Categories: Insights

The importance of data

The Importance of Data and how to use it efficiently

Until recently this was the case for Media Heroes, however since the move over to Google Docs it is becoming easier and easier to record and use the data available to us.

For many this will seem like a daunting task and often gets overlooked by business as data itself does not appear to have a value at first glance as you can’t really sell it.

Running a business without collecting data about your progress and capturing it in a meaningful way is comparable to trying to design a website blindfolded. You definitely would not hire a web designer if they told you they were going to design it without looking at it, would you?

You should not run your business in the same way either.

To be fair most businesses will be collecting data in some form or another, however perhaps it is not being captured into a useful format? The best place to start is to begin recording all your data in one place to make the task of effectively using your data as simple as possible.

I would recommend Google sheets for this. If you are familiar with Excel you will get the hang of Google’s version pretty quickly and you will have the added benefits of being able to work on it anywhere, share with whoever you like whenever you like. You can even give different levels of access to different people, collaborate and work simultaneously on the same document (not something you can do in Excel).

Once you start recording your data, it actually becomes a quick and easy task and the benefits for a business are enormous.

So what do you do with all this information and data you have collected?

There are many things you can do with the date collected. But let’s touch two really important ones today.

1. Sales and cash flow forecasting

When you look at historic sales and business performance data, as this builds up over time you will notice trends and what historically has worked well and equally what did not.

Data will give you the ability to make the right decisions first time, rather than guess or go on gut feeling which at best will have a 50% chance of being the right decision.

2. Set team or business KPI’s (key performance indicators)

You will very quickly be able to find out which individuals are performing well in which areas of your business. You can spot areas where some extra training may be required, reward the right people for the right things and give a clear message to your teams.

I have in the past seen businesses simply use gut feel to decide who gets a reward, getting it wrong some of the time means your team will end up confused or worst still frustrated and disengaged.

Giving reward to the team member who brings you cake each Friday is not an effective way of boosting performance and morale. The rest of your team will see through this and feel there is little point in doing a good job if all it takes is cake.

Besides you could end up with a serious cake problem!

Rewarding the top achievers in your business is motivating and sends a clear message to your team; if people know where the goal is they are far more likely to score. If you don’t record sales & performance data you will never know who the top performers are or if you have any freeloaders!

This brings me around to my final bit of advice in regard your data. You must share the information with your teams. Your workforce is who can make a real difference to your business and its future. If you don’t share the business’ performance with your team it is difficult for them to help you to achieve your goals.

Equally if you don’t share factual data about individual performance how will they know if they are doing a good job or not?

They may have really happy customers and believe that means they are definitely doing a great job, but if they are giving everything away for free of course they have happy customers who sing their praises. Happy customers are obviously extremely important however this is only half the battle, if you don’t know an individuals sales or performance data you could never know if they are really performing well and neither will they if you don’t share that data with them.

Here at Media Heroes we understand how important data is to you and how efficiently managing it will benefit your business. Contact us today for more information.

Alistair Roberts :