Today's managers are often overwhelmed with the amount of data their systems are capturing. Systems spanning accounting, operations, e-commerce, and web marketing capture a wealth of detailed transactional and interaction data, and many companies have made the investment to store this data in warehouses or smaller data marts. From an IT perspective, this project is complete once managers have been given access to the data as well as tools to analyze the data.
However, this is really only Step 1 in the process. Step 2, which can be easy to overlook, is to interpret the data and use it to implement a strategy for continuous business improvement. One common obstacle: you may have a highly sophisticated data management system and a front end tool set to access your data, but your managers may not be skilled at basic data modeling and analysis. If this is the case, then you won't be able to achieve a favorable return on these investments.
Make sure you are giving ample attention to developing your managers’ analytical skills, employee recruitment, continuous education efforts, and ensuring the depth of your analytics solution is in sync with your managers’ realistic capabilities. In many instances, a simpler technological solution with higher utilization levels outperforms more sophisticated systems with lower utilization levels. The result is a higher project return on your investment and increased business success.
What benefits or challenges have you experienced in using your company's data? Have you implemented dashboards or other types of tools? Share in the comments.