Data is a hot topic these days. Private companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, public schools, and just about every other workplace are either already tracking and analyzing data or determining which data they need to track. Companies are hiring statisticians, data analysts, and IT specialists in droves to develop data tracking tools and programs. Although plenty of companies already understand the power of data, here are three tidbits that some people may have overlooked:


Data Isn't Just About Marketing and Sales

Most companies probably track data in some form. At a minimum, companies have to monitor data related to budgeting, profits, and revenue. However, more and more companies rely on data analysis to track and understand marketing initiatives. Lead conversions, newsletter click rates, and website visitors are all key pieces of information that can help companies determine which measures are working and which ones may not be. Of course, there are tons of other data indicators companies use depending on their niche and objectives, and sales data is often integrated into these analyses as well.


Even though data analysis is an important component of any marketing and sales strategy, data can also provide insights into other facets of growing a business. For example, internal data relating to productivity, output rates, or other performance metrics should be tracked and monitored to ensure a company is engaged in constant evaluation and adaptation. In addition, implementing a process for data analysis that focuses on external information, such as market trends, competitor activity, and economic forecasts should be considered and can dramatically shape a company's future trajectory.


Employee Data is Just as Important as Client Data

In many cases, a significant part of marketing and sales analysis involves poring over clients' activities and interests. Obviously, taking consumer behavior into consideration is crucial to gauging a company's standing and direction. However, it is easy to forget that a company's success largely rests on the strength and efficiency of its operations. And this, of course, depends greatly on the entire team's composition and contributions.


Thus, for a company to truly grasp both its triumphs and shortcomings, there must be a process in place that examines concrete data relating to employee performance. This will provide the company with direct information about an employee’s productivity, can serve as a means for employee evaluation, and if implemented properly, should be used as a motivational tool for employee advancement. The structure for employee performance review and the benchmarks instituted for evaluative purposes will vary depending on a person’s role and responsibilities. However, one thing is for certain and that is for companies to ensure that any employee data remain confidential, both personal details and performance evaluations.


Data Can Be an Advantage on All Fronts

A lot of companies like to shroud their data in secrecy, perhaps fearing that making certain data public will expose their secret formula for success, or maybe even reveal their weaknesses. But, there is plenty of data that companies can openly use for their benefit. There are the obvious scenarios in which data is used, such as in reports and updates to the board, investors, or shareholders.


However, data sharing does not need to be restricted to upper level meetings. For example, for companies that are trying to to drum up business, tangible numbers related to client satisfaction and sales accomplishments provide excellent pitch material. On the other hand, for companies seeking to recruit talented, committed employees, sharing data that pertains to employee retention and turnover rates or demographic diversity may bolster their efforts. The job market has been gradually improving, and people are becoming increasingly particular about where they work and the terms under which they will work. There is a growing emphasis on work-life balance, generous vacation and other unique perks, and a relaxed work culture. And of course, most of this information is best conveyed via data.

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