Our world is awash in data. It comes at us from all directions and from many sources. From the news, social media, analytics platforms, magazines, books, blogs… the list goes on. For the average person, it can be challenging to parse through everything and decide what to pay attention to. And it’s no different for businesses. But, collecting data and making sense of it is critical to businesses and can help stakeholders make smarter decisions.
Turning raw data into actionable insights is necessary to help businesses understand how to effectively and efficiently use big data, improve business strategies, and stay ahead of the competition. There are many factors and processes that can help, such as filtering, grouping, and segmenting. In this article, we’ll take a look at just a few other tactics that can help your business turn data into actionable information.
Know what to measure
Knowing what to measure is one of the most important things you should do to maximize insights gleaned from your data. After all, you won’t have anything to analyze if you don’t know how or where to look at your data. For example, if you want to better understand an e-commerce site, you would want to check things such as conversation rates, bounce rates, and what channels are driving the most traffic. Knowing what to look for will help you figure out which strategies work and which could use improvement. Understanding what you need to measure will also help you identify patterns and trends.
Speaking of patterns, these can be critical in turning your data into information. According to WikiPedia, pattern recognition is the “automated recognition of patterns and regularities in data.” It has applications in many areas, including statistical data analysis, signal processing, and more. An example of a pattern could be a significant rise in sales on Saturday afternoons for a retail business. Identifying that pattern can offer ideas on how to maximize those sales by identifying what is causing that spike and how to replicate it. However, be careful when looking for patterns. Not all of them might be applicable to your research or needs and should be reviewed carefully.
Convey your message clearly
Once you have collected your data, you will need to communicate them across your organization or team to understand what they’re telling you. This is an important step in making sure everyone is on the same page and can be helpful in talking through any assumptions or inaccuracies. You’ll want to make sure that you present this information as clearly as possible. Consider visualizing the information to make it more digestible and understandable. For example, if you need to present six month’s worth of sales data, it may be overwhelming – not to mention boring – to present reams of numbers. Instead, break down the information into bite size pieces or visualize them so everyone can go through it together. It’s important to make sure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the data to draw the most accurate and helpful conclusions. Also, consider building a story of the what, how, and why behind the data you collected. This can be a good way to make the data memorable and help stakeholders make better decisions.
Understand the context
Apart from what the data itself may mean, understanding the context behind that data is also vital. This is because everyone has their own assumptions, perspectives, and opinions which could color their interpretation of the data. For example, a 2% conversion rate increase may seem huge for someone coming from a smaller business, but that could be insignificant – or even fall short of goals – for a multimillion dollar company. In other words, data that lacks context can lead to conflicting conclusions, negatively impacting business decisions and strategies moving forward.
Partner with the right people
You can collect all the data in the world, but if you don’t have the right people helping you analyze and understand it, it’s going to be next to impossible to gain any insights. The right partner can guide you in collecting the right data in addition to enabling you to easily and intuitively interact with data. At the end of the day, gaining actionable insights from data is all about helping people learn faster and do their jobs better, which the right partner can help you achieve.
The tactics suggested in this article are just the tip of the iceberg of how your business can learn to gain actionable insights from all the data you’re collecting. Finding a good partner who can guide you on your data analytics journey can be a critical factor in getting your data to work better for you.
If you’re looking for a data analytics company to help you make the most out of your data, contact Gemini today. We can help your business interact with data through storytelling visualization for more powerful and memorable insights.