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September 19, 2022

How businesses can gain control through the active use of data

While the world is rocked by mounting uncertainty, businesses can often struggle to negotiate the onslaught of challenges brought about by everything from climate change to energy market volatility and rising inflationary pressures. 

In today’s online-driven marketplace, businesses need to be able to quickly and efficiently understand market trends and react to them in real time. Over the course of this article, we will illustrate how businesses can make quicker decisions based on current market trends, and take informed action through the active use of data. 

Facing up to a new normal

When the COVID-19 pandemic went global in March 2020, businesses around the world struggled to adapt to the drastic changes that swept across the globe. By April of the same year, nearly 60% of the then global GDP was placed in lockdown. As many businesses in Asia, Europe, and the US closed their doors for good, figures from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics also revealed a 14.7% unemployment rate as of April 2020.

In recent months, businesses have also been impacted by a period of growing uncertainty following bleak economic outlooks such as the looming possibility of a recession in 2023.

Along with the aforementioned macroeconomic factors, business leaders are also being faced with greater employee dissatisfaction due to the cost of living increasing globally. In the US in particular, the Great Resignation trend has seen nearly 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in April 2022 alone. 

Data to the rescue?

When used effectively, data can act as both an insightful tool to reflect on past mistakes your business (or competitors) have made, as well as an indispensable planning tool for the future.

For example, businesses looking to understand more about why employees might be leaving their company can use data to identify the answer. A survey conducted by job site FlexJobs did just this, showing that toxic company culture was the main reason behind 62% of respondents quitting their jobs. Meanwhile, an additional survey by Consumer Affairs meanwhile showed that 60% of respondents were financially better off after quitting their job.

As illustrated above, data has the power to inform and shape forward-thinking strategies. However, with such a vast amount of data available, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. Data can sometimes be hard for businesses to accurately analyse and comprehend, which is why data literacy is of such importance.

Step forward, “informed action”

As touched on above, businesses that have a high level of data literacy are more likely to ascertain the correct information from their data even if their research seems to paint a more generalised bigger picture. 

Data literacy and – in particular – the skill of identifying specific information within a piece of data, is vital to interpreting far-reaching data and narrowing down the key details. Focusing on the data points that matter enables businesses to take informed action to address pain points or implement creative solutions to problems that might arise.

An approach to active intelligence

While a substantial amount of emphasis is understandably placed on the gathering and utilisation of data, it is also important to consider how this data is gathered in the first place.

Traditionally, data is gathered and analysed through a technology-driven process known as Business Intelligence (BI). Over time, BI has evolved from being heavily reliant on data scientists providing detailed analysis reports, to simplified online and mobile-friendly data dashboards that can be accessed and read by virtually anyone.

Unfortunately most BI is ‘passive’ – what this means is that a user is reliant on historical data that could be days, weeks, months and even years old. Active Intelligence uses real-time analytics as opposed to ‘passive’ or historical data, allowing businesses to accurately see what trends are happening in the market right now. Businesses utilising Active intelligence are able to gain a significant advantage over their competition as they are able to use real-time data to make informed decisions about their next move. 

Move with the times

Businesses today are working at unprecedented rates to navigate a plethora of economic and societal pitfalls. In today’s business world, responsiveness is critical to ensuring that your business stays relevant. Driven by the importance of social media, society demands that organisations remain on top of current trends and can pivot and adapt to market concerns as and when they occur. 

Relying too much on linear data may make your company appear “slow”, “outdated” and generally out of touch with public opinion. As such, failing to adapt or embrace the changes – whether that be social, political or economic, could have huge implications for your business. 

Take an active approach

Are you ready to make the leap from passive data to business intelligence that supports your immediate business decisions? Book a demo with us to find out more.

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