Reading from data. How to recognise a problem and discover an opportunity

Data is company know-how and needs to be treated that way. Input must be standardised, and output also requires human creativity. That could be a simplified summary of working with data. However, what is so simple can determine whether your company goes in the right direction or leaves the market position to competitors and begins to suffer.

Increasing efficiency is one of the phases that every company enters after a certain time. This leads to cuts or pressure, which can paradoxically be very inefficient. This is when the feeling wins over the facts. However, even facts don’t have to be dogmas, which happens when they are not set in context.

Customer acquisition

Whether you do business in any field, gaining new customers or expanding relationships with the existing ones is a topic that resonates at every meeting. Those who see growth regardless of the real impact often get the word in.

“The most common mistake occurs in fulfilling sales plans, where the basic two figures are often monitored, i.e. the plan and its fulfilment. Few managers can relate the results to individual activities and logistics,” data analyst Radek Nekvapil points out a common phenomenon, immediately adding a specific case: “In the last week, customer warehouses are supplied to meet the plan, but the manager responsible for the fulfilment of this plan doesn’t see that it has created stock for the month ahead, so there will be a significant drop in sales at the beginning of next month.”

Employee efficiency

For the long-term development of the company, the efficiency of individual employees’ work is at least as important as customer acquisition. Process control is a separate field for which, however, data is crucial.

“With internal data, it is easy to reveal not only the untapped business potential, which is always of most interest, but also trends such as neglect of parts of individual regions or detection of gravities,” explains data analyst Nekvapil.

Creativity in data processing

The moment you manage to read the data correctly, you are on the right track, but you are still far from victory. There are moments when systems are not enough. There must always be human creativity to divide data outputs into those that make sense and those that don’t.

“It’s always important to start from the very beginning and try to understand what you are looking at. Ask yourself if you have enough context to see the whole information. If not, mystification easily occurs, which can be seen every day in the media,” Nekvapil comments on the trend of recent years, again showing a specific example.

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