Information Is Power: The Power of Data

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    Anyone remember having to paw through vast filing cabinets to find documents or information when you needed it? When I asked my dad why he had decades worth of records in the storage space above the garage, he shared the one time my aunt needed proof of employment and was able to crawl up there and retrieve the document she needed. Fortunately, nothing like that is required anymore to retrieve information we need. Today, we have technology. But how do you leverage technology to harness the power of data in your business? Read on!

    Listen to Season 1: Episode 17

    Accessing Data—and the Problems Inherent with That

    When talking to clients (and even in our own business), a few situations come up consistently when it comes to trying to use data:

    • Information is all over the place.
    • You can’t find or see that data when you need it.
    • When you go digging for information, you end up going down rabbit holes, forgetting your initial focus.
    • Looking for and using data seems hard, so it’s not worth the effort.
    • Why use data? Just stick with the status quo: Make your best educated guess and move on.

    This is a crying shame because you are literally just stepping over the very thing that can exponentially increase your chances of having made the right decision and action: your data (and the power of data).

    Leverage the Technology You Have Available

    We live in an incredible time when technology is not only capable but easily accessible. Many of the analytics tools available are free or require a minimal investment of less than $50 a month. And paying for these tools is well worth it if they can save you an hour a month (likely more), enable you to bypass trial and error, or prevent an expensive mistake.

    Yes, technology can be “a lot.” But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and every day, these tools are getting easier to use and more accessible.

    Using technology, even just a tiny bit, can bring together the information you need, in a place that’s easy to get to so you can use it when you need it. Hmm, that sounds like the power of data to me.

    Your Process of Using the Power of Data

    Your process for employing technology is going to vary greatly depending on the phase of business you are in and systems you already have in place.

    To start, it can be as simple as looking at the Google Analytics or MailChimp app (or other apps you’re using) on your mobile device. In fact, if you have Google Analytics and have never even looked at it, I recommend starting with the app. You can see high-level information that can help motivate you to want to know more. Because it is an app, the developer is forced to keep it pretty simple.

    An intermediate step is a scorecard. Typically, these are done in Google Sheets, but you could use a dashboard like Notion or a web app like Airtable. The point of a scorecard is to put the critical metrics (those KPIs or survival indicators) in one place so you can easily get to them. And it doesn’t have to be just you who does this; your team can put numbers here so that everyone can look at them.

    Once you get familiar, the advanced intermediate step is to have these metrics automatically populated from their sources using Zapier or other inter-system integrations.

    If you’re a full business ninja, you can really leverage the power of data with a system to track and manage it all, such as Hubspot or Clickup. With these (or any project management software), you can use custom fields and tags to track every aspect of the business. This is glorious to behold, but it isn’t where anyone starts.

    The other note here is to take a moment to make sure that you are using the full capabilities of your existing technology systems. Easily 60%+ of clients we start working with haven’t turned on the Google Analytics or website tracking in their email marketing systems. Sound familiar?

    Data + Technology = Business Wins

    When you use the capabilities of technology to gather and surface data in your business, you no longer avoid making decisions. You don’t have to go digging and get distracted. And other people in your business become capable of making informed decisions, which means you don’t have to.

    Ready to try your hand at leveraging the power of data? Start your scorecard. Don’t make it complicated. Just create a spreadsheet that has columns for your survival indicators (KPIs) and make the rows weeks. Then each week, go in and fill it out.

    It’s totally okay to fill out just one or a few columns the first week as you are still getting this all together. Progress over perfection, people! The other beautiful thing about just creating this is that you can task some of that data gathering out to your team.

    Help Is Here!

    Want to make smarter business decisions, spend less money on marketing trial and error, and have an overall line of sight on your business health and growth? We can help. Our analytics and reporting service Insight Pro properly sets up metrics in your business and serves them up to you so you can make decisions based on the information that matters to your success. Check it out!

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