Opportunity or Survival? The Importance of Data-Led Decision Making
It’s time to democratize data. Data powers quicker and more effective business decisions. McKinsey reports that high-performing organizations are three times more likely than others to say their data and analytic initiatives have contributed at least 20% to their EBIT.
But issues around understanding and interpreting the variety of data available means many of these decisions can be slow, biased, or impeded by organizational walls.
Given its importance to the business as a whole, data collection and analysis should no longer be the IT department’s sole domain. Instead, companies should take a holistic approach to how data is used day-to-day—an organization-wide change in behavior with visualization and democratization of data at its core.
In situations like the COVID-19 crisis, where things are constantly changing, and decisions happen on the fly, data can often be essential to a company’s very survival. Organizations need to capitalize on all the data available and make it easily accessible and understandable to everyone who needs it, whenever they need it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything, and businesses must adapt—quickly. According to Kate Smaje, a senior partner and global co-leader at McKinsey Digital, “business leaders are saying they’ve accomplished in 10 days what used to take them 10 months.”
Take Texas Tech Credit Union, for example. It started planning its response to the COVID-19 situation in late February. But, like many other businesses, it could not have foreseen how dramatically things would have changed by mid-March.
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act, financial institutions were encouraged to offer deferments on loans and mortgages. It became vital to understand how loan deferments were trending and how these deferments would impact its call center and its collateral risk exposure at any given point in time.
By leaning on its robust BI practice, answers to these questions were quickly at the fingertips of everyone who needed them. As the situation continued to evolve, the company’s BI team built a page to monitor organizational health and answer business performance questions in real time.
Such a rapid reaction wouldn’t have been possible without the insight provided by clear analysis and understanding of the company’s available data. Indeed, Smaje argues that, while the ability to move quickly is vital in these uncertain times, the most successful companies are those “investing in the tech, data, processes, and people to enable speed through better decisions and faster course corrections based on what they learn.”
Combining complex data sets
Data, of course, comes in many different forms and from many sources and systems. Data needs to be combined and simplified into one platform to be viewed and understood by anyone who requires it, to make it useful to a business and inform decision-making processes.
Domo does just this. Using more than 1,000 pre-built data connectors, Domo can integrate an organization’s data from wherever it lives—in the cloud, in on-premise databases, in Excel or CSV files, or elsewhere—and create data sets that can be analyzed and visualized in seconds.
For example, organizations can combine Salesforce data with data from finance, marketing, or operations, and other databases, such as AWS, Oracle, or Excel spreadsheets. Then, by using a single, intuitive dashboard to analyze and view that data in the context of other business metrics, they’re able to leverage it in ways never before possible and make rapid, informed decisions on the pace and direction of their sales pipeline.
Being able to view live data has additional benefits. Continuing with the Salesforce example, it’s possible to immediately see when someone hits their quota or falls behind the pace. This ability to uncover new processes and trends in real-time allows businesses like Marcus to react rapidly and take appropriate action with minimum delay.
Unlocking these benefits requires buy-in across the company, however. Data insights data can be used to better and benefit everyone, but only if everyone knows how to use and understand that data.
Once the responsibility of IT teams, data analytics is now big business. “Data scientists” and “data engineers” are both in the top 10 of LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, and the popularity of such roles is only set to grow as organizations employ more AI, machine learning, and IoT technologies than ever.
But there’s an argument to be made that data should be accessible to everyone across an organization. A company-wide behavioral change, led from the top-down, is necessary to encourage the appreciation of the insights that data analysis offers and the benefits it represents. In conjunction with platforms such as Domo Everywhere, which enable fast consolidation, analysis, and visualization of an organization’s data, this change will make those insights and benefits available to all.
Thousands of business decisions are made each day, at every level of an organization. With the pandemic highlighting an urgent need to make informed decisions, at speed, it’s clear that the democratization of data has never been more important.
Click here to see for yourself how Domo can enable everyone across your business to quickly analyze, understand, and use the data your company holds to inform their decisions.