Data drives important business decisions intended to grow your business. However, when your data is flawed, decision-makers end up making bad decisions. In this case, bad decisions aren’t exactly their fault; they’re relying on data to make their decisions and flawed data is hard to spot.
While flawed data drives bad business decisions, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible to improve the quality and accuracy of data at the source. Many businesses use tools like Salesforce and FinancialForce to automate processes, including data collection and reporting.
The bottom line is that accurate data can improve collaboration, visibility, and will help streamline your entire business operations. If you want your business to be successful, you need accurate data.
Do you have a strategy for increasing data accuracy? If not, here’s why you need to get started on a plan as soon as possible.
1. Bad decisions can lead to lost revenue
If you want to grow your business, you need to continually increase your revenue. The biggest threat to growing your revenue is making bad business decisions. However, when you’re working with flawed data, it’s almost impossible to recognize the source of those bad decisions. In fact, you might not see certain decisions as bad when they’re based on what you believe to be accurate data.
Say you’re using a program that tells you sales are down by 35% and it happens to be the holiday season. Your decision-makers might conclude that the holiday season is responsible for the dip in sales.
What you don’t know is that your shopping cart isn’t working properly, and customers aren’t able to check out using PayPal. Some customers are okay with using a credit card, but you’re losing 35% of your sales from people who only want to use PayPal.
The only way you could know about this is if you’re collecting data that will tell you how many PayPal checkouts failed and how many of those customers made a purchase with their credit card instead.
This kind of data isn’t easy to get by merely observing. You’d have to sift through a bunch of technical error logs, if those logs are enabled in the first place. Even so, you’d have a hard time manually determining anything useful.
Accurate data comes from automation
Automation enables data collection at a high level. The amount of data you can collect from automated processes is immense. It’s also more accurate than manual collections, provided your application is programmed accurately.
2. Accurate data improves your decision-making process
Making good decisions based on accurate data can improve your company’s decision-making process. It’s possible to make mistakes even with accurate data, but those mistakes are easy to spot.
When you make decisions based on accurate data, and you don’t get the results you were after, you can fine-tune your process to improve future results. Over time, the cumulative effects of good decisions will increase your productivity, improve collaboration, streamline processes, decrease your expenses, and increase your revenue.
3. Accurate data will help you identify holes in your business processes
Chances are, not all of your business processes are perfect. This is normal. However, accurate data can help you identify where your existing processes are falling short. For example, you might be completely unaware that your sales process is dropping leads into a black hole because your web form doesn’t work properly.
A malfunctioning web form is an easy fix, but until you’re aware of the problem, it’s going to wreak havoc on your business. The only way to know if you’re dropping leads is to have an automated system in place to tell you how many new leads you’re gathering each day and how many leads are in your sales pipeline.
Say you’re struggling with lost revenue, but you don’t know poor data is the cause. If the data shows you’ve generated 500 new email subscribers in the last month, but you’ve only got five prospects in your sales funnel, there’s a major disconnect. At that point, it should be obvious that your leads aren’t being properly segmented and/or being dropped into the right part of your sales funnel.
Grow your business with automation
If your goal is to grow your business, you need to be constantly troubleshooting issues in order to make improvements based on accurate data.
How do you get accurate data? From automation. Automation can collect, analyze, and process data much faster and more accurately than a human being. In this way, accurate data combined with automation is the ideal troubleshooting tool for your business.