People at the heart of data-driven decisions

We live in a society flooded with information. We have never had as much data at our disposal as we do now due to the progress of technology; chiefly, the increasing digitisation of information. Big Data is here to stay – and it’s impacting the performance needs of all organisations, regardless of size.

Decision-makers have had to learn to manage, embrace and understand this immense volume of data with the aim of applying intelligence to business growth. In a way, the potential applications of Big Data are so vast that many SMB owners and operators, perhaps without even being very aware of it, have become data analysts.

The rate at which SMBs consume and analyse data continues to increase. As a result, software developers and vendors must also keep evolving their analytical technology to meet the needs of those smaller, more agile organizations.

Contrary to popular belief, companies make better data-driven decisions when focusing on people and not just the data itself. After all, companies are not decision-making machines, but a collection of people who must be given the ability to know which decisions are better and how they will affect the group and the people who comprise it.

Above all this, the future of understanding the mountain of data lies in having a platform for easy and intuitive visual analysis. This will enable the people who use it to make more informed decisions for their business, for it will allow them to take into account many factors, not just the data, because in the end, the data is just one source, albeit, a very large one.

Just as data analytics is a tool for enabling great empowerment within people, people are equally fundamental for ensuring that platforms operate efficiently. The origin of all the growth possibilities starts with people, so the more people who make decisions based on data within a company, the more the intelligence of the organisation is enriched. And this is where, to expand the possibilities driven by data, companies have to train all their people. Not only within the organisation but also beyond their ecosystem, including partners and collaborators. When this occurs, the steps a small, agile business can take towards becoming more data driven will allow them to discover and exploit new possibilities, thus accelerating them towards growth (perhaps into a larger organisation) as well as their business goals.

About the author

Lars Björk is the CEO of business intelligence software company Qlik

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