Information Is Power: Use Your Data


I clearly remember a sign on an executive’s desk in a tiny 12-person company I worked for. It said, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” Obviously, he was a sales exec, but there was definitely truth in the statement. The same kind of statement is true about data: Nothing better happens until you use your data.

I know very few people get as fired up about this as I do, but that’s only because I have firsthand experience on how you use your data can transform businesses. Prepare to get all hot and bothered by data!

Listen to Season 1: Episode 16

Why Data Is So Important

Data unused is data worthless. Therefore, data isn’t powerful until you have it and use it. If you have metrics already, that’s awesome! But ask yourself: Are they the right ones?

If you don’t have data, that’s okay; some of my past blogs will help you get started.

Once you’re set with data, your next questions are:

  • Who owns those metrics?
  • When is this data important?

These are the questions to ask to unleash the power of data into your business!

The Power That Comes When You Use Your Data

It isn’t enough to collect data in your business. For it to have power, it needs to be useful.

And I hear you: far easier said than done. But you and I both know that starting, growing, building, and running a business isn’t easy, but here you are doing it. It’s time to roll up our sleeves together and tackle the heavy lifting.

The action needed to use your data to make decisions and take action is called operationalizing it. And just by the term, you can see that it implies a systematic way of using the data.

The point of all this is to have a way to continuously serve up the right information that empowers better decisions and more impactful action. And not just to the business owner, execs, or top management, but to the people in the organization who make the decisions and take action.

And even more than that, having a system with the relevant data in your business gives your crystal ball high definition because you can begin to see correlations between action (or inaction) taken and results that might not happen for weeks or months. This is analytics!

Get Your Head in the Game

If your head is spinning and you’re asking yourself, “Where do I start?” or “How can I improve my data capture and use?” you’re not alone. Lucky for you, we have a game plan.

First, your most important data is going to relate to the actions and decisions you are engaged in right now (or in the next 30–90 days). Figure out what that is.

This data can have two forms: informing the decision directly and informing the context of the decision. What I mean by that is what factors shape the “environment” that you are looking at? For website reports, a big context factor is what device a user is on.

Next, who needs to see that data? Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s someone on your team, maybe it’s someone you hired or will be hiring. Think about who needs this information.

It can be tempting to just look at results to use your data: leads, sales, completed projects, etc. Those are lagging indicators, metrics that come after we make decisions and take actions. The more important information to operationalize are the leading indicators, metrics that show us our decisions and actions, such as number of contacts, events attended, ads run, emails sent, offers made, etc.

And when looking at lagging indicators, be sure to review them together with your leading indicators. If leads are up, what happened in the week or weeks before with ads, sales calls, and outreach? To repeat or ramp up results, we need to understand the path we took to get there.

Action Steps to Get Started

Everyone likes a good mystery, but not when it comes to knowing the path to success. Gathering and using the right data in your business gives you the power to map out your path and get to the results most efficiently.

Operationalizing data puts that power not just in your hands, but in the hands of everyone in your business to make the best decision to get to the results faster.

Want to try this? Think of the decisions you need to make this week and what information you would love to have in a crystal ball to make those decisions. Write that down. Now look at your list and find one piece of information you can actually go get. Then go get that information and use it to inform your decision. Feel free to use this system for a while. Yes, that’s a system for operationalizing data in your business. It doesn’t have to be complex or elaborate.

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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