Data-driven decision-making process: A beginner’s guide

Data driven decision making

There is no doubt, we are in the 21st century, and digital transformation has brought a specific strategic interest: Data. 

“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” 

– W. Edwards

Nowadays, companies seek to have data, more and more, about the users who visit their website and their networks to convert them into customers. But they also need the data to make decisions, to know their customers, and always offer them a plus advantage that makes them loyal. Not surprisingly, competition is fierce in each sector globally. 

So… What does it mean for a company to be “data-driven” and what is data-driven decision? 

Being a “data-driven company” means digitizing and updating the company culture to opt for decision-making based on the analysis of the information offered by the data since these decisions are more objective, faster, and optimal. 

The data revolution is here, and it’s just the beginning… but how does it benefit the decision-making process in organizations? We will discover it for you below. 

What is data-driven decision making? 

Data-driven decision-making is defined as the use of facts, metrics, and data to guide strategic business decisions that align with a company’s goals, objectives, and initiatives. Modern analytics tools such as interactive dashboards, work management platforms, and OKR tools help people overcome prejudice and make the best management decisions aligned to business strategies. 

It is often referred as DDDM or information-driven decision making. It pulls together historical information to analyze trends and make better decisions for the future relative to what worked in the past, rather than making decisions based on gut feeling, opinion, or experience. 

Data-driven decision making for business 

Data is one of the most valuable assets for every organization. It is a gold mine and a very strategic and invaluable resource that has the potential to transform the world, improve the way we live, grow a business, and enable better, faster, and cost-effective business processes. Unlike traditional companies, data-driven companies do not scale linearly, and one of the reasons giant companies like Google and Amazon always experience exponential growth is because their business models are fundamentally built around data-based decision making. 

According to PwC, data-driven organizations can outperform their competitors by 6% in profitability and 5% in productivity. 

Another study also reveals that organizations who enforce data-driven decision are 162% more likely to exceed their revenue targets and 58% more likely to exceed their revenue targets than non-data-driven organizations. 

81% of organizations also agree that data should be at the heart of all business decision-making. 

Before getting carried away by the above mind-blowing numbers, one crucial thing to remember is that data are “just like untapped gold” in its raw form and may not be very informative or valuable right away. Thus, to get the best out of data, the company needs to collect the appropriate data and transform it into a reusable format. That said, here are some key reasons why every organization should start using their data-based decision making effectively –

  1. Helps you understand customer behavior and improve their experience 
    We live in a world where products and/or services are countless, and your current/potential customers have multiple options on where to invest. In addition, competition between product suppliers has never been more intense than before. But without data, it becomes quite challenging even to know who your customers are, if they like your products and services, or if your marketing strategies/campaigns are effective or not. 

    In contrast, you can easily achieve all this with data by implementing customer surveys, extracting and analyzing access data, purchase patterns, etc. In most cases, business profits are closely tied to data-driven decision, customer-centric, and strategic business processes and decisions. Once you collect customer data, you can analyze the data points and gain insights generated from customer feedback. It proves beneficial for customer service, cross-selling, up-selling services, and/or product innovation. 

    For instance, Netflix collects and analyzes customer data to see what types of movies and shows are popular. Afterward, the company uses the insights gained to buy similar titles, if subscribers would also like the new titles based on their previous preferences. The company used this data-driven strategy to increase its business value by more than $50 billion during the peak of the pandemic in 2020. 

    Amazon also leverages consumer data such as browsing history, customer purchases, and preferences to power its product recommendation engine. This data-driven decision approach generates around 35% of the company’s revenue. 

  2. Make better, informed business decisions  
    Data-driven decision is an essential aspect of every business that often involves multiple business executives, shareholders, and millions of dollars that companies cannot afford to lose. With the correct data in hand, the company won’t have to make significant business decisions based on hunches, guesses, wrong assumptions, or uncertain inputs – even in times of crisis. The data-driven decision making will provide the facts, trends, statistical numbers, and insights that the business needs to make informed and calculated decisions or understand performance.

