Blindfolded Decision-Making: Use Data to Drive Your Business
Data is needed in all aspects of running a successful business. Whether you are operating a small business, such as food truck or one of the top Fortune 500 companies like Exxon Mobile. Data can be used to gauge how well your business is achieving desired results and how far you are from where you want to be.
Recently, I watched an episode of Steve Harvey’s 911 segment in which Steve matched one struggling entrepreneurial couple to receive business consulting advice from the successful entrepreneurial couple, Bill and Giuliana Rancic. The struggling couple runs a pizza food truck in the Chicago area. While they received high praises on the quality and taste of their Chicago pizza, they were not making enough money to take a salary. One of the things the Rancics discovered was that the couple was not making “data-driven” decisions about their inventory, product offerings, or their customers. Once the Rancics coached the couple on how to use data to track their inventory, order food, supplies, and standardize how many pepperonis per pizza, etc., the couple was able to set their business on a positive track.
So what’s the point? The point is that just like the couple in the story mentioned above, using data to make data-driven decisions will help any business improve their processes, become more efficient, and in the end save money thereby increasing revenues. That is what data-driven decisions will help any business do – save money by improving on processes and efficiencies. It can be as simple as tracking the number and type of patient falls at a residential care facility, to as complex as the scrap and rework counts in manufacturing. They are both important because the data provides valuable information on possible areas of improvement that in the end could result in the organization spending less on resources, time, legalities, and more.
Here’s how! Think of using data like driving a car. If a driver’s side view mirrors are not properly adjusted when operating a motor vehicle, the driver will experience blind spots. Blind spots can inhibit the driver’s ability to observe objects that are obscured from the general view. Your company is the vehicle and your data are your rear and side view mirrors. Like using your mirrors to drive – data helps you to see things you would not ordinarily see, view things from a new or different perceptive, and your data is the mirror that reflects a light on your company’s image. Mirrors help you see who or what may be rapidly approaching you from behind, thus in many cases, giving you time to react swiftly. Data has that same advantage. It can help project the future so you know what is coming ahead and so you can react accordingly in a timely manner. If you are not using data to make important decisions about your company, then you are not using your mirrors appropriately to drive your business.