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From CEO to Data Analysts: Using Data in Your Business Decision Making

 Man analyzing financial data and charts on computer screen.

One of the many advantages of getting big data and getting it right is that you can create analysis that is more accurate.  No more relying on faulty and fallacious assumptions, and no more guesswork.  You actually have tons of data that will tell you what will happen, and most likely, it will happen.  In short, our statistical relevance is very high when we use big data, which in turn helps us to be certain on things that we need to know before making a decision.  What’s more, we can now get a lot of data that allows us to predict things that we have not been able to predict before.

So the challenge right now is how to make all these data relevant to your business and how to use it to make better business decisions.

To be useful in business decision-making, data need to be analyzed.  You need to see trends and you need to create easy to understand reports.  Then you would need to create key performance indicators, and needle it into business intelligence.  You would need to learn how humans make their business decisions, especially the experts and those who have been making these decisions for a good number of years.  Then you would need to tie this with the data that you have.

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Mathematical modeling and machine learning

Then there are mathematical modeling and machine learning involved as well.  All of these will help you make big data acceptable to your stakeholders, which would pave the way for it to become part of the business decision making process.

Great business analytics satisfy these three conditions:

  1. Solve a business problem or meet a business need.
  2. Understood by everybody in the business.
  3. Has demonstrable return on investment.

How to make your points understood by everybody

So it would not be difficult to get people to see how important it is to get data into the business decision making process, which is why as an analyst, you would need to make sure that your reports are easily understood even by non-technical people.  To do this, you would need to place yourself in their position, try to see if everything would be clear for them.

You would also do well to minimize explaining your methodologies.  At the very most, take two minutes to explain your methods.  Always write your reports and do your presentations in ways that even a 10 year old would understand it.  It would also help to run your presentation or report with a non-technical person to make sure that they would be able to understand the words and the concepts that you have used.

In the future, more and more control over business decisions will be passed onto analysts.  Instead of approving everything and monitoring every business decision, big data would allow you to automate more of these decisions and operations.  As analysts learn how the experts make their decisions and their models become more and more foolproof in creating sound decisions based on data and other factors described above, more and more business executives would be comfortable relinquishing control over to analysts.

Photo courtesy of SalFalko.[/expand]

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