Business Tips | Data Strategy

Data, Business Transformations, and New Year’s Resolutions — Oh My!

The New Year is upon us, and there’s no better time for businesses to start thinking about resolutions. Whether you’re looking to improve a few processes or completely transform the way your company reaches its customers, every successful business transformation strategy requires one, special ingredient: a strategy.

Leading a successful business transformation initiative may seem daunting. That’s why we’ve put together a few ways you can make the process move as efficiently and smoothly as possible. From getting buy-in from stakeholders to finding data-driven insights to guide your decisions, your organization’s New Year’s strategy can start today with the right insight and tools.

Make a Case For Your Business Strategy

Business strategy

When it comes to implementing change, data is your best friend. Without it, you’ll not only have trouble creating a solid strategy, but you might not be able to get buy-in from stakeholders either. This is where data (and data visualization) comes in.  During the initial buy-in phase, you can use succinct, visualized data to demonstrate why change needs to happen and in what areas it should occur. Then, you can continue exploring that data to find the best path toward a successful transformation.

How data visualization can spark a positive paradigm shift in your organization:  

  • Makes it easier for stakeholders to identify trends and projected challenges
  • Clears away “data clutter” and highlighting shortcomings in the current process
  • Provides a simple way to compare multiple sources of information at once
  • Compares seemingly unrelated metrics and highlighting the connections between them
  • Provides actionable information in an easy-to-digest format

Once you’ve obtained buy-in, you can use data visualization to turn improvement opportunities into a tangible strategy for success. If, for instance, you identify a decrease in sales performance along with an increase in the sales cycle timeline, it might make sense to create a business transformation strategy that streamlines buying cycle for your clients.

Identify Speed Bumps Before You Hit Them

Just like personal New Year’s resolutions, your business’ transformation will come with challenges. The effective way to avoid challenges thing is preparing for them. A few of the most common roadblocks to business transformation initiatives encounter are:

  • Lack of buy-in from stakeholders and higher-ups
  • Failure to understand the roles and responsibilities of each team member
  • Planning too much, too fast
  • Not communicating changes to stakeholders effectively
  • Lack of follow through
  • Deploying changes at the wrong time
  • Difficulty letting go of old processes

One of the most common, if not the most common, personal New Year’s resolution is getting in shape. Interestingly, committing to a new workout routine and overhauling company processes have a lot in common. Most prominently, they share a common enemy: lack of follow through. If you’re tasked with making positive changes in your organization this year, remember that momentum is imperative. Without it, your initiative could fizzle out.

Develop a Powerful Strategic Vision

Change requires strategy. Before you begin to make actual changes, develop a clear vision for what your plan is. More importantly, make it as detailed as possible. It might be helpful to write down your vision statement (purpose) and work backward from there. What is your primary objective? How will you get there? The answer to these questions is your strategic vision.

Executing the master plan

This is probably the most difficult part of any business transformation project. Even if your plan is practically perfect in every way, you’ll need to detail every step to make sure it happens. One of the keys to successfully executing your initiative is to clearly define who is responsible for each step of the strategy. Then, provide guidance and routine check-ins to make sure all of the moving pieces are headed in the right direction.

Overcoming obstacles

If you encounter an unforeseen problem, don’t toss in the towel. Take a step back, reassess your strategy and figure out where it broke down. Then, retrace your steps, regroup with your team and determine the best way to remove the roadblock so you can regain momentum and keep moving forward.

Remember this: the customer always comes first

In a way, your organization’s business transformation plan probably wasn’t your idea; it belongs to your consumers. Customers drive business decisions. At the end of the day, customer demand determines how your company needs to change and adapt. Gather data on what your customers need and how they reactive to changes. By adopting a “the customer always knows best” attitude, you can anticipate their desires and create a business transformation plan that accommodates them.

Read next: Engage to Innovate or Innovate to Engage — Which Comes First?

Smart Strategies for Shifting Your Organization’s Focus

Smart strategies for shifting your organization's focus

Change is rarely easy but often beneficial – when executed carefully. Before launching full-force into your initiative, consider the following less tangible elements of your plan:

  • Your people. Understand the team you’re working with. Discover their strengths and lean into them. By leveraging each team member’s natural aptitude, you can decrease the margin for error and mistakes. More importantly, you can use their individual talents and unique insights to increase the margin for success.
  • Organization culture. Every business / organization is different. Get to know yours. If your business is focused fully on the needs of its customers, make your strategy customer-centric. If it tends to focus on empowering its employees instead, adapt your transformation strategy to do the same.
  • Timing. With data, context is everything. In order to understand one metric, you’ll need to compare it to other, related metrics. In the same way, you need to understanding what’s going on in your organization outside of your business transformation plan. This level of context will help you adapt your strategy and identify whether now is the best time to implement it.

Move Your Business Transformation Strategy Forward with Data

Dashboard displaying key business metrics

If your business is making a New Year’s resolution, having the right tools in your toolbox can help it stay on track. iDashboards reporting and data visualization software allows you to transform information into insight thought simple, easy-to-understand charts and graphs. Additionally, we’ll let you try it out for free!

Learn how data visualization can help your business transformation initiative, contact a representative from iDashboards today.

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Jennifer Horne Sr. Digital Marketing Coordinator @iDashboards

Jennifer Horne handles SEO, PPC, content and digital marketing for iDashboards. She has won multiple 30 Rock trivia competitions, makes a mean green curry, and loves living in Detroit.

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