Death by Data Is Real – What’s the Solution?

“Data is the new oil.”

“In God we trust, all others must bring data.”

We have often heard management leaders quote these words while talking about data-driven business.

It’s true that data helps organizations to make well-informed data-driven decisions. According to a Forrester Consulting Survey, data-savvy businesses are likely to surpass their revenue goals by 162%

However, what most studies miss to mention is that too much data could lead to decision paralysis within an organization. The decision-makers get so overwhelmed by data that they cannot decide what data to use and what should be ignored. Sometimes it also leads to delays in decision-making and implementation. 

To add to the woes, data is available in different formats. They are available in the inconsumable or unintelligible format, making it difficult for organization stakeholders to interpret them. Sometimes the context might not fit well with the organization’s strategy. In fact, organizations spend so much time sorting the data that a Boston Consulting Group report revealed that each week employees got just 6.5 hours to do meaningful work. 

These factors make it difficult for industries like manufacturing and retail that rely on data to predict future demands, manage their supply chain and inventory efficiently.

Death by data is real. What organizations need is not just data. What they need are actionable insights that can aid their decision-making process. 

But how can organizations distill the data and gain actionable insights from it? The answer lies in data visualization and dashboards. Let’s explore to understand further.

How Data Visualization And Dashboards Can Help Organizations Make Right Decisions?

Data can be presented in a digestible format

They say a picture can speak a thousand words. The same can be said about data visualization. The management and decision-makers are usually constrained for time. Too much data can overwhelm them, and they might not be able to extract valuable insights from them. Data visualization presents the data in a visual and digestible format. For example, instead of skimming through multiple pages of financial data, the decision-makers will be able to understand the data better when it is presented as a graph. Data visualization can save time for decision-makers and enable them to come up with accurate and informed decisions. 

Easy to track errors in data

There are chances of errors percolating into the data while extracting or processing it. If not rectified on time, these errors can be used for decision-making and can also become a reason for a wrong decision. According to Gartner’s Data Quality Market Survey, data inaccuracy can cost the business $15 million. However, this can be prevented through data visualization. With data visualization, the decision-makers can spot the errors quickly and take the necessary steps to rectify them. 

Accelerate decision-making process

The human brain processes an image 60,000 times faster than text. Considering that decision-makers have to analyze an enormous volume of complex data to arrive at a decision, the data needs to be presented visually. Data visualization helps decision-makers understand the data in its entirety, spot trends, and arrive at a decision. If the organization deals with a very complex database, it can use dynamic dashboards to present the data. Dynamic dashboards will help them to click on a particular area of the data and get detailed information. They will be able to make informed decisions quickly, which can improve their bottom line. 

Easy to track progress in real-time

Organizations generate a massive amount of data every day. This data, if analyzed rightly, can help them make timely and accurate decisions. For example, a retailer can check the current fashion trends to know what people like and produce that more. Manufacturers can plan their inventory based on the data they receive about demand and consumption. However, if they want to make the right business decision, they need to use real-time data to understand what consumers are looking for currently. Data visualization and dashboards display the data in real-time. This helps the decision-makers analyze what’s working and what’s not and make an informed decision before it’s too late. Customer needs change constantly. The only way to cater to it by monitoring it and making decisions based on it quickly. 

Democratize data 

Leaders worldwide believe that data democratization can be a game-changer for businesses. Despite the growing demand, organizations are scurrying to find data scientists and data analysts who can help them gain actionable insights from complex data. Given that there are not enough skilled data experts to help, organizations have started to democratize data to enable citizen analysts to draw accurate inferences. Data visualization and dashboards organize the data and present it in such a way that anyone, even without a background in data science can interpret and generate actionable insights effectively. The best part is that citizen analysts can view the data both on a macro and micro level with the help of interactive data visualization and dashboards. 

Conclusion

Data will continue to grow. The big data market revenues will grow up to $275 billion by 2022. Consumer demands will continue to change. So, although death by data is a genuine concern, organizations cannot completely ignore the potential of data. Dynamic industries like retail and manufacturing will need to leverage the power of data to cater to consumer demands and manage their logistics and inventory depending upon the demand. To ensure that data overload does not impede the decision-making process, organizations should start leveraging tools and establish data best practices. This will empower them to make better decisions.

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