Business intelligence is about measuring successes, and even failures. The most successful companies keep track of how they perform. If you are not keeping a close eye on the most important key metrics, how will you determine if your business is reaching maximum potential? At Grow, we use data everyday to measure our business success and determine our next moves.
Netflix is a great example of a data-driven company. Netflix approaches movie streaming and entertainment with a big data and metrics-focused mindset. Netflix monitors a variety of key metrics from their users and uses that data to decide which TV shows to produce. When Netflix releases a new show, it is not a result of guesswork. They have the numbers and key metrics internally to know exactly how the show will perform, how their target audiences will reach, and how much viewer time they can expect. This is why Netflix is poised to disrupt the entertainment industry by winning more viewers than the television networks by 2016. Netflix uses data to guide their business strategy and predict business success.
A business that does not monitor its own performance is one that operates in the dark, unable to determine where the future may lead. Business has always been a numbers game—when you monitor and analyze key metrics, you will make new connections and come up with fresh ideas that are backed up by data.
Any business that makes it past its first quarter is familiar with the basic metric of success—income versus cost. These factors can tell a business if it is operating at a profit or a loss, but they only tell part of the story. Data-driven businesses track multiple metrics to understand not only the profit and loss statements, but also the speed and quality of work done, the productivity of their workers, and the efficiency with which daily work is accomplished.
Business intelligence tools aid businesses in the process of monitoring and analyzing key performance indicators. The data retrieved through business intelligence tools must be translated into usable information—team members need to understand if key performance indicator (KPI) goals are being met and how their role directly impacts the KPIs. When the data is presented in an open area of the company—a greater degree of accountability is placed on each employee. BI dashboards give all employees the chance to understand their direct impact on the company as a whole.
When a team is given a chance to view a KPI score, that team becomes easier to motivate. There is a direct correlation between a team’s ability to do a job sufficiently and the team’s ability to access relevant data. Far from being the province of only the executives in a company, productivity and revenue data should be made available to the entire company. Accountability is only possible when an individual knows that for which he or she should be accountable.
Once a team is given adequate accountability and data, improvement within the business can increase rapidly. When given access to the right information, every individual within a company can target the areas in which they can have the most impact. Instead of vague declarations of intent about improvement moving forward, each team member can better focus his or her efforts in relevant problem areas. The speed of improvement will always increase when workers are given a chance to be part of the solution.
Grow.com enables a business to make KPIs, leading indicators, and other important growth metrics visible to their entire teams through an easy-to-use dashboard interface. These tools help businesses not just to view data, but also to improve their own practices. A business’ work and growth data should always be available to those who in positions to improve the company—and the tools to make sure that information remains useful should always be present if a business wishes to succeed.