As COVID-19 progresses, the implication for business decision-making to provide due diligence on the health and safety of both people and process remains increasingly critical. Even for businesses experiencing or anticipating a downtime of activity, this decision-making must continue to be accurate, prompt, and transparent. It should focus on immediate needs while forecasting contingencies. In order to optimize on both, businesses will discover they need to step back, look at the big picture of their data, and keep adaptability top of mind. That being said, those who choose to use this time to innovate now will find themselves equipped to come out stronger and more adaptive moving forward.
So how do you innovate in this environment? We’ve outlined 5 ways your team can capitalize on these opportunities:
1. Capture underutilized dark data
Before preparing to have to make a complete strategic shift or approaching these subsequent steps, businesses should take this time to look for underutilized dark data they can tap into. What pre-existing information is available that, without having to over-exhaust resources, can more quickly become accessible to your team?
Back in 2018, Forrester reported that “Between 60% and 73% of all data within an enterprise goes unused for analytics.”
With the vast amount of data circulating and fluctuating in the changing environment, accessibility should provide insight on what is most important. Minimalism is key to honing in on the value your business provides and how it’s positioned today. So before exerting time going after every new piece of data that and trying to make sense of it, these are the first things you can do instead:
- “Be where your feet are.”
- Stay present, aware, and find knowledge in the current moment as it will better prepare you what may actually be forthcoming.
- Understand not only the data you have and the KPIs in place, but also what they are telling you – Are they definitive and representative?
The answers to these questions make it possible for business leaders to know what they should be looking for in their current untouched data.
With an assessed framework on available data, businesses can then identify remaining gaps or inconsistencies that would allow them to align metrics to be more indicative. Underutilized data is costly and acquiring new data just to be found inapplicable is time consuming. So why not get the most out of your data when you can?
2. Eliminate data silos
Now that you’ve gotten to know your data better, you want it to work cohesively together as well. Just as there is with underutilized data, missed potential exists in data silos.
There is power in connection.
Right now, we as humans know this more than ever. It’s a message that has certainly become more profound during this unprecedented time in history. Over the course of COVID-19 reaching global scale, we have seen firsthand the impact as more and more come together, work together. We balance each other’s strengths in an effort to be more thorough and successful – a lesson you can also apply to your data.
When businesses take this opportunity to combine multiple data sources, they are able to streamline operations through a single source of truth. No longer does energy have to be spent sifting across separate data sources, pulling individual reports, and manually cross-referencing. Instead, it gives teams the room to:
- Share insightful perspectives
- Find common ground for what may have otherwise been overlooked or outdated
Your data has always been there, but it can’t always speak for itself. Behind it live stories ready to be shared. If they are made visible, a new level of connection becomes possible across the entire organization. Data then becomes the source for increased engagement, improved communication, and resonated credibility.
3. Celebrate small wins
The copious amount of information circulating today, particularly with COVID-19, can quickly overwhelm us and put implicit pressure that there is always something more to be done. However, leading with this mindset that large achievements are the only means to feeling successful is on the contrary, more detrimental to our motivation and overall well-being.
In turn, small wins are often more achievable and rewarding. According to a four-month long Harvard study with over 12,000 survey responses from over 200 employees at seven different companies, this was unequivocally true. When understanding participants’ “best days” based on mood examinations, they discovered making steps towards a goal occurred on 76% of those “best mood days” – making it the most common factor.
With times of uncertainty, setbacks are possible and understandably challenging. Having ‘projects’ that serve as stepping stones, however, provide that reassurance that you and your team are resilient. Employees don’t necessarily need groundbreaking achievements to feel motivated and contributing value to larger goals. That being said, organizations as a whole shouldn’t either. While working remote and even as some transition back to the office, set actionable items with attainable timelines and visibly track moments of progress. This will work to influence a culture that moves forward with innovation not intimidation.
4. Connect with customers
Another great opportunity to optimize your time right now is through customer communication, meeting them where they are. Active listening is a powerful tool for ensuring your customers or those you have relationships/partnerships with are being heard. Reciprocally, it gives your business access to learn directly from the source that drives the work you do, regardless of industry. The more you can understand external needs, the greater clarity you will have when it comes to internal data-driven decision-making, both now and later. It allows you to have a stronger gauge on how current metrics impact those you engage with, so you can improve transparency and share data that is relevant and accurate.
5. Be open to new ways of thinking as you plan for long term
One of the most common barriers to innovation is often the phrase, “This is the way we’ve always done it.” Change, whether at a granular level or global scale, is never easy. It requires businesses to navigate unforeseen challenges and new territories. At the same time, though, it pushes action and opens the conversation to think differently. Today, it’s encompassed by the mindful shifts to digital transformations and virtual connections. Remaining stagnant can be a dangerous threat to adaptability so why not use the information you have at hand to inspire and ignite idea generation. Allow change to highlight areas that may have always been in need of adjustments but never had the adequate time to execute. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction – so hone in on the steps that are working so those that follow are proactive and say, “It’s time we do it this way.”
iDashboards is here to support you and what it takes to make your organization remain successful. Let’s have a conversation.