One of the best moves we made this year is making sure we pull data from all corners of the business. We capture it, feed it into the right systems and use analysis to make decisions and run our business better.
I personally know how hard it is to get a handle on data when you and your employees are hustling non-stop, keeping up with the day-to-day to put customers first. But taking the time to figure out how to retrieve and analyze data means you can seize new opportunities and reduce risk.
We’re using customer relationship management (CRM) tools from Salesforce and business data intelligence tools from Microsoft to finetune our company and move to the next level of performance. Data helps us improve internal operations and expand revenue and profitability. It also helps us advance our products including Expresso®.
We use data to set benchmarks, measure progress and meet performance goals. In doing so, we help our customers reach their goals, too. With good information and metrics, data is helping us help you.
Take the millions of communications we handle each month. In one dashboard, we can drill down in real time each day to see which communications went by email, text or mail, which messages were rejected or returned and what’s the average postal spend per customer on an ongoing basis. Based on that information, we can regularly advise our customers on how they can improve their customer communications management.
Leveraging your data
As you make the move to use data more effectively, here’s what we learned at Nordis:
- Determine which type of data is available and how much there is. Not an easy task, but you must determine which metrics really matter to your business. The software tools we use give us hundreds of metrics to choose from.
- Set priorities on what data can improve each department. We had a team from each functional area list 50 items they wanted measured, then we reduced it to 20 each.
- Determine which tool(s) is right for your organization. It’s a gamechanger to have a customized dashboard where you can see visualizations of results on one screen.
- Be sure users can create and customize their own reports.
- Train employees in gathering and using data. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review said companies are grappling with building data literacy in the workplace. It found that 90% of business leaders cite data literacy as key to a company’s success, but only 25% of workers were confident in their data skills.
When it’s all said and done, I have realized that Nordis is first and foremost a data company because we’re always using data to manage the business. And I am betting that your company is heading in that direction, too.