Harnessing the Power of Data to Make Better Business Decisions

If there is anything the pandemic has taught us, it is that corporations are increasingly relying on data. 82% of data-driven companies believed they stayed ahead of the competition during the pandemic due to their use of data to make effective decisions. Additionally in Q2 of 2021, 61% of CEOs have reported they are making significant investments into data and technology. These significant strides for incorporating data within business strategy brings about three advantages which we shall outline below.

Stronger Business Decisions

Businesses must always face the element of risk but by tracking the performances of previous projects using data and analytics, the gap can be shortened. Advanced Analytics, AI and Machine Learning can assist us in making well-informed decisions which shaves off hidden costs. For example by implementing the algorithm known as the UPS’ ORION program, UPS combatted various inefficiencies in single-package deliveries which allowed the company to save $400 million per year in gas and labor by fall 2016. Not only did they become more sustainable, but they were able to reduce spendings through the data collected during the deliveries alongside testing algorithms to make their service more efficient.

By using data to make better informed business decisions, companies will move closer towards their goals. While a leader with good instincts and a wealth of experience is still necessary, the power of one mind cannot match the benefits of data-driven results. Data-driven companies within the top third of their industry were on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors. On the complete opposite end, 90% of startups and small businesses fail with the failure rate starting at 21.5% in their first year and landing on 70% by the tenth year. This stemmed from the failure to use data to narrow their target audience alongside a lack of research on what their customers want which ultimately, made them ill-prepared for the market. So whether you are part of a large enterprise or a small business, utilising data in the business strategy not only sets you on track for achieving your goals, but also ensures you can navigate any risks with confidence. 

Enhanced Customer Experiences

In the technology era, people are tapped in all the time on their phones, tablets, computers and so on. This has become increasingly apparent with remote working under restrictions such as social distancing and in some cases, lockdowns, where going to a physical store can prove to be difficult. So with more people turning to their digital devices to do their daily or weekly purchases, there is a greater wealth of data which can be analysed to meet the needs of their customers.

Every click, every double-tap and review is a sign of engagement. It was estimated that by 2020, every person generated 1.7 megabytes of data per second which is only a little over the average size of a high quality jpeg photo. When you add on more time, you start having a lot of customer data to work with, wouldn’t you agree? Customers can leave reviews, signalling to others what to avoid and perhaps encourage others to buy a particular product. With this, data analysts and web designers can gauge customer feedback based on clicks, reviews and the duration spent on a page to best optimise online services for their customers. While this may appear trivial, it’s certainly not the case as 80% of customers say they are more likely to buy from those who listen and act on their feedback. Doing so makes the transaction process for customers, whether they be B2B or B2C, seamless during each step of the way while making quicker returns for companies.

A Data-Literate Workspace

Hybrid-working conditions are becoming more prominent which has given rise to technologies such as video-conferencing software and a plethora of collaboration tools and remote learning programs. While the hybrid work model has increased productivity with 83% of employees preferring the hybrid-working model, the management of data is not as flexible. 

First of all, data gets siloed in an organisation which makes information not easily accessible to all departments. So while the access to work and employees is becoming more dynamic, data management is not. The problem this brings is that the data literacy within an organisation becomes unbalanced which undermines the effectiveness and competitiveness of a business. 

This has affected the contracting process where in 2021, 34% of companies struggle to hire contracting talent with the right technology and process management skills to extract, compare and analyse data from contracts. More broadly, the 2020 report from The Data Literacy Project found only 21% of the global workforce are fully confident in their data literacy skills with only 32% of business executives being able to create measurable value from data. With this, the increasing access to technology and data is strangely disproportionate to the ability to interpret, understand and work with data. 

So as our working circumstances have evolved to become more flexible, the ability to effectively use data must advance with it. As the International Data Corporation has forecasted a 61% increase in worldwide data by 2025, there is clearly a need for the global workforce to upskill their current proficiency with data within at least the next four years.

Conclusion

While the exact outcome of the pandemic remains uncertain, the rising reliance on data and technology is clear. Companies are recognising the need for data in business to make better informed decisions alongside building and maintaining a loyal customer base. However, the data literacy of employees, irrespective of their position, has not matched the increasing need to make workable actions from data. It’s no wonder businesses like PwC are spending $3 billion on technology and training over the next four years. So like the hybrid-work model is preventing the spread of Covid-19, accessible and comprehensive data is key to stopping companies from being eliminated by their data-enhanced competitors. So, migrate from inflexible data environments into a fully-customisable one with Unwynd to match your current working conditions and needs.

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Fix Documentation Redundancy with Git: A Version Control System

UK offices lose over one million hours a week and £20 million in time due to misplaced documents. Similarly, a global survey showed 83% of employees recreate documents because the initial version was unlocatable on their corporate network. These trends speak of a lack of version control which has led to document mismanagement. While Git is lauded for its versioning capabilities for software development, it remains largely unprecedented in documentation management due to the lack of a GUI (Graphical User Interface) which utilises its full prowess. Git ensures the complete edit history of documentation are synchronised rather than disconnected throughout a project. Thus, we’ll go how the versioning features of Git help solve documentation redundancy and mismanagement.

The Necessity of a Documented Edit History from Start to Finish

Renaming a document from version to version doesn’t tell you exactly what changes were made and who made them. Alongside the lack of clarity between edits, it wastes time to thoroughly analyse them. Git acknowledges there is one project, so every new addition is neatly packed up into an edit history full of timestamps, alongside who made the edits, when the project is updated. The edit history is beneficial for projects as it allows project members to call upon a previous timestamp in case an edit was not satisfactory. This also allows for better productivity since every employee can focus on tasks that had yet to be addressed, rather than having two or more people unwittingly do the same one due to an absent edit history.

Git allows for efficient drafting due to the ability to make a copy of a file which includes the full edit history. This permits experimentation since the edits to the copy won’t affect the file on the corporate server. So if an idea works – great, you can merge it with the server file. If not, you can delete it without disrupting anything. No harm, no foul. In a large-scale project, everyone attached to a project can make their own copies, their own provisional edits and merge them with the server file when appropriate. This eliminates the need to send copies through communication networks. So rather than having an inbox or folders with seventy drafts and a gamut of untracked edits to sift through, everyone can access the one file with every timestamped edit available. Quite the timesaver, right?

Conclusion

In summary, Git provides a complete edit history in a project and allows employees to make provisional changes without affecting the file on the corporate server. In a network, you can see exactly who made the changes and when, which helps bring more security to a project. This eliminates redundancy and keeps documentation in one place as opposed to scattered on cloud services, various computers, drives and folders. Git prevents project development from being held back by poor document versioning, enhancing productivity and reducing redundancy throughout the duration of a project.

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