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Fiona McGuinness22-Mar-2023 13:51:477 min read

5 Steps to Becoming a Data-Driven Business

In today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing business landscape, it’s more important than ever to make informed decisions based on reliable data. Becoming a data-driven business involves leveraging data analytics and insights to inform and guide your business strategy and operations. By harnessing the power of data, you can gain a competitive advantage, improve efficiency, and drive innovation and growth.

In this age of big data, companies that fail to become data-driven risk falling behind their competitors and missing out on opportunities to grow and succeed.

Find out what steps your business can take to achieve a well-oiled data-driven strategy in our comprehensive guide below. We’ll also investigate how modern ERP solutions can aid with the process.

What is a Data-Driven Business? 

The concept of a data-driven business is one that uses data analysis and insights to inform and guide its strategy, decision-making, and operations.

Data-driven businesses collect and analyse large volumes of data from various sources, including customer behaviour, market trends, and operational performance. They use analytics tools and technologies to uncover patterns, trends, and insights hidden in the data, and then apply these insights to improve their products, services, and processes.

Data-driven businesses rely on data to make informed decisions, rather than relying on intuition or guesswork. By leveraging data analytics and insights, you can gain a competitive advantage, improve operational efficiency, and drive innovation and growth.

However, simply having access to data is not enough. In order to truly leverage the power of data, it needs to be delivered to the right people at the right time, in a way that is easily consumable and actionable.

Elegant blonde hair man using modern technologies.

What Are the Benefits of a Data-Driven Business? 

Becoming a data-driven business has several benefits, regardless of the industry.

Here are the top three advantages:

1.     Increased confidence in decision-making

Agility and responsiveness can drastically improve, with instant access to accurate, real-time and relevant information. Backed up by data and intelligence, businesses can be confident with the decisions they make at every level.

When employees and stakeholders at all levels are confident in the data and have a good understanding of what it means, they can make quicker decisions without needing to consult others as often. This contributes to a more agile and efficient workforce, while also freeing up time for more value-add collaboration.

2.     Catch insights

Instead of missing crucial insights being data driven can help you identify patterns, trends, and anomalies that might otherwise go unnoticed so you can use this information to make more informed decisions and drive business growth. Whether your focus is on finances or customers, there are types of data you can look to give you better insight and a clearer picture of business performance in these areas.

For example, you might discover that there is a correlation between the time of day and customer satisfaction levels. This will help you make informed decisions about how to schedule staff or adjust service levels during peak times.

3.     Stay ahead of the competition

Being data-driven allows you to make better-informed decisions, adapt to changing market conditions, and ultimately stay ahead of your competitors.

It’s only by analysing data that you can identify areas where you may be falling behind your competitors. This could be anything from customer satisfaction levels to product features. Once identified, you can work to address these areas and improve their overall performance.

Data can also provide you with valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences, which can help you tailor your offerings to better meet your customers’ needs. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can give you an advantage over your competitors.

And by staying on top of your data, you can identify emerging trends in the market before your competitors do. This will allow you to adapt your strategies and products accordingly, giving you a competitive edge.

Keen to make better use of your data?

Learn how to extract, interrogate, and control big data sets with our tips on how to move from being data-informed to data-driven.

How to Become a Data-Driven Business

The process of becoming a data-driven business isn’t straightforward, and the journey might vary depending on your current software capabilities and how you currently use data.

Find out more about the five steps to take below:

1.     Define your goals and metrics

Defining goals and metrics is a crucial step in becoming a data-driven business. Your goals and metrics should be closely aligned with your business strategy, specific, measurable, and consider multiple perspectives such as customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and operational efficiency.

It’s important to ensure that your goals are realistic and achievable based on your business capabilities and market conditions. By defining your goals and metrics, you’ll have a clear roadmap for your data-driven efforts and a solid foundation for measuring progress towards your business objectives. This will help you to focus your data collection and analysis efforts on the areas that are most important to your business, and make more informed decisions based on objective data insights.

Businesswoman discussing with her colleagues during meeting in office

2.     Setting specific and measurable goals

Your goals and metrics should be specific and measurable so that you can track progress over time. For example, “increase revenue by 10% in the next quarter” is a specific and measurable goal, while “improve sales performance” is not.

Specific goals provide clarity and focus, helping to guide your efforts towards a clear outcome. Measurable goals enable you to track progress over time and determine whether you’re on track to achieve your objectives.

By making your goals specific and measurable, you can better assess your business performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions based on objective criteria.

It’s also important to ensure that your goals are challenging but achievable, so that you can stay motivated and achieve meaningful progress towards your business objectives.

3.     Make data accessible

Aid the process of becoming a data-driven company by implementing software capable of centralising your most important data in one place.

This will help make data more accessible and searchable Choose a system that can support personalised dashboards or customised screens to allow your staff at all levels to access the information they need.

ERP software can support the transition to becoming a data-driven organisation. It can provide enhanced data management capabilities, allowing all users to access, manage, and view the information in a transparent, real-time data ecosystem.

4.     Improve reporting

Better reporting can help you become more data-driven by providing timely and accurate insights that inform your decision-making, when and where they are needed. It helps you monitor key performance indicators, track progress towards goals, and identify areas for improvement.

Use the reporting tools available to you to help you better analyse and visualise data to gain a deeper understanding of your operations, identify trends and patterns, and make informed decisions based on evidence rather than intuition.

If your system is not capable of providing you with the insights you need, it may be worth considering an upgrade to new software. You can also use 3rd party reporting tools but unless they seamlessly integrate to your system, this option may cause more problems than it solves.

Setting up scheduled reports is a great way to provide your staff with regular, automated access to key performance indicators (KPIs) and other relevant data. You’re giving your decision-makers access to the information they need, when they need it for more informed decisions on the fly.

Scheduling an ERP system like Intact iQ can facilitate efficient scheduled reporting, with a fully automated process allowing you to create and deliver reports with minimal manual input required.

5.     Streamline data governance processes

Data governance ensures your data is properly managed, secured, and used effectively. By streamlining data governance processes, businesses can make data more accessible and usable, which can help them make more informed decisions.

When data is well-governed, it can be trusted, which allows businesses to rely on it for strategic decision-making. By making it easier to access and use data, businesses can become more agile and responsive to changing market conditions.

Ultimately, streamlining data governance can help businesses become more data-driven, which can lead to increased competitiveness and improved performance.

Looking for the right ERP software to take your data to the next level? Intact iQ is your perfect-fit ERP solution, providing enterprise-wide business management across your operations. For more information, head to our product page or get in touch with us today.


Fiona McGuinness

I've been part of the Intact family for 16 rewarding years. After completing my Business Studies degree, I knew Marketing was a field I wanted to pursue. Prior to joining Intact, I primarily worked in the financial sector, focusing on marketing for credit unions. When I started at Intact, I handled all the marketing tasks by myself. Over time, as our team expanded, so did my role. Now, I specialise in crafting compelling content across various platforms, from blogs to video scripts. No two days are the same, and I thrive on the dynamic nature of my role. Whether it's diving into customer case studies or lead campaigns, I'm driven by the positive impact our solutions bring to businesses. In an age where AI plays a significant role, I remain a firm believer in the power of authentic content. When I'm not working, you'll find me enjoying quality time with my family, sewing, or watercolor paintings.