Making fact based decisions is not a new concept, even though it might go against the grain for some in management who still believe in conventional wisdom.
It’s just a re-branding of the sensible idea that you should gather the facts before making a decision, which should be a key factor in how your business is run.
The key to data driven decision making is to get the right data on which you can base your decisions, instead of relying on hunches. Recent technological advancements in cloud computing and big data management allows us now, more than ever, to track and analyse vast amounts of real world facts to help us in making decisions.
If you can’t measure it, don’t do it!
The above statement may sound pretty harsh, but really what is the point otherwise? It does ignore real world realities where many decisions are made with incomplete data. But it doesn’t excuse us from applying sound processes in making decisions.
I’ve already highlighted that you should measure what matters to you and some key metrics that you could take into account, but I also wanted to highlight the fact that everything happens very quickly in Social Media. You often have to act or react very quickly to circumstances that can arise. Although these circumstances may be a short term “high priority” their effects may be felt in the long term too.
Once you have the data to make valuable assumptions, try things out. Don’t sit on your laurels and wait. Analyse, optimise and try again if it didn’t work out.
In Avanish Kaushik’s post on the lean analytics cycle he has a fantastic illustration of short (to mid) term measurement with or without data.
In his 4 step process, the hypothesis formulation stage can be carried out with or without data, but ultimately needs some figures as a target and measurement to see whether what you’ve done actually works. Again this article emphasises the need for a solid process to back your decision making.
Providing relevant and understandable data that is actionable usually requires a buy in. Not just from upper management though. A cultural shift is required within the organisation in order to understand the rational behind data-driven business decisions.
Everyone involved must embrace, implement and utilize it. If people don’t realise why they are collecting data in the first place they might not look at it with the detail required.
Don’t Fear The Data
You sometimes hear murmurs that data-driven decisions or projects are threatening to people, showing inefficiencies or highlighting things that haven’t worked.
It has to be remembered that the ultimate goal is to improve the companies performance – making the company and the employees more efficient. If you are moving towards this approach you can perhaps start with something small. For example something that saves an employee time.
Time Saving In Social Media
Social Media a great time consumer both on a personal level (spending hours browsing pictures on Pinterest) and from a business perspective (seeing who is talking about you and what they are talking about).
If you are serious about your Social Media, whether you are just beginning to build your presence or really trying to listen to and know your audience better, there is wealth data out there waiting to be utilized. Being able to interpret it in a meaningful and efficient way however is where things can get a bit tricky.
Take It To The Next Level
At EzyInsights, not only do we strive to help you save time by providing relevant and easily understandable data, but we believe that the analysis we provide can assist you in making fact-based decisions in your Social Media activities.