Data-driven management and decision making is the methodology of valuing a decision rooted in empirical and verifiable data. The success of such an approach relies on the quality, type, and effectiveness of the analysis, interpretation, and action.
Historically, becoming a data-driven manager was incredibly challenging. The technologies, hardware, and software required to gather, structure, analyze, and interpret data were out of reach for most managers. You would need to understand how databases and data warehouses worked together, how to query the data in a language such as SQL, or you would have to bother someone else to create inefficient one-off ad hoc reports.
Today, it is much easier to be data driven. We use countless tools, most of which are now cloud-enabled, that generate and structure vast amounts of data—the problem still lies in weaving it all together to tell an actionable, impactful, and meaningful story. However, we are at a point in time where Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities augment the skills required to derive value from raw data.
Using this new age technology, managers have a unique opportunity to leverage data without the support of an IT, data science, or data analyst team. With this change, however, comes the necessity for reskilling and upskilling your workforce to interact with data while also reducing the risk of misinterpretation—empowering them to make the best decision they can at a given time.
If done correctly, data-driven management and decision making unlocks the doors for a huge competitive advantage—tapping into performance, productivity, engagement, prioritization, and even employee well-being.
How to Become a Data-Driven Manager
In the world of big data, it now seems like everything must be data-driven, and people management and leadership are no different. Having useful data at your fingertips that you can make sense of, have confidence in, and that is connected to all your various systems can give you the Midas touch. Managers must recognize the importance of data so they can ideate new strategies, bolster their decision-making skills, and create a better experience for their team members.
The first step to becoming a data-driven manager is to improve your data literacy. This can be achieved in several ways—through training, courses, or even the use of augmentation technology. It is essential to understand how to apply data to operational insights and wield the data in a way that allows for mitigating risks and achieving better results.
Now, if you are trying to drive massive change in your organization and are aiming for a sweeping data literacy program, you may find that the cost of training and up-skilling quickly becomes too costly to feasibly accomplish. This is where augmentation comes in. A People Intelligence platform like Peoplelogic connects to the tools you use to get work done and automatically aggregates, structures, analyzes your data—providing prescriptive guidance, recommendations, and insights that improve operational efficiency and the employee experience.
What are the Benefits of Data Driven Management and Decision Making?
- Making Better, Unbiased Decisions
Data-driven decision making helps leaders make objective, measured, accurate decisions. This could take shape in the form of eliminating process redundancies, prioritizing features, even setting meeting schedules.
- Removing “Gut Feel” from the Equation
Organizations still rely entirely on expertise, experience, and gut feel when making decisions. This must change. By relying on data, you reduce the risk of a wrong decision and even if the decision was not perfect, you will have the empirical evidence to why an outcome evolved the way it did. Likewise, if data transparency is leveraged, decision making becomes more open and collaborative.
- Increase Decision Speed
Humans are human, and well, humans have opinions. Big decisions often require several conversations and back and forth, and along with that the number of opinions increases. At the end of the day, an opinion does not matter—the data does. By bringing to attention a decision, strategy, or improvement rooted in fact, companies can put that decision into action more quickly.
- Provide a Process of Continuous Improvement
By having systems in place that are tapped into your data stream, automating insights and recommendations, you have built a process of continuous improvement. With each action, there is a reaction, and you will continue to learn, ingest, act, and measure. Good decision after good decision leads to compounding gains that put you, your team, and your company out ahead of competition.
- Reduced Costs
Data-driven decisions can reduce costs in several ways. Analysis may identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks which, if fixed, could save your company money. Prioritizing the right set of features based on market and user data will allow you to reduce churn and improve customer lifetime value. Understanding how your employees work, when they prefer to work, and if they are at risk for burning out will save you a ton of costs associated with attrition and backfilling. The ways in which good decisions help save companies money are limitless.
Make Better Decisions in Minutes, Not Months
Here at Peoplelogic, data-driven management and decision making are core tenets of why we exist. We are on a mission to make sure every manager, regardless of skillset and expertise, can be empowered with the right data at the right time to make the best possible decision. We passively analyze the data your teams are already producing, giving leaders actionable insights and prescriptive recommendations that lead to high-performing, happy teams. Get started with a 30-day trial and become a data-driven manager.