, data analytics are a crucial element to businesses of all sizes and sectors.

Otherwise known as ‘Data Driven Decision Making’, or DDDM, the premise is that implementing an internal system to analyse and implement decisions based on data should eliminate potential poor business decisions made with personal intuition or uninformed decision making.

Whether it is to do with production, employee output or maximising your sales figures, data is being analysed to find the best business practices.

Gut instinct and experience of being a business leader is no longer enough if you want your business to succeed.

Do you want to improve your decision making?

Technology is now the underlying factor of business and those that have adopted an analytical approach have reaped the rewards of this.

However, you don’t have to be a tech genius to be able to maximise your business.

In today’s modern business world, data is ever-present for everyone, and it has become the cornerstone of almost every aspect of businesses processes.

The companies that are leading the way are the ones that have gained a wider and global understanding of the data available to them. But, why? Take Amazon for example.

As Gordon Fletcher from Salford Business School recently wrote for Business Leader: “After 20 years of trading, Amazon is now regarded as the ultimate e-commerce success story. The path to success has been difficult, controversial and dramatic enough to produce a range of books documenting the company’s history.

“The future for this giant is equally complex but more importantly, it is not solely to be found online. Amazon has already started buying traditional retail chains and is opening its own ‘bricks and mortar’ stores but at its heart, it will continue to succeed because it is a data-driven business.

“It is not just that 10% of Amazon’s revenue comes from Amazon Web Services (AWS) – its cloud-based data services business. By being self-conscious of the central importance of data to its business model, it means that everything else Amazon does can be fluid.”

How to become a DDDM business

However, it is not just global institutions like Amazon that can make the most of being a DDDM business – any business with the right leadership and willingness to embrace global data analytics can succeed.

Below are five steps to achieve your company’s goals through having data at the core of your operations:

  1. Have a strategy and don’t get lost in ‘Big Data’

Tech has revolutionised business, and there are many avenues in which you can take your business when it comes to embracing it and the accompanying analytics. Avoid getting bogged down in the ‘big data’ debate. By locating the exact part of your business you are looking to change, you can look to gain information in the area you are looking to improve.

  1. What issue(s) are you looking to fix?

Whether it is an overall business goal or a specific section of the company, you need to first analyse the problem you are looking to fix, so that the new data you obtain can help you implement a new strategy. By just obtaining streams of data, you will not be achieving anything, and probably running up a large bill and wasting your employees time.

  1. Compare the data to what you already have

There is an almost endless amount of data available at any one point – so make sure you are finding the information that can be the catalyst to grow the company. By collecting data that answers a specific set of questions can reduce wasted time, costs and employee happiness. By being cost-effective, you will only be collecting and analysing the information you need.

  1. Collect and analyse the data

Depending on the size of the data, you will need to have the correct personnel and processes in place to make sure that the new information you have can be understood and put in place to improve operations.

  1. Implement your new strategy

Once you have the necessary information you can then come up with a new strategy to implement. Make the data mean something by applying it within the company. With the world moving along with rapid tech development, having the right analytical platform is key to future growth.

If you and your senior management would like to learn more about DDDM and making more informed decisions using data, then James Cook University offers a Master of Business Administration Global degree, where you will gain the skills to make impactful strategic decisions based on data-driven insights and a wider understanding of global business trends.

What are the benefits?

Having a larger understanding of global business trends and the correct data analytical approach can greatly benefit your business.

This means that your company will be more flexible to adapt and respond to the latest news coming out of your industry and leave the competition struggling to familiarise themselves with the new business environment.

By leading the way, you will now be able to obtain new and potentially previously-missed opportunities, meaning that you can win new business and potentially take it away from competitors.

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