    Every department in an average organization generates (or can generate) valuable data that can be used to create a business strategy, drive growth and profitability. For example,
    • Business executives need data to assess the most significant trends in their market, such as changes in production processes, logistics, or customer price sensitivity.

    • Sales teams need sales performance data to understand and differentiate products that are selling well from products that are hard to sell.

    • Marketing departments need market segmentation data to identify the most willing customers who want to buy from them and speed up the closing process.

    • HR departments need personal data to manage talent better and build more effective global remote teams. – The list goes on!

  3. Assess business performance and understand employee engagement 
    In addition to helping, you understand customer behavior, improve brand awareness, and make better business decisions based on data, data analytics also allows you to measure business performance, build more reliable long-term hypotheses, and a very vibrant workforce. 

    The company can drill down into the data to understand whether it is meeting the most crucial business indicators or not. For example, most professional teams today employ a team of Data Analysts, Data Scientists, and Data Engineers to help support and improve company performance using data. 

    By analyzing business performance data, the company can also understand strategies that have worked and have not worked in the past, business data-driven decision and/or policies that have brought the most returns, business operations and costs that can be optimized, and other business drivers. 

Data driven decision making process 

Step 1

Start with your strategy  

To avoid getting lost in the face of a large amount of data, outline your strategic objectives and avoid analyzing irrelevant information. For instance, this could be as specific as: are you going to look at sales or website performance? Or track business metrics? Ultimately, it will help you later in the process to choose key performance indicators (KPIs) and the right metrics that maximize efforts by taking all construction to a single path and prevent you from wasting team time and energy. 

But, how to ensure that you are measuring the right KPIs? 

KPIs are impactful metric that measures how businesses, departments, and individuals perform when it comes to tracking objectives and key results (OKRs).  

Step 2

Use data backed KPIs

KPIs are the critical point of any performance management system. Some people prefer to work without KPIs, while others prefer to use KPIs from a long list of indicators found on the internet. Thus, it is recommended to invest time in finding specific performance indicators for your business challenges. 

For instance, you want to decide more tangible and specific with KPIs. Then, think and ask yourself these questions –  

  • How will you track execution progress (trend indicators)? 
  • How will you validate the results achieved? 
  • When do you plan to achieve these results? (Setting goals of values) 

Step 3

View the progress  

It is easier to track trends and anomalies when you can visualize the data on a dashboard. Thus, our scorecard can put the performance data for trend and result indicators on the same chart. In this sense, you can visualize the data and roadblocks and take your data one step closer to strategic challenges. 

Step 4

Turn insights into action  

Formulate an action plan based on the current understanding of the situation. It is more important to formulate all the details behind the decision. This approach makes it easier for new team members to join the team, align decisions across the organization, and analyze results. 

Step 5

Analyze the result  

Now, it’s time to analyze the results. The final performance data is not as important as the work your team did along the way. What’s more critical is to analyze the deep reasons for failure/success and suggest strategic improvements. 

To Conclude 

The world has changed, and there is no longer room to be guided only by intuition. Using data-driven decision is guaranteed to choose the best path. Amid this digital age, the generation of data is enormous, and, in the same way, the possibilities of use are endless. 

Hybrid workplace model and how it enhances workplace productivity

Hybrid workplace

Recent report by Accenture 83% of the surveyed employees say they prefer a hybrid workplace model — in which they can work remotely at least 25% of the time. While the employees prefer it, so do the companies. 

The pandemic brought about a paradigm shift across the world in the way businesses operate. From work cultures, work models, productivity enhancement, performance management to work hours -in these changing times everything has been approached with a different point of view as businesses were forced to shift to work from home models. 

As everyone tried, tested, and adopted different methods to maintain business continuity, they were continuously ironing out the challenges brought about by the sudden change and designing work processes to ensure optimal productivity levels. 

