There is no shortage of data. The way we harvest information is also many and varied. But for leaders who are faced with the daily challenge of making informed decisions, collecting data is no longer enough. What makes it valuable are the insights it provides.
One way to use data to your advantage is when you need to address performance weaknesses – whether that’s within the team or your entire organisation.
Before you dive into the millions of bytes of information available to you, consider the following limitations:
- Effective data analysis requires specialised skills and training. That’s why the role of data scientist is of high demand in today’s workplace.
- While leaders might be highly skilled in business analytics, to boost team and organizational performance, talent analytics mustn’t be overlooked.
So this is where effective analytics tools can help turn mere data into powerful knowledge.
To benefit from a robust analysis of data, ask yourself the following:
What are you doing with the data available to you?
To be clear, launching into a fact-finding mission to improve business results doesn’t always mean putting in place new methods to collect data. What you have at hand is often sufficient. For example, data analytics company Humanyze uses RFID badges (that employees use to enter work premises) and digital data (such as email, meeting and phone call information) to analyse how people work.
What performance challenges are you trying to solve?
The challenge to solve will dictate the type of information you need to analyse. It’s therefore a vital step to clearly identify that challenge. Are you looking to improve team performance? Are you looking to find areas of competitive advantage? Do your managers need to raise their emotional intelligence? All of these will inform where you go to source the data that then needs analysis.
What analytics tools can you use to make decisions?
Once you’ve identified an objective it’s time to look at the most effective analytics model. Of course, this requires more than a simple round-up of huge data sets. A myriad of statistics that reveal submerged patterns is of little benefit if managers can’t effectively use the correlations to enhance business performance.
Creating custom analysis models can be one way to make sense of data. Another way is to use established analytics models targeted at determining how to improve specific areas of performance.
How are you gaining insights and boosting results from your data?