The gathering of information and using it to analyze how current strategies can be improved is central to modern business. What’s more, doing it in a fast, cost- and time-effective manner is more important than ever, as your competitors will almost certainly be doing so.

This brief guide will explain how data can save you time and form future strategies, how to speed up data collection, and how to compare data for business aspects such as social media campaigns.

How to Use Data to Form Strategy

To some extent, certain aspects of business strategy can be formed on a trial-and-error basis. That said, you should try and avoid this wherever possible by basing strategy on facts, figures, and hard data.

To use an easy-to-understand example, imagine you are employing a call center to deal with customer queries and complaints, and you wish to resolve calls as effectively and as efficiently as possible. You would not use guesswork to guide your call center’s strategy and training—you would use real-time data such as how many calls were being answered swiftly, how many queries were resolved on the first call, and how many customers had to be put on hold. Access to this data is therefore invaluable to improving the way you operate.

To do this, data should be collated and then analyzed by management. Consider what the data is showing in terms of successes and areas of improvement, and act accordingly. If possible, predict failures before they happen based on this evidence.

How to Speed Up Data Collection

This is all well and good, but surely it takes far too long to collate and analyze all of this data effectively? Perhaps in the past, yes, but in modern times there are solutions out there to help you make sense of data as soon as it appears.

Going back to the call center example, you can work with companies who will provide you with a site to see data from all of your phone lines both historically and in real time, grouping up data into manageable and presentable chunks for you to understand even at a glance.

Comparing Data

If you have access to your competitors’ data—for example if they publish their business statistics publicly—it can be useful to compare it against your own. Reviewing your business performance regularly by comparing data against not only your competitors’, but also against your own data from previous years, can lead to interesting findings. They will show you how far you have come, how close you are to achieving your business goals, and how you can do better going forwards. Data can provide accurate projections when used properly, therefore helping you prevent crises or failed campaigns.

Conclusion

Data is a word that has been thrown around in business an awful lot in 2020, and for good reason. Gathering data about your business performance as quickly as possible is critical to both assessing your current strategies and forming new ones. What’s more, with modern software, it is easier than ever.