Use Big Data to Make Decisions at Meetings

ART02x - edited feature imageNot looking forward to your next meeting? We don’t blame you. Meetings can be hard to sit through, not to speak of being productive. Making an important decision everyone can agree on is not easy. Intuition has a lot to do with making decisions. There never seem to be enough resources, with time being the scarcest, which is why companies still rely on guesswork.

Eventually, taking a long, hard look at the data becomes unavoidable.

Does Big Data Help? 

To make a solid decision based on data, you will need as much data as you can possibly get because the decisions you make will affect the team, the company, and yourself in important ways. Reliable data helps you make sure you’re making the right decisions and moving your team – and company – in the right direction. Big data is no longer for big enterprises only. Any efficient leader can use it to their and their team’s advantage. Being effective is being data-driven, and effectiveness is key to running a high-performing, successful establishment. One needs to only see how Amazon and Netflix use the data they collect.

You must collect data on all your operations to be the best you can be. Collect data from all possible sources: advertising and marketing campaigns, assignments, tasks, projects, peers, subordinates, and teammates, but especially clients.

The question is not whether big data helps, but how it helps. Big data has changed the ways companies carry out marketing to clients and customers. This has helped them drive their bottom line as a result. According to a recent research report by BARC, companies utilizing big data to their advantage saw a 10 percent cost reduction and a profit increase of 8 percent.

Adjust your Business Model Using Big Data

There are countless ways to improve your business model using big data. Marketing and advertising are two areas that have seen the biggest improvement in that sense. You can predict services or products that clients might be interested in based on data on their current choices and preferences. Amazon uses big data to predict what kind of goods people will want to purchase moving forward. On this basis, they created Amazon recommendations.

No one can dispute Amazon’s success – the giant’s net worth reached one trillion last year. However, this approach will work for companies of any size. Obtain data from your team members, such as how customers are rating purchases, when they are buying, and what customers with similar purchasing habits are buying.

These considerations will give indispensable insight into the factors that go into selecting recommended products. Clearly, the last one is most critical in relation to big data. Companies like Amazon have been able to determine with high accuracy what type of products people are interested in buying based on data on customers with similar purchasing habits. Meetings are an excellent occasion to discuss how such data can be used to make correct predictions about your company’s customers.

Map out Trends at Meetings 

You will begin to notice tendencies when your sales department or staff observes sales growth. What is behind sales growth? Here is a simple example of the mechanisms at work. Why is the sugar near the coffee or in the same aisle in the supermarket? When we go to buy coffee, we are reminded that we may be out of sugar too. After supermarkets started positioning these two items together, sales of both increased. Similarly, people who purchase TVs also tend to buy mounts. Companies are increasingly upselling related products in the hope that people will extend the scope of their purchases.

How Do you Get Big Data? 

Experts concur that data helps you grasp and streamline processes, so you waste less time and money. It’s then up to you to choose the most effective ways of planning your sales cycle, restocking inventory, and understanding your clients’ needs. But how is that data obtained?

Managers have two sources they should use – internal (employees) and external. The first is more important and more accessible. Meetings are not to be wasted. Your staff is a vital information source. Start by making sure these people can present the data needed to adjust company processes. We recommend a combination of weekly meetings, problem and progress-based reports, and plans to stay as well-informed as possible. One-on-one meetings might be necessary as well. You could do these online to avoid spending too much time in meetings. Instant messenger or a performance management app is an easy way to gain access to the data you need and give feedback to employees.

Meeting Facilitation

It is all too often the case that the most valuable source of information is not tapped into at meetings. This could be your sales or marketing manager or expert. Some people are naturally quieter and won’t speak even if they have important information to provide. A facilitator can help streamline strategic planning and make sure everyone is heard at your next meeting.

Direct Access to Customer Data 

Direct access to customer data is a little trickier. Google Analytics is extremely helpful, but it’s insufficient when it comes to scaling a business. Deep consumer insight has become more crucial than ever in campaigns. It focuses attention on target groups and ensures you get good returns on investment. The most successful marketing campaigns are data-driven and innovative. Generally speaking, leaders need data and platforms to scale their organizations. Without automation, common approaches like influencer marketing are very costly and time-consuming. There’s nothing like data to provide automation.

Making the Right Decisions

Once you gain sufficient experience, your intuition becomes a great deal more reliable. With experience comes the ability to make better and more informed decisions. However, overconfidence is something to be wary of. Effective leaders know their intuition can be misleading. They know personal insight is never as valuable as big data.

Don’t be afraid to try different data-based approaches, tools, and methods. This is the only way to perceptibly enhance your decision-making process. The next big decision made at a meeting will be sure to reflect your increased efforts.

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About Sylvia Peters

Sylvia Peters is a Collaborator for Find a Facilitator and a mother of two. She's also an expert to bringing the most credible, experienced and personable facilitation to every meeting she attended. In her free time you will find her meditating and making her favorite salad.

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