Collecting data throughout your business is an excellent first step to analyzing and improving processes and workflow.
But with hundreds of thousands of data points on offer for most businesses, there's little point in collating this data unless you're able to optimize it in to a format that is usable for you and your management team.
Businesses can collect and sit on a gold mine of data without actually knowing what it offers, only ever seeing the obvious, and missing the more subtle, but equally valuable, offerings that data collection offers. It's for this reason, and many others, that today we talk about why you need to optimize the flow of data for your business.
Analyzing and assessing hundreds of thousands of data points could prove to be a nightmare for you or your staff. Very soon you'll become blind to the learnings and see only numbers. This is dangerous. It means large sums of money being spent on data collection is being wasted because you or your staff don't receive it in a format suitable for quick, easy, simple assessment.
It's very easy to spot the obvious, but miss the crucial pieces of data that remain hidden in a forest of thousands of data points.
By optimizing your data, you can access and filter to only see and assess the particular data points you're interested in at any given time, helping you to spot a learning opportunity. And then at that point widening the filter to allow you to compare and assess that particular piece of data against the wider data set.
While it's important to assess this data as part of the whole data set, without the ability to filter and narrow your assessment in the first place, finding that particular opportunity for improvement for your business would have been very difficult and time consuming.
Easy to Interpret Data
While you may be spending lots of money on gathering data, and plenty of data may be arriving, is your data in a format that is easy for you and your staff to interpret in to manageable actions? Receiving data and storing it with no assessment and learnings taken from it results is a waste of time and effort. The data you receive must be in a format you can easily interpret and effectively learn from.
Satellite navigation systems are a clear example of excellent data sources. They gather and compute hundreds of thousands of data points every day, but the presentation they deliver to the end-user is so easy to interpret, we can drive, listen to music and talk to a passenger, all while still safely interpreting and acting upon the data the satellite navigation outputs.
If, for example, the satellite navigation told us to “Take the A123 road, followed by the B456 road, and then don't forget to turn for the next A789 road” all in one long instruction, instead of simply telling us to “Turn left in 200 metres and follow the signs for New York...” we'd find the data much harder to interpret.
By keeping the data set it delivers to us to a minimum and only supplying the data that is important at that particular moment, we're able to learn from and act upon the data easily and efficiently.
Process Automation Opportunities
Without data that is organized and easy to interrogate and find common trends, automating processes to save you time is difficult.
Again, to use a satellite navigation as an example, the software in these systems automatically decides which direction to send you in. It computes the fastest journey and, rather than giving you choices, it automatically decides. This process automation is only achieved because the data it receives is collated effectively and optimized to allow this calculation to take place quickly without any human intervention. There is no human intervention required to ensure the data is accurate and well structured. Instead, the optimization completed by the software engineers ensures the data is perfect every single time.
Spending large sums of money and vast amounts of time and resource on data gathering is excellent, but for a healthy return on investment it's crucial your data is optimized to allow you to effectively interrogate and learn from your data.
Without taking the time to assess your data and the format it is delivered to you, your business will be sat on a gold mine of hundreds of thousands of data points with valuable, albeit locked away, information to help improve your processes and save your business time and money.