Every day, businesses accumulate increasing amounts of data. On the rise are new job disciplines related to it, such as big data experts, data scientists, and machine learning tools. Considering this, and thinking about your company, is this surge in data truly enhancing your business? Today, we’re here to tell you how to maximize the value of your data.
Ultimately, like any other asset in a business, data, when effectively managed, can yield tangible positive results.
Here are three tips to enhance the performance of your data.
1. Stay Focused on Objectives
Simply put, track what matters.
Data tied to business objectives can drive actionable insights.
You’ve probably sifted through data seeking specific information to explain a particular behavior and at some point found an anomaly or missing data. Have you considered if this moment and discovery have a direct impact on your business? A clearly defined strategy based on data and business objectives has a higher chance of success.
Focus on analysis projects with solid planning. Start by documenting the objectives or questions you’d like to answer, and think about how you want to measure and visualize potential results.
As projects evolve and change due to market conditions, sometimes objectives do too. Therefore, anticipating potential outcomes helps to focus solely on what’s essential, preventing the collection of unactionable or currently irrelevant data.
Some questions to consider during the planning process:
- At what point will this data indicate success or failure?
- Can we influence the factors impacting these data?
- Who will see it?
- What actions will be taken once the data is shared?
2. Remove Bias to maximize the value of your data
While data can be impartial, biases might sneak in during analysis. We’re all human and susceptible to conscious or unconscious prejudices. Whatever the data’s outcome, avoid cherry-picking data to back a conclusion. Every data set can offer insights for improvement, whether currently favorable or not!
It’s essential to critically assess reasons for including or excluding specific data in certain timeframes. Before exclusion, you can annotate outliers, noting when data didn’t follow the expected trend.
If data indicates performance below expectations, combine it with specific improvement actions that might reverse this trend.
Focus on data helping to achieve earlier planned objectives instead of merely comparing with others. Industry standards and competitor metrics can be valuable, but your success is determined by your objectives.
3. Design Visualization that Highlights the Essentials
Once data is gathered, visuals can aid in data analysis and help you effectively communicate information to stakeholders. While it’s tempting to create visually appealing designs with vibrant colors and varied fonts, the key is to ensure visuals help process information and provide context more effectively than mere text. We like using Looker Studio, but there are a number of helpful visualization tools in the market.
Guide your audience by telling a story with the data. Minimize distractions, using clear and concise text, and display only the pertinent information.
Need assistance in extracting value from your data and activating it? At Making Science, we have a team of professionals ready to offer tailored solutions for your case.