Too Much Data – Not Enough Insight?
There’s never enough time in business. Data, on the other hand… well, that piles up relentlessly; as if separate rules apply.
Do you ever feel that running your business is like being trapped between the two?
Digitisation has meant the ability to capture data has never been easier, it’s easy to be seduced but is like a double-edged sword. There’s a constant stream of data captured from multiple sources both in and outside your business, so in therory, you should have all the answers. After all, you’ve got the data – lots of it – and as a result, the belief that every aspect of your business is in the loop. It can almost feel as if simply collecting all your data is an end in itself.
Each channel and source of data offer their own distinct opportunities to capture slightly different pieces of information bringing greater depth and fresh nuances to how you view your business… So, even more data… whether that is insight that can be applied to your business as a whole; or something more specific about your customers and their behaviours.
But how do you handle all these different types of data? Not to mention all the extra places you now have to go to view it and then make sense of what it all means. All of which has to be squeezed into your already tight schedule. No wonder so many are left reeling from data overload.
Increasing levels of data capture are great in theory. However, getting a consolidated and focused view of your overall business remains incredibly difficult.
Out of sight – but not out of mind
It’s natural for everyone in each area of a business to have their own agenda. The sheer number of sources and types of data captured very often quickly leads to an island mindset on focusing on what you understand and feel most comfortable working with. And this is where opportunities can be missed. If data becomes siloed; known only to those with access, your business could be missing out on a wealth of insight.
Increasing levels of data capture are great in theory. For this data to be of use in practice you will need to achieve a shift from this island mindset and establish a sole conduit for your data. However, getting a consolidated and focused view of your overall business remains incredibly difficult.
Firstly, data is your friend. And having a huge amount of data isn’t a problem. It only becomes one if you are unable to make effective use of it.
So, what are the practicalities of trying to consolidate multiple data sources, and much more? Those who’ve used big data or business intelligence platforms will tell you it’s time-consuming – and we already know how that’s at a premium – exceptionally challenging; and expensive. While this has been the experience for many, we’re doing things differently and making this step far more accessible and affordable for all.
For many, simply being able to see all their data such as sales, conversion rates, labour costs, stock costs, training performance, customer feedback and weather data all in one platform, is a giant leap forward. For others, they know “the devil’s in the detail” but at least you now only have to look in one platform rather than struggle with many.
If, or when, you’ve managed to successfully bring all your data together in one place, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, right? After all, you’ve reached the mountain top; the Holy Grail.