August 29, 2018 2:00:00 PM EDT

The Beginner’s Guide to Making Data Driven Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions. They can help a business grow. They can halt a business’s growth. They can even destroy a company. Sure, that may sound a bit extreme, but consider the snowballing effect years of bad decisions can have on a company. Spoiler alert: It’s not good. There is more data available than ever before. What you do with that data, determines whether you grow, plateau, or close your doors.

How to Make a Data Driven Decision

In order to make data driven decisions you have to know what data you need. The data you need, though, may be different than the data you want. Numbers never lie, but you can manipulate them. This means don’t just take a look at the good data. You also have to look at the bad data. If you are analyzing your profit margin on a new product and you highlight it in a report in December, then it has to be in that same report in June - no matter what the numbers say.

Product development is a major part of any business. Some products will inevitably do better than others. In order to decide which products to develop, or which ones you want to continue to offer, you need to use data. How much profit has the new product brought in? Are people excited about it? Are the margins there? These are all questions you need to be asking when making a data driven decision.

Forget Your Feelings When Making Data Driven Decisions

The new product was your idea. You vouched for it in front of your boss. Your research showed it was a product your current customer base would love and it would be sure to increase revenue. Fast forward three months. Sales just aren’t there. The margins just aren’t there. The demand that you were so sure of just isn’t there. It’s time to pull the plug. How do you know this? Data.

It’s much easier to feel confident about a difficult decision when there is data there to back it up. Pulling a product out of production when it just isn’t performing is a smart, data-driven decision you can make when analyzing the product’s performance. Swallow your pride. Chalk it up as a loss. Learn from the product’s shortcomings and use it as a catalyst to dig deeper into the data you have available to make better decisions moving forward.

Partner With the Experts at Aspirant

At Aspirant, we are experts in analytics and information management. We have helped countless numbers of companies develop a strategy to have access to all of the analytics and information they need, when they need it. Analytics should be the most powerful and insightful tool for your company. If this is a pain point for you or your company, check out our technology page. We’d love to explore how we can help.

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Phil Kossler
Phil Kossler

Phil is Aspirant's Technology Director with a focus on providing enterprise-grade solutions. His 30 years of experience have given him the opportunity to work across many markets, industries, and applications. Phil is leading a team of skilled web and mobile developers building strategic solutions for our customers.