Although data is becoming increasingly important in the business world, many organizations are still missing out on this opportunity… and for good reason: they are not using the data they have (or using it correctly).
A pitfall that is most often explained by a lack of tools and methods. So, how do you make the most of your company’s data? This is what we propose you learn in this article.
Use a suitable tool
To make the most of your data, you need to use a tool designed for this purpose. Although highly sophisticated analysis and reporting solutions are available on the market, many businesses still rely on archaic or inadequate tools.
The best known tool is undoubtedly Excel. Even if the versatility and efficiency of this spreadsheet cannot be questioned, it has many restrictions. Starting with processing very large volumes of data: A true BI solution must be able to conduct reliable analyses, even with millions of rows, while updating the information in real-time.
Excel also struggles to manage diversified data sources (and each of them must be entered manually). The software therefore wastes a great deal of time, while considerably increasing the risk of error. As it is not a collaborative tool, Excel does not allow multiple users to edit the same document. The figures can therefore vary from one user to another, completely distorting the analyses.
Finally, the creation of dynamic representations is a crucial point to exploit the data. However, Excel was not designed for this purpose, hence the need for a real business intelligence tool.
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What are the alternatives to Excel for your activity reporting?
Create dynamic dashboards
A dashboard is a document that brings together a number of performance indicators (KPI) useful to the company. These indicators can be commercial, economic, financial or related to human resources.
Generally speaking, a dashboard provides a snapshot of a company or a project at a given time, which is essential for managing and steering the organization. This representation tool is also essential for making the most of the data.
A well-constructed dashboard will allow you to identify the right key performance indicators to gather in one place the reliable and relevant information that will support decision-making within the company.
Dynamic dashboards also have the advantage of being aesthetically pleasing and understandable by all. With a data visualization tool, you can use a wide variety of layouts and representations: graphics, curves, histograms, patterns, etc. Therefore, in the event of a sudden change in a KPI, users are immediately alerted, while there is still time to react.
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Tell stories with your data
Raw data are by nature indigestible resources, difficult to understand, and therefore reserved for ultra-specialists. However, making data accessible to as many people as possible is necessary to make the most of it. The creation of dynamic dashboards is a first step in this direction, but it is possible to go even further with data storytelling.
The art of transforming raw data into an attractive and understandable story. Data storytelling is therefore about representing data in a more aesthetic and striking way The objective is to convey the message in the blink of an eye and make it immediately understandable, despite the recipient’s limited attention span.
Where data visualization makes the data speak by representing it visually, data storytelling adds a layer of narration. The aim is not only to make the information more digestible and readable, but also to captivate and even entertain the audience.
By telling a story that can be understood by everyone and by popularizing the data, data storytelling is a powerful decision-making tool, allowing us to better understand a given situation and to better project ourselves into the future.
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Organize and manage your data efficiently
The use of data needs to be perfectly organised especially if you have to manage a large volume of data. First and foremost, it is important to identify your objectives and develop a real strategy to determine what kind of information you are looking for and what you want to do with it.
Organizing data also means categorizing and prioritizing data. Some of them are more sensitive than others: they will not necessarily need the same level of processing. Unstructured data must also be identified and gathered in a data lake, as its analysis is often essential for decision-making.
Finally, it is essential to choose the most relevant graphical representations depending not only on the type of information communicated, but also on the audience. Your strategy should therefore include which format to use in each situation, in order to optimize the processing of the data.
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Making the most of the data is above all using a tool specially designed for this purpose, allowing the analysis of large volumes of data and their representation in a clear, fun, and synthetic way. But this approach must be based on a genuine strategy and on the organization and classification of data.