Whether you’re checking your weather app, or finding this forecast quite fitting for the amount of information and tasks glaring at you from your computer screen, you’ve been using data to figure things out.
Data is all around us.
And unknowingly or not, we all interact with data every single day. Come to think of it, there’s really no limit to how data can be used.
It can be as simple and personal as checking your weather app to plan your outfit for the day, or as complex and corporate as predicting commodity prices and timing using data libraries and business systems, incorporating much more than a local weather app.
Data has become one of the more essential ’umbrellas’ to weather inevitable tempests the business world brings. This article discusses the “why” and “how” of it by highlighting how a business can use data to gain hindsight, insight and foresight.
The practical approach to the perfect storm
For many of us, the perfect storm has been brewing for quite some time – let’s not kid ourselves – we’re smack bam in the middle of it as we speak. As much as rain is welcomed, incessant downpours (hello, loadshedding) can dampen even the most sunny-side-up-spirits out there. The same applies to business. Navigating constant change is an inescapable consequence of doing business in today’s world.
This is where data can make the difference.
The issue isn’t whether we have data or not, it’s what we do with it that enables us to make better decisions for present challenges and future growth. Data helps pave the way to not only withstand the storm, but to better read the storm clouds gathering and be better prepared for when the lightning strikes.
Combinations and collections of data help people from many walks of life make decisions, gain insight and predict future activities on a constant basis no matter how big or small the impact. In the same way, delving into the simplest forms of data on a spreadsheet or other system, may just yield some helpful insights into a business’s canvas.
Understanding data and using it optimally in a company can enhance its prowess, its ability to make decisions, its ability to retain customers and ultimately, its ability to grow. Data can therefore build a prosilient business. That is if you know how to leverage it effectively.
Driving ‘probrilliant’ results through data insights
We all use data differently and require different types of data to make the best decisions for the specific scenarios we find ourselves in.
Need to drive customer retention? Want to know who’s really your customer? Or, in the retail environment, which type of customers are swiping those promotions from the shelves? Or, on a more prevalent and pressing issue – how can your company utilise internal resources more effectively when faced with something like loadshedding, without draining all those hard-earned Rands?
Data insights refer to the deep understanding an individual or business gains from analyzing information on a particular issue. This in-depth insight helps organizations make better decisions than when they’re simply relying on gut instinct.
Great. So how do you go about obtaining these insights?
Not to oversimplify the sophisticated nature of things, but – keeping it simple, is the smartest way to go:
- Consider these three aspects:
Hindsight: what did we do, what worked or not and why?
Insight: an in-depth accurate understanding of a specific situation, process or person.
Foresight: what can we expect to happen, what can potentially work or not and why?
Get ahead by getting started
Data doesn’t have to be seen as a “schlep” or some looming “thing” to decipher. It’s there, ready and able to help bring the insights we’re looking for. On the contrary, when those cumulonimbus clouds start to gather on the horizon, data can be your greatest ally to procuring a prosilient position in the storm.
Start by understanding what data you already have and understanding your business challenges and opportunities. Then articulate how the data can help you eliminate these challenges and capitalise on opportunities.
The moment you start using data to enable your business is the moment you start becoming more prosilient. A prosilient mind-set enables you to take on a more active role in monitoring the flow of data through your business, and taking steps accordingly to respond more effectively to whatever comes your way.
The perfect storm is nearly always brewing…
Rumbling with data can provide more concrete footing in the eye of the storm.
For more information or to share your thoughts, feel free to contact our Head of Advisory, Myrna Viviers, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to the article: https://www.ofm.co.za/article/news/320163/the-perfect-storm-s-brewing-data-can-clear-the-way