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How Learning About Data Can Increase Your Understanding of the Business World
To put it simply, a business cannot succeed without the power of knowledge. That knowledge can come in the form of sales history, customer feedback industry research, and years of accumulated experience. With that comes a lot of data. This valuable information can tell you everything you need to know about your business environment and what you need to do to improve and dominate in your industry. Here are four keys to understanding your business data.

How Learning About Data Can Increase Your Understanding of the Business World

1. Know Where Your Knowledge Comes From

Your data shouldn’t just come from one source. Instead, search through multiple channels to gather up your information. This will help it to be more versatile and without bias. As part of the gathering process, you’ll definitely want to analyze your customers and take a look at their social media and other online activity. Due to the fact that 43 percent of the world’s population is now on the internet, this is a very important thing to do.
Feedback, responses, and performance evaluations should also be analyzed for both employees and supply chains to assess efficiency and risks. Even your top competitors can provide insights through the success or failure of their own marketing strategies.
When you’re writing up an official report for your business, however, make sure that you are quoting whatever sources that you’re using. Not only that, but you should make sure that that the sources you quote are valid and have a good Domain Authority (DA—this is Google’s way of telling people that they are using a reputable source.) DA is out of 100, and so quoting from something that has at least a 60 DA count is pretty good and tells people that it is mostly reliable information. However, you should try for 80 plus DA. Just to name a few of the sites that are good for you to get your data and information from, you should take a look at Forbes, Business Insider, and the Wall Street Journal (all of which have high DA counts).

2. Make Data a Part of Operations

Rebuild your company culture to implement data flow in your daily routine. Here are a couple examples:
  • Establish the value of data-driven decisions. Demonstrating the role data plays in your business will help your employees understand why you use it and how they can implement it in their daily routines.
  • Maintain a cycle of regular reports or a visual dashboard tool to keep your staff informed of key performance metrics, trends, and projections.
By showing them that data is important to you, you encourage them to leverage it in their own roles. You could offer incentives for ideas that solve problems or positively change the data and benefit your business.
[RELATED: How Safe is Your Data? Protecting Against Data Theft]

3. Use Data to Address Specific Challenges

Merely gathering huge amounts of data in hopes to expose actionable solutions is not a very effective way of gaining understanding. Instead, isolate datasets that will provide greater insights and value when they’re applied to real-world problems. For example, review your data to determine what customers are looking for to improve sales, how shorter turn-around times can improve warehousing, or what new products or technologies are taking hold.

4. Implement a Knowledge Strategy

How your data is organized and applied depends very much on your industry and business model. Online retailers may be primarily concerned with digital marketing, where tractor manufacturers will be more focused on sales and supply chains. Look for employees skilled in areas like public administration to develop branding and outreach. Employees with this type of background should be able to take whatever data that you give them, hit the ground running, and create real positive change within your company. They’ll also be able to prioritize your current needs and discover what sources, techniques, and reporting will give your business the best advantage.
When you understand your data, it becomes your greatest business asset. Don’t let the knowledge go to waste. Once you’re aware of any stat that personally involves your business or the industry that you are in yourself, then it’s time to act fast. Start forming new strategies and implementing new goals that will lead your business to success.

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