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Back in 2019, the cost of poorly organized meetings was estimated to reach $399 billion in the US and $58 billion in the UK, according to a study on 19 million meetings and 6,500 interviews with working professionals.

We built out a chart ourselves to help visualize the results from this study on what unproductive meetings really mean to the effectiveness of how business is run according to these professionals interviewed. Check it out:

the cost of unproductive meetings graph

If you’re reading this, it is likely that at some point in your career, you too have sat through a meeting that:

  • Was not organized
  • Was not productive
  • Took too much time
  • Ended up not being relevant to your role
  • Lead to more confusion

These challenges are often not mutually exclusive of one another either. If a meeting was not organized, became irrelevant to those present, or lead to more confusion, odds are another meeting has to be scheduled; ultimately consuming more time and delaying impactful decisions from being made.

how to run an effective meeting

Meetings should not and do not have to inhibit you or your business with any of these challenges. You can quickly turn your minutes into meaning when you learn how to make your next meeting data-driven instead. We’ll go into detail on exactly why data-driven meetings are more effective. Later, we’ll dive into questions to ask of your business so that less time is spent on preparing and delivering accurate information and more time is spent on actionable insights and decision-making.

Why Data-Driven Meetings are More Efficient

For each of the pain points we described earlier, we have provided a respective reason as to why data-driven team meetings lead to greater efficiency.

data team meeting

Single source of truth

Depending on who attends each meeting, you may have representatives across a variety of departments, positions, and even locations – all of which may be accessing different data sources throughout their day. When you aggregate all these necessary sources into one easy-to-access repository through an ETL tool, you can build a dashboard that provides a single source of truth for everyone present at those cyclical meetings.

Not only will this build trust in the data continuously being analyzed, but employees can gain a more holistic understanding of all their metrics.

Decisions backed by evidence, not just opinion

Do you often find team meetings start off with an agenda but then end in an opinionated discussion with ultimately no decision made?

By having all data prepped beforehand and loaded into a dashboard or dashboards, discussions can be built around fact-based information, not just best-guess inferences and intuitions. Time can instead be used for taking proactive actions that will further your business agenda because KPIs are outlined and goals have become streamlined.

Greater transparency

With the ability to access any data source at the moment it’s needed, employees are able to see their data populate in real-time. Not only are decisions evidence-based, they are also made off relevant, up-to-date data so you never miss a beat in where your business stands. Develop even deeper insight and see where common metrics may correlate so you can build even greater transparency.

Improved focus and greater responsibility

By having KPIs outlined and meeting-specific dashboards created, the correct data can always be in front of the right people at the right time. Meetings will become more structured to keep tasks aligned with who is needed and when, allowing employees to be more productive both during and outside of meetings.

That being said, having visibility and a breakdown into metrics related to them, employees tend to feel both more accountable and empowered to build their performance accordingly.

Overall clarity with everyone more aware

Confusion should never be the barrier that keeps your business from effective meetings and decision-making. Data visualized across dashboards opens the door to purposeful action plans, honest conversations, and clear strategies.

How to Prepare for a Data-Driven Meeting

team meeting with data

As you begin shifting into the execution of data-driven meetings, consider asking these questions that may help define how you initiate your new approach:

  • Do I currently have an outlined approach to certain meeting agendas?
  • Does the team I’m meeting with or the subject matter of that meeting have specific goals or targets?
    • If so, how and to what extent are those targets defined?
    • Do they need to be redefined at all to be more indicative of the intended target?
    • Are they being measured by metric(s) that best align with the defined indicators?
  • Do we have the sources we need to access, both available and prepared in order to obtain and collect quality data that coincides with our goals?
  • Do we have the charisma of business and data-mined employees who have experienced the challenges of unproductive meetings and are open to a solution for change?

Data-Driven through Data Visualization

At the end of the day, having fewer and shorter meetings that are also significantly more productive is a state every organization should strive for. Our interactive data visualization solution works to make every stage of your decision-making process simple and efficient. Leverage dashboards in meetings so you can invest in creating a data-driven culture that leaves you time for everything else that matters.

Interested to see the time and resources your business can save by implementing more data-driven meetings? Click here to contact iDashboards today and get started in making the most out of your data!

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Caroline Bracey Content Writer & Marketing Coordinator

Caroline Bracey focuses on all things content for iDashboards. Beyond her passion for marketing and writing, you can find her watching sports with her family, discovering new music and places to travel, or getting outdoors and hiking.


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