While many industries still struggle with inefficiencies brought about by the shift, most others have settled into a work model that used to be termed as the “future of work.”  

As the pandemic catalyzed this transformation journey, a flexible working business model also known as the hybrid workplace is becoming the norm for many industries. 

What is a hybrid workplace model? 

As the pandemic pushed countries into lockdown, the hybrid workplace was the only option most industries had to maintain business continuity. From this arose a ton of challenges, most of which resulted in lower productivity. 

Some challenges faced by organizations when following the work from home model –

  • Lack of work environment for the employees and distractions 
  • Network and electricity dependency on localities 
  • Lack of office facilities 
  • Increase in IT issues and resolution times
  • Intra and inter team collaboration 
  • Time management and work-life balance 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Time zone differences 
Most of these challenges directly affected the productivity of the overall business. Although, the model also had its own set of advantages –

  • Savings in business expenses related to rent, overheads, facilities, maintenance and more.
  • Savings in employee’s expenses and time otherwise used to commute.
  • Employee independence to maintain flexible work hours.
  • No constraint for businesses and employees’ when recruiting and applying for relevant job roles. 

As time progressed, companies identified and resolved all concerns that arose as the model was implemented. While some teams performed better while working from home, some performed better when working from an office setup. This led to the concept of hybrid workplace model. 

A hybrid workplace model has been defined as a business model combining remote work or work from anywhere with work from the office.  

This combination differs from company to company, while some would give an option to all their employees to split remote work and office work within the week, others would split the workforce into core team members that are required in the office and the rest continue to work from anywhere.  

The decision is usually based on the industry, nature of business, and their employees’ preferences. 

Future of work: Hybrid workplace 

Recent report by Accenture 83% of the surveyed employees say they prefer a hybrid model — in which they can work remotely at least 25% of the time. While the employees prefer it, so do the companies. 

The same report also finds that 63% of high-growth companies have already adopted a “productivity anywhere” workforce model or the flexible work model. 

Not only is the hybrid workplace a preferred model by many employees, but recent research by Wakefield proves that employees are positively averse to going back to the traditional on-site workdays.  

The research shows that almost half (47%) would likely to look for a job if their employer does not adopt a flexible or hybrid working model. 

As the hybrid workplace model establishes itself for the long run, HR (Human Resources) teams across industries must gear up with relevant policy changes, company culture shifts, training, and onboarding processes, and so on. 

The hybrid model is here to stay and some of the major advantages that can be leveraged are –

  • Work-life balance 
    Hybrid workplaces give employees the flexibility to choose where to work from and adjust working hours depending on their personal commitments. For employees who are caregivers, a flexible work model helps them split their time effectively ensuring optimal productivity at work and ample time with the family. 

    A complete work from home model robs employees of the chance to coordinate and collaborate effectively, reducing productivity. This in turn requires employees to stretch work hours in order to maintain their productivity levels and meet deadlines. The hybrid workplace essentially helps maintain work-life balance as it helps overcome this challenge. 

  • Flexible work hours 
    Preferred work hours are different for each employee – while some prefer working early in the morning others may not. The early bird vs. night owl debate is a long and old one. Flexible working hours – specifically in a hybrid model where the employees have the freedom to choose from where they would like to work, is a win-win for all. 

    As long as the employees have considerable overlapping hours, collaboration and coordination will not be affected. Every employee’s productivity level can be expected to improve if given the choice of working hours and place. 

  • Hiring across geographies 
    Since work from anywhere allows employees to choose from homes, vacation destinations, offices, and co-working spaces, companies have the liberty to widen the pool of applicants to search for talents from across geographies. This is a major constraint for aspirants across industries. 

    Most applicants look for opportunities in certain geographies or have to relocate in order to match their requirements. For many frontline workers, this is still a constraint. However, for those who have the liberty to shift to a hybrid workplace model, this is an opportunity that proves to be a win-win for both the company as well as the employees. 

