“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion”. – W. Edwards Deming

We start with a classic. I’m sorry, but it’s hard to get away from that sentence when we talk about dice. 

The significant growth of Big Data has been attracting the attention of entrepreneurs, manager and executives, who already have more clear the importance of having accurate information and the strategic potential of this technology in the corporate world. And you can be sure that Big Data can be a tool to increase productivity in companies. But how?

To begin with, think about whether you know any business that does not need information about the market, customers, competitors, internal processes, employees, etc.. Did you remember any? Most likely not. And this need to obtain data to support decisions predates Big Data. What it does is make the process of knowing information faster, more consistent and assertive.

Data for what? Productivity

An article wrote in 1986 at Harvard Business Review (yes, mate: 1986!!!) was bringing attention to the importance to connect data and productivity. One of the main points highlighted was to use the data to transform it into relevant information for decision making. This can be financially, commercially or effectively on production lines. 1986 means more than 30 years that someone was already drawing attention to this issue. I don’t think I need to convince you anymore that data is relevant, right? 

Among the organizations, there is a strong search for process optimization, by reducing production times, delivery, planning. However, this makes sense and is profitable when quality and productivity go hand in hand. See how Big Data can help you:

– Ease and agility of finding data – researches, experiments, and statistical surveys come more easily “into the hands” of companies. You don’t need extremely complex methods to obtain information as in previous times. Thus, it is possible to monitor and meet the wishes and expectations of consumers, employees and other audiences without losing the timing.

– Speed in the identification of failures in procedures: as the information comes “by jet” it is possible to identify failures in productive processes, where the bottlenecks are and avoid wasting time and rework. Ah! and of course, financial resources, which can be applied to better working conditions and other technologies that automate tasks.

– Reduction of time spent on sales processes – once you have the right information, specific indicators and full knowledge of the demand, profile and behaviour of the customer, the work of salespeople become more assertive. It’s no longer about shooting on all sides, but on the target.

– Risk reduction – both in relation to employee safety and compliance with legal requirements, as well as reducing the risk of losing money, since decision making is based on more knowledge of the financial context, the market and the impact of these variables on their specific activity.

The stage we’ve heard most recently from our customers and partners is this: I don’t know how much I’m producing. Without data, it is impossible to reach any conclusion on what to do to increase the productivity of a plant. This would be the first step. 

All the “OEE” logic, for instance, is based on measuring your factory to take action. (Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a measure of how well a manufacturing operation is utilized (facilities, time and material) compared to its full potential, during the periods when it is scheduled to run. It identifies the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. An OEE of 100% means that only good parts are produced (100% quality), at the maximum speed (100% performance), and without interruption (100% availability).)

Now imagine: how taking action on OEE if you don’t have data? 

What to do with data?

You do need to take action. You know: transform data into information and information into action. Basically, decision making based on correct data analysis ends up valuing choices supported by verifiable and consistent information. Companies don’t have to rely on skilled employees to interpret numbers and statistics. Today, executives and professionals at all levels can achieve these indicators themselves, with the help of appropriate tools.

How to make decisions based on data, in a practical way?

Identify the problem

Did you ever stop to think that you were directing all your efforts to a problem that was unclear? Well, if you answered yes, we are part of the same group of people who end up making that mistake. It is from that that we begin to understand the importance of identifying the problem.

Making decisions based on data requires essential knowledge of the problem that must be solved. This makes it much easier to explore the information and data available in your hands.

Define indicators

In identifying the problem, the next step is to define indicators that can be used for analysis and that will be your true north to map possible solutions. Any and every action can be measured with the digital revolution. You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • what do I really need to map to solve my problem?
  • how do I map it?
  • how important is a piece of certain information to possible solutions?

Group standard data

Grouping the data ends up going through the structuring process. It is known that for the most part, a manager will not have time to group the information and data. A simple solution, in this case, is to identify tools that can collect and structure data, classifying them in a standardized way and extracting real value from them.

Having reliable management software

Reliable software is focused on monitoring business activities, having the task of presenting indicators in real-time, so it is important to have one in your company.

The more technology advances, the more we have to work with large volumes of data. There is no excuse to use them during a decision process. Decision making based on data ensures that you will achieve the expected results. Don’t waste any more time, use the data as the basis for your decision-making process and keep up with your business success!