Why data analysis matters in modern-day business practice

Modern businesses are faced with many differing challenges and opportunities for growth that data analysis can assist with, as we explore in this piece.

The need to be successful has always been the driving force of business leaders throughout history, yet modern-day businesses are faced with more challenges and opportunities than their predecessors.

With the introduction of the internet in the 90s came a wealth of capabilities and potential to increase audience reach and profitability. This, subsequently, resulted in businesses who embraced the digital age, and who grew exponentially. The internet bred a demanding consumer culture which put a huge strain on staff, and for many organisations, it highlighted the correlation between staff well-being and business productivity and efficiency. Fast-forward to today, and these are still areas prioritised, but not always perfected, by businesses.

So, how exactly do you keep up with the changing needs of your customers? How do you ensure your staff are happy, productive and reaching their full potential? And how do you plan strategically to expand your business in the modern dog-eat-dog world? Enter qualitative data analysis.

Modern businesses have a wealth of data under their belts, yet many may not realise the value that harnessing this information could bring to their businesses if analysed by experts.

Examples of the value that data analysis brings to business practice includes:

Better management and improved HR services

Trusted and experienced advisors act as a partner in building strategies across a wealth of levels within business operations. From the internal structure, businesses can perform sentiment analysis to gain insight into the feelings and capabilities of their staff members and encourage the well-being of their workforce (which directly impacts productivity), as well as helps managers identify opportunities for individual employee and departmental growth. HR is also greatly benefitted by allowing for better communication between both staff and leaders and provides evidentiary support for organisational developments.

Identifying opportunities for positive business change

Data scientists can delve into the existing processes, products/services and communications to identify areas that need improvement. Through their analysis and insights, they can help businesses see where their organisation falls short and help them to construct plans to eradicate problems that are preventing business growth.

Informed decision-making

The use of data analysis also means that decisions and strategies are supported by facts, rather than intuition, ruling out high stake risks that are unlikely to pay off. Yet, it’s important for people to know that the value of data analysis is not from collecting the information alone, but from the insight that is derived from the analytical process. Furthermore, having experienced analysts on projects is paramount in ensuring that constructive insights are being picked, and this only comes from a deep understanding that experienced data analysts develop through their experience.

Reviewing changes

The use of data doesn’t stop at implementing change, but can be utilised during and at the end of projects to assess success. Having a data analyst who can measure the key metrics and quantify its successes can be good for annual reporting that goes to stakeholders or potential investors, as well as helping you to take your lessons into future endeavours and business relationships.

What makes data analysis a necessary tool for an organisation is its ability to be applied to any level or need of the business. However, its vital that the process is done correctly to ensure the best outcome, and this is where professional data analysis services come into play. Outsourcing your data analysis to an experienced company will ensure you derive the best value from the process and see the growth you want in your organisation.

Ben Lobel

Ella Swaniawski

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk and GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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