Many small-business owners think that the figures and facts that their daily work casts off are more incidental than instrumental. They store it all on either on hard disks or file cabinets, thinking that saving this constant stream of information is just another data center management task in a day’s work. What they don’t realize is that they’re sitting on a gold mine of data center management facilities, as most of these are important to boosting sales or increasing customer loyalty.
Numbers tell you whether your store hours are ideal. It can also tell you if you’re charging just right. It can also tell you who your best customers are and why. Making sense of all this business information can make a major impact on how you run your company.
Know what You’re Looking For
It’s difficult to collect and analyze all data from your business, unless you know what you’re looking for. You need to identify certain metrics that will provide insight into how you can run the shop better. It’s actually strange how big businesses call these “key performance indicators” (KPI) when they’re actually just common sense. Determine the skills rating of each of your sales associates, along with the the demographic information of your clients, among other information.
For What It’s Worth
Knowing what is necessary helps in discerning what information to gather. If it’s not accurate, relevant or current, then it’s more likely to hurt more than help. Data center operations management specialists call this happening “garbage in, garbage out.” So if your data is not clean, it will result in misleading analyses. This is why you should check and recheck data before using it to support business decision making.
Once you’ve collected the right information, and you’re certain it’s accurate, put it to use. An ancient philosopher once put it succinctly by saying that numbers and patterns are messages delivered from a higher being. True enough, numbers are the most objective source of advice you’re going to get. It’s the story of your business laid bare. It holds no bias. Believe that the data exists to tell you something.
There are thousands of software packages built to make sense of your business data. There are also good old-fashioned spreadsheets. It is highly recommended to take a course to be familiar with these applications.