We’re excited to be back in the New Year, embracing 2016 with a lot of exciting changes! For now though, our blog posts are returning with a great write up on why your business’ data is so important!
Making decisions when you don’t have the right information available is always going to be a waste of time. A good choice is one made after weighing up everything you know and balancing out all knowledge to come up with the best possible option. For many people though, decision making often has very little to do with the actual, real data surrounding their business and a good deal more to do with their anecdotal data – things they've noticed, stories they've heard, or ideas they've developed.
Those are all great – but you need hard data if you really want to see the possible impact of your decision! You can gather this data through a number of different ways. Your financial info, including cash-flow and profits, your business’ on-line data, such as website visitors and social media likes and even your staff phone time. Anything about your business that can be quantified can be used to make a tough call a lot easier!
You Can Use Data To Help Develop Products
There’s going to be a lot of information available about what products you’re selling the most. You can add to that with data about how much time your staff spend providing customer service for all your products individually, and what your general feedback is. All of this can inform some big decisions about what you’re selling. Do you need a new version that requires less support, because your staff are tied up answering calls about certain features?
You Can Use Data To Hire New Staff
Measuring the productivity of your staff by billable hours, time spent in the office and off-site, and staff satisfaction is a great way to understand where your staffing strengths and weaknesses are. You can use that information to help you hire new team members and carefully manage the way everyone works together.
You Can Use Data To Find New Markets
How often are your customers repeat buyers and where do your new customers come from? These are some of the questions you can ask to build data around your target markets, and any areas that you may have missed out on. You could be selling without knowing it to targets that you never knew were interested in your product at all!
You Can Use Data To Grow Your Business
This is one of the most important reasons to gather data. If you want your business to grow and become a larger enterprise rather than your own small business, understanding all the financial data around it will be crucial. You want to have a clear grasp of every spend and every profit, so you can base your growth decisions on the reality of your company’s situation!
Gathering all of this information can be tough. It can even be a good option to have someone helping your research from outside of your company who’ll be able to come in without preconceived ideas or prejudice! As long as your sales team, your accountant and your HR staff (who might all be you!) are keeping detailed records, all the data you need should be available to you – it’s just a matter of sifting through it!