Give Your Business Decision-Making A Makeover
Decision making can be stressful and complicated, especially when these decisions impact your bottom line. A big reason for the complicated nature of modern decision making is the overwhelming amount of data that exists and is at our disposal.
Many business leaders expect the onslaught of data to result in a clearer vision of the potential outcomes of any given decision, and a quicker decision-making process. This expectation actually results in more stress, as there is an implied expectation that all decisions will be correct with the help of data, and those decisions will be made without much hesitation.
Being that there is still some hesitancy around decision making, despite the significant amount of data that is made available to assist, let’s explore some ways to improve the decision-making process.
The mindset from which you approach decision making is important and a big part of this consideration is remaining inquisitive. This means asking the right questions when the time comes. If you’d like to see success with the choices that you make, the questions that you ask your team or advisors really matter. These questions are often the driving force behind decision making, as the answers will inform your eventual decisions.
Remain conscious of the questions that you are asking, and the behavior or answers that your questions elicit. The way a room reacts to your questions is very important, and it shouldn’t be something that you miss in the moment. Take note of questions that inspire meaningful conversations. This dialogue will ultimately lead to a stronger decision. Also take note of team members that are considering data when making their decisions, as it is important to discuss with them how this data connects to the outcomes you are seeking.
Strive for Proficiency
Data-driven decision making is not avoidable if you are striving for the best possible results. With that being said, the sheer amount of data that exists can be overwhelming. Accepting you're not a data expert and approaching this with a learner's mind is extremely beneficial.
In order to get to a place of solid understanding of data best practices, you need to start by learning about which data sets are most relevant to your decision making. It can be helpful to consult an expert or someone that understands data analysis. If you spend some time discussing data with the right person, you will be in a position to ask powerful questions and acquire new knowledge that will inform your decision-making process. Work towards becoming data literate, as all leaders should be working towards this goal.
Don’t Approach the Future with an Obstructed View
Visibility is important if you hope to improve your odds at seeing a successful future. There is a massive amount of data coming in at all times, and dedicating time to sorting through this data and clearing out pieces that aren’t useful is a must. If you don’t spend time on this, you will become overwhelmed with the amount of data noise that accumulates, making it even more difficult to make decisions.
Schedule time to organize and identify useful information. The use of applications can be helpful here, as the right app will make sorting, analyzing, and categorizing much easier.
Here are a few tools that can make your data much more digestable:
- SAP Business Intelligence - www.sap.com
- MicroStrategy - www.microstrategy.com
- Sisense - www.sisense.com
- YellowFin BI - www.yellowfinbi.com
- Microsoft Power BI - www.powerbi.microsoft.com
The influence of data on modern businesses is unavoidable. This makes it extremely important for all business leaders to put thought into how they can incorporate data into their decision-making processes. If you prepare yourself for a data literate future, you will be better equipped to make the most of the data age in which we live and maintain a competitive edge in the future.