Whether you’re a data scientist or an insurance industry analyst, data is a critical part of your life. There are more and more data sources to choose from; simultaneously, organisations are demanding more from their data. It’s not enough to provide individual statistics. Today, businesses that lead are using data in innovative ways to truly know their customers, drive organisational change and exploit trends that are shaping behaviors globally.
According to smartinsights.com, “70% of business executives say analytics is already very or even extremely important. This in contrast to 2% that say they have achieved broad, positive impact.” If you’re responsible for your company’s strategy or research initiatives, how can you be sure you’re getting the most out of your data, transforming it from ordinary into insightful?
With so many data sources available, it’s easy to focus on either the wrong things or details that don’t really matter. Be sure you’re tracking what’s meaningful to your organisation by working with vetted data sources that can pull a multitude of disparate data points together and aggregate findings based on search terms, topics and criteria that are important to your business. This way, you’ll spend less time sifting through endless data sands and more time focusing on what you’ve uncovered.
One of the barriers to actionable insights is often the siloed structure of departments. If teams aren’t integrated and sharing insights across groups, their full impact is minimised or even lost. Become a true agent of change and foster collaboration among teams through research that is sharable and engaging. By creating reports in formats that are visual, you’ll be sure you’re getting the most out of your insights and encouraging multiple teams to use your findings for real change within your business. While words and numbers matter, a picture can often convey the benefit more clearly and with emotion, encouraging teams to discuss the insights and use them cross-functionally.
For many, the power of data lies in the present and in using it for the future. And while this is helpful, don’t ignore looking backwards to give your data real-world context. Historical data will help you to fully form trends that are based on extended periods of time, parts of the world or within certain demographics or populations. It’s this 360-degree focus that allows you to gauge how oil prices impact the real estate market or how weather patterns impact the stock market. Using the lens of history can help you to connect seemingly unrelated patterns, giving you powerful insights that make a real difference.
Even if you’re an insights wizard, the insights won’t mean anything if they aren’t tied to the goals of your business. By working with leadership to understand strategic goals and operational imperatives, you can tie your work to the objectives of your company, helping teams to reach goals through what you analyse and deliver.
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