How do you as a Business or Non-Profit make data work for you?
Based on a growing mound of expert opinion, I would even venture to say that the organizations that leverage data and statistics the most effectively, will accomplish their mission statements far more often then those that don’t harness their data. There are many ways that organizations can leverage the statistics to support their organization goals; here are just a few.
1. Promotional material… if you can prove that your product or service is accomplishing X-percentage value-added for your customers/investors, then you have an excellent leg-up on the competition and can plead your case with significantly more gusto. The truth is that 9 out of 10 statistics are not made up and people really rely on the cold, hard numbers to make decisions.
2. Internal auditing… This is a somewhat intimidating way of saying that every organization should have benchmarks for success and matrices for determining satisfactory progress towards those benchmarks. New England Patriots Coach, Bill Belichick said, “Don’t mistake busy-ness for effectiveness.” Organizationally, you HAVE to figure out how effective you are at accomplishing your stated goals in order to keep your interested parties interested.
3. Global strategy… Many organizations are in dying industries and everyone is in a changing industry. The world is moving at breakneck speed and those not aware of just how much and to what degree the changing world will affect their organization will certainly be irrelevant much faster than in previous years. What are you doing to leverage the wealth of accessible data to adjust your organizational goals to achieve success instead of getting left behind.
If the items above seem pretty basic to you, then you’re probably already doing some of the data legwork. Unfortunately however, data is very easy to manipulate even by well-intentioned scrutiny. Quantitative skills are just that… skills, and very few have the capacity to handle numbers in a way that tells the true story, accounting for implicit variables and anomalies.