“Quality Data is the currency of the 21st century. Success is valued by how well you use that Data.“
So with this in mind – How can you collect data the easy way?
Tip 1. Supply the Tools.
Part of the job of any company’s management is to make sure that the correct tools have been provided so that staff can do their job effectively. Tools makes all the difference. Think of your employee like a builder. I can tell you a builder with a power saw, nail gun and quality raw material is triple the speed of production to a builder with a hand saw, hammer and basic raw material. The same comparison can be used with the supply of business tools.
For example. If you have mobile staff, then you need to give them the tools to do their work in a mobile environment, e.g. tablet, mobile phone, internet etc. Then you need to make sure that your processes or expectations match the mobile environment.
Tip 2. Tools alone are not enough – today
Apart from supply the tool to do the work, you also need to supply the software and make sure you either have trained staff or your supply the training also.
CRM Map was created as a tool that would support many products in the market for this exact reason. With this tool, you can just open your google maps and right where you are, you will see you clients, be able to add data, review data and even edit data. CRM Map is like the nails for the Nail Gun. You need nails or the Nail Gun just won’t work.
Tip 3. Make it natural
Make the data entry function, natural, simple and fun. People really can enter data and a lot of it – just look at the amount people use Facebook. There is no reason for you to restricted on the depth of data you can collect. You just need to make sure that entering data for your staff is fun and natural.
Tip 4. Update your Processes to match your needs.
Google recently stated that if a web engine is not mobile friendly e.g. resizes nicely for all size environments, this would hurt their natural SEO. This was stated, because as the world changes in its expectations and demands, so do the base processes or rules. IT is moving at a rapid rate, and that has had an effect on all areas of our life. So based on this, processes that are 5 years old, are OLD.
Here is a simple example of an out of date processes.
Enter the order
Print the order
Take the order to XYZ Department
Now, if you have people on the move, how can they do this? This process needs to be updated to
Enter the order
Either take a printed copy to XYZ department or Email the copy to XYZ department.
So as you can see an easy change, but one that would allow for remote data collection if you need this. What I find is that most changes are logical and simple, but rarely are taken into effect.
Tip 5. – Don’t waste data.
As a data analyst I can provide lists of examples of wasted data. For example, most accounting products “purge” their transactions at the end of a year. What this means is that all that data that you have paid people to enter, is being deleted. This data that could show you trends, lead to you repeat sales or allow you to on sell – all just deleted in bulk. Why? To save space in a time where data storage is very cheap. Why not store it and make good use of it.
Tip 6. Minimize duplication.
Duplicating the same data, costs you money and in fact does not add to your value. So the more you can reduce this duplication the better in all areas, cost, staff efficiency, storage management etc. The real question is why this duplication occurred at all. The main reason why, is because all sorts of people make different decisions but do not consult others. So the same data is entered twice.
Tip 7. – Collect all useful data.
I will give an example of useful data. Entering of a timesheet for an employee. Some companies such as service based organizations make people enter their times to a customer, job etc. The majority of other customers just click on and off of work. They do not collect what people do, when they start, how much time they spend in certain areas. This data could save you a lot of money and saving money allows you the resources to create extra income.
Tip 8. – “Row the same way”
I see data for a living. With my business experience, I can understand a company quite quickly, especially if I know where they are heading. So often I see poor data because staff just enter anything, as they don’t know what the company would consider “important”. So if they knew what was important and what was not, they would enter the important information and not waste time on none important data. It is like 2 men in a row boat, both rowing in different directions. Your staff need to row in the one direction and that should be in the direction you wish to go.
Finally – Use your data well.
Now you should have some good quality data coming in. Never stop reviewing your methods and techniques as there are always ways to improve. However it is now time to use this data to create profits for you. This is where management excel or fail. So now you have supplied the tools for management, their only job is to use the data tool well.