  • Improved coordination and collaboration 
    Coordination and collaboration among team members is achieved best when the team is working out of an office space that houses all the team members making them easy to contact. Although, this is a scenario that is not possible – regardless of the pandemic situation – for most multi-national organizations. 

    As employees come together to form closer bonds when working from the same site, their offshore counterparts tend to lose out on the coordination affecting work quality and productivity. Shifting to a hybrid workplace ensures all the employees are on equal footing. 

    This ensures conversations and meetings are necessarily moved on to a virtual platform and reduces the chances of offline meetings and conversations – improving overall team coordination and collaboration. 

  • Cost efficiency 
    Moving to a hybrid workspace means companies need not build workplaces with full employee capacities. The cost of providing facilities to all employees including rent, overheads, pantry costs, and much more is high, and reducing it to a fraction of the workforce without losing the workforce is a cost-efficient alternative. 

    As per this McKinsey article, companies can reduce their real-estate costs by almost 30% by moving to hybrid workplaces. The cost-efficiency extends to employees who can reduce their commute time and costs as well as ancillary costs; like hiring help for home management, daycare expenses etc. 

To adopt a hybrid workplace, companies need to evaluate their current working models, collect feedback from the employees, analyze the pros and cons, and initiate a change management program to successfully implement the desired working process. 

Looping in employees, understanding their preferences, and ensuring their satisfaction should be the goal as it directly affects the company culture, productivity, and employee turnover. Leverage digital solutions like a low code platform that help ensure the workforce is virtually connected and happy. 

Check out Amoga, a low code platform where employees can engage, work, and grow. Amoga simplifies, automates, tracks work and goals progress, all in one place, enabling your workforce to work from anywhere: resulting in higher employee engagement and productivity. 

How to increase employee productivity

Top Strategies for Increasing Productivity in the Workplace

Jordan Cohen, a productivity expert, says, “In today’s complex and collaborative workplace, the real challenge is to manage not just your personal workload but the collective one.”  

But why is productivity important in the workplace? 

When a company is productive, it increases profitability and lowers production costs, which endorses proactivity and talent. The more productive a workplace is, the easier it is to establish organizational growth and create a healthy work environment.  

Now the question is, what is the secret to employee productivity? 

No worries!   

Here are a few ways to make your team more efficient in workplace. 

Ready to start? 

How to enhance employee productivity 

To help you cut through the noise, here we’ve selected some work productivity techniques to make your team more efficient. However, let us tell you, this is not all. Here are some practical tips to increase the productivity of your employees –

  1. Align daily work to goals  
    A lack of strategy can kill your company. According to a study conducted by Clear Company, only 14% of companies have employees who understand the organization’s strategy, goals, and objectives. For individuals and teams to be effective, one of the key actions is to set clear goals aligned with the company’s business objectives that are being pursued. And the employees who have clarity on how their work fits into the company’s bigger picture tend to be more accountable and perform 2x better than before.   

    In this sense, it is worth exploring the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) methodology that connects employee growth with a common goal and ensures team alignment by eliminating information silos. The idea behind OKR is to align daily progress with the overarching purpose and measure the outcomes at the end of the quarter to analyze whether the objectives are met or not. Furthermore, the OKR also helps to create alignment through cross-functional OKRs by imbibing a sense of collaboration and improving employee engagement. This way, companies can ensure that overall objectives are achieved, and outcomes are tracked timely.   

    Amoga goal management is a powerful goal setting and performance enhancement tool that helps to prioritize the company’s goals and employee growth by bridging the gap between strategy and execution. Ultimately, we assist organizations in building an agile system resulting in increased productivity.  

  2. Work simplification  
    Everyone here is well aware of the term ‘micromanagement’ in the corporate world. But how many of you know about ‘micro productivity’?   

