Many firms have a plethora of data regarding existing clients, prospects, and wins and losses just sitting around being underutilized or possibly not being used at all. So, what should these firms be doing with all this data? Well, this significant information needs to be analyzed to create actionable insights which will help drive business development decisions. Here are some thoughts to ensure a proper data analysis.
Reports Don’t Equal Analysis
Reports are pretty and give you an easy view of your data. The line goes up and you smile, the line goes down and you frown. However, quickly glancing over these reports doesn’t actually answer why these are the results you see?
Analyzing means taking those results to the next level and learning why these are the trends your firm is experiencing. You must ask the right questions to find answers in your data and then form a hypothesis to test your data against. This will allow you to find the reason behind your numbers.
Using Analysis to Achieve the Real Goals
As simple as this sounds, getting the right information from your data analysis can affect achieving your firm’s goals. To make actionable decisions, the goals of the business must be what drives your measurement strategy. Using the correct data analysis technique requires that you know what questions you’re trying to answer.
Think about it, generic questions tend to lead to generic answers. To determine what you’re trying to figure out from your data analysis, you’ll need to have clear objectives provided by the firm’s stakeholders. Without having a specific question to answer, you won’t get a clear answer.
Creating Metrics That Promote Action
Communicating the results of your analysis in a way to create actionable insights can often be difficult. It doesn’t have to be when the results of your analysis answer the questions that have been established by the business objectives. Therefore, communicating actionable insights requires being able to quantitatively measure the success of the plan you recommend.
The findings of the analysis should drive the development of key performance indicators (KPIs). With these KPIs, the company knows what quantifiable objectives determine the success of the business. Keep in mind, your KPIs need to be realistic based on your data.
Good Data in Equals Good Data out
Collecting the right data and maintaining it is the most important part of data analysis. For project-based firms, projects are the lifeblood of the business. Winning more projects is essential to generating more revenue. As a result, discovering key project related data from your analysis is integral to creating compelling proposals that win new business.
Making Data Work for Your Firm
To learn more about project data collection and maintenance best practices, make sure to attend this year’s SMPS Pacific Regional Conference and the Southeast Regional Conference. Lindsay Diven, Full Sail Partners’ Senior Consultant, will be presenting a session titled, “Develop Your Data Collection & Maintenance Program – No CRM Needed” to address this specific topic. Let your data work for you.