Business Reports And Analytics To Make Data-Driven Decisions

Many organizations believe they have a data-driven culture because they generate lots of reports, or have dashboards throughout their organization.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Data-Driven Culture

A data-driven culture is when an organization’s progress is measured using data rather than intuition (gut feel) or past examples (personal experience). In the scientific world, this is usually referred to as evidence-based decision making. It is a culture is where transparency and accountability are nurtured around data, and team members are driven by decisions through hypotheses testing where the results ultimately drive the decisions.

Having lots of operational data is a great start, but to be a truly data-driven organization requires the ability to develop strategic insights into what is influencing your key performance indicators (KPIs).

A deep understanding of the metrics that influence those KPIs, and the capability to do analytical reporting, will help process all your data and create a data-driven team that investigates trends, predicts outcomes, and discovers new insights.

In the early days of computing, it usually took a specialist with a strong background in technology to mine data for information because it was necessary for that person to understand how databases and data warehouses worked. If a manager on the business side of an organization wanted to view data at a granular level, she had to reach out to the information technology department (IT) and request a report. Someone from the IT department would then create the report and schedule it to run on a periodic basis. Because the process was complex, foreparts, also known as one-off reports, were discouraged.

Today, business intelligence tools often require very little, if any, support from the IT department. Business managers can customize dashboards to create visuals they want to see and run custom reports on the fly. The changes in how data can be mined and visualized allow business executives who have no technology backgrounds to be able to work with analytics tools and make decisions.

The value and benefit of information

Less than 50% of companies agree that information is highly valued for decision-making or treated as an asset in their organization today, but two-thirds believe it will be in the future.

Only one-third of enterprises currently use information to identify new business opportunities and predict future trends and behavior, but most of the remaining two-thirds plan to do so in the future.

Businesses with a collaborative style of decision-making treat information much more as an asset than companies with other decision-making approaches. They are also more likely to use information to identify new business opportunities, predict future trends and behavior or generate revenue.

Using information or gut feel for decision-making

People who make gut decisions use an unconsciously scripted database they acquired from emotional responses that enables them to trust their hunches but they don’t know logic behind this. In fact, new business intelligence (BI) technologies propose a better way to make important business decisions without using a hybrid approach: take all facts, statistics, and numbers into account, and only after empowering yourself with that knowledge, determine what your gut tells you.

Business intelligence software helps companies quickly and easily compile data and analyze it in easy to understand dashboards and reports. This provides businesses with powerful data-based insights, encouraging decision makers to take these insights into account before tapping into their gut feelings. Data visualization brings the analyzed information to life and allows us to transform it into meaningful and intelligent decisions.

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