For most companies, entities, and organisations, the issue is not a lack of data. No, for many people, it is the polar opposite. Too much data can be daunting, leaving you unable to sort through it and extract the information you need.
To do better, you must first have a better system for your data. It is a massive undertaking that necessitates meticulous planning and training. With these, it is a lot easier to take what was once a huge jumble of unrelated data and make it into something far more useful.
To get you started, let us take a look at a few things you can do.
Have a specific question in mind that you would like your data to answer
It is pointless to provide a large amount of data if it does not answer a question. Any questions you want to be answered should be straightforward, succinct, and, most importantly, quantifiable. Formulate your questions so that they can either qualify or disqualify solutions to the issues that you are facing in your business.
Collect your data
It is time to collect data now that you know what questions you want to answer and, ideally, what you will be calculating and how. Remember to consider the following points before gathering and organising your data:
- What knowledge do you have access to via current databases or sources? First, make use of and organise this information. You may want to look into using a data catalog to do this to make it clear and easy to access. If you have not heard of these before, do some reading and find out more about the data catalog definition so that you are aware of how they work and the many benefits that come with using one in your business.
- Determine a method for storing and naming files and data ahead of time to make it easier for anyone involved in the data collection process to collaborate. This will save time and discourage members of the team from gathering the same data twice.
- If you need to collect data through interviews and observation, create a template ahead of time to ensure accuracy and consistency, which is critical when gathering data, and save time.
- Keep track of the collected data in a system that includes the dates it was collected, source notes, and any data normalisation you have done. As a result, your assumptions would be validated further down the line.
Analysis and interpretation
Following these three measures will help you make better and more informed business decisions because your decisions will be backed up by evidence that has been carefully collected and analysed.
Do you have any tips for how to get the very best out of your data? Leave your tips in the comments below to help your fellow business owners out!