    Well, micro productivity is nothing but a process of breaking down large, complicated tasks into smaller sub-tasks, so that anyone can accomplish their to-do list items quickly and improve productivity. This way, the complex work is simplified, and the sub-tasks can be accurately tracked independently in well-defined chunks.   

    Similarly, at Amoga, we simplify the work by breaking the dreaded tasks into simple atomic tasks and unify work in a single platform along with the process guides (Instructions, training material) for each sub-task. Ultimately, this process guide acts as a guidebook for employees through which they can start performing instantly from the day of onboarding.  

    The benefits of simplifying complex work are –
    • Helps reduce work stress and lessen the workload by clearly understanding work priority and what part of the task needs to be completed.   
    • Enables us to identify blockers pre-emptively and reduce the risk of last-moment error because of unplanned work.   
    • Prioritizes team efforts more effectively based on the information captured in a single visible platform.  

  3. Gamifying work  
    For decades, work has been considered the most mind-numbing activity that every human is forced to do to survive. But, with digitization, ways of working have changed, and employers have started believing that “Gaming Can Make a Better Workplace.” Moreover, this belief kickstarted when the pandemic happened in 2020, and most companies adopted a hybrid/remote working model.   

    Gamification of work is a process by which you can gamify the work and transform the work environment into a fun culture by enhancing the employees’ learning phase and motivating them to complete the projects with ease. Through work gamification, organizations can boost employee engagement and keep them motivated in the workplace.  

    Now, the question arises: “how to gamify the work?”   

    At Amoga, we have gamified work with –
    • Levels
      Usually, all games come with levels and with a set of defined missions or storylines. Similarly, here we present growth and work progress in levels to drive employee engagement and productivity. These levels act as an indicator of reaching a milestone. Once you complete one, you get access to the next one, but with a bit more challenging storyline. This brings curiosity and desire in employees to achieve/conquer and keeps them motivated in their work and in the workplace.   

    • Scorecards
      Scorecard gives your employees a clear path to success. By breaking down work into daily efforts – like the number of new calls to make each day or the number of follow-ups to do every day – your employees know they must hit “100” on their daily output to stay on pace. This way, they learn on their own precisely what they need to do to achieve their outcome and this motivation matters most.   

      Moreover, the add-on bonus here is that through the Amoga’s scorecard, managers/team leads have real-time visibility of each employee’s performance – who’s on track and who needs guidance and training as we present a system of accountability.  

  4. Workflow Automation 
    According to time management statistics, 20% of the average workday is spent on “crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little value” or “no value.”  

    For instance, you all must have faced a situation where productivity seems to lag as you continuously struggle to manage time. That is because you might be spending significant time doing recurring tasks like responding to emails or backing up data. And this is where automation can help you by improving workplace productivity. Workflow automation is the ideal solution that leads to growth and improves workplace productivity in many ways.   

    One of the main benefits of workflow automation is that it reduces the repetitive manual process and lets you focus on other essential tasks. Indeed, this solution allows to –

    • Eliminates repetitive manual processes and associated costs, resulting in improved profitability.  
    • Helps your employees get their work done promptly and takes advantage of the time saved to focus on more critical tasks.   
    • Optimize operational processes through more synchronous and dynamic communication between employees.  
    • Easily generate reports through collaborative platforms and share them between collaborators; this ensures more harmonious collaboration and more efficient use of data. Promote the rapid and efficient creation of reports.   
    • Automated document generation with the help of workflow automation tools not only saves valuable time and effort but also prevents you from manual errors, which enables a better decision-making process. As a result, you can reduce the time spent and errors associated with manual processing.  
The Key takeaway  

As you can see, each of the components of the people management system is a strong lever in itself. But when they fit together into a cohesive strategy, they create an excellent team that drives the company to achieve its business goals.  

Simple tools like workflow automation software can help everyone on your team become more efficient, even if it seems overwhelming. And as you and your team become familiar with these technologies, efficiency will become second nature and an integral part of any project.