November 10, 2022

5 questions about your business data capabilities and what to do with the answers

All businesses today already know they’re in a data-driven digital world and need to take data tech seriously. It’s just fact today.  

You have sales data, product data, customer data, booking data, logistics data, marketing data and the list goes on. 

However, many aren’t sure where to begin or what do to with it all. 

This data is extremely useful, but only when technology can capture and interpret it for you in an efficient way. 

With data technologies becoming commonplace across all sectors of a business’ operations, implementing data systems can give companies an edge. However, this edge is dependent on how well data technology is integrated. It also depends on how quickly businesses can adapt and deliver tangible business value with it. 

One way to achieve this is by using your own business data to uncover insights. 

Having control over your own internal data, helps you gain a deeper understanding of your business. 

For instance, understanding evolving customer expectations and collecting robust data around product supply or service delivery times allows you to adapt your strategy. However, all too often, a gap in this data means the business’ understanding of the situation is incorrect, and customers end up disappointed. 

This happens every day and it’s incredibly risky in the highly competitive marketplace of today. 

With the business world moving increasingly toward online and digital resources, there is an increasing need to make sure that you can generate, produce and interpret data reports in a comprehensive and effective way. 

So, how do you do this? That’s the question – that leads to five more. 

5 questions to bolster your data-collecting capabilities 

The success and longevity of a business largely depends on how it’s able to collect, process and interpret data from a multitude of sources. Oftentimes, businesses don’t know where to begin or what they should do with all the data they’ve collected. 

So, here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help you get started.  

Your answers will give you a good indication as to where you are now and where you need to go. 

  1. Am I able to produce reports in a timely manner? 

Most businesses can produce and generate data reports fairly easily, but the question is: how long does it take for your team to put a comprehensive and insightful report together? 

Do you have a team compiling reports a month in advance, or can you hit a button and it appears? Of course, the latter is preferable to gain fast insights and make even faster decisions.  

To be a data-driven business, you need to have the capability to produce accurate information that is quick and reliable. You want the ability to leverage insights to identify new business opportunities, better serve customers, grow sales and improve operations.

  1. How agile are these data reports? 

It’s all well and good to have comprehensive reports on a particular aspect of your business.  

However, it’s even more important that you’re able to adapt a certain variable on the fly and see the impact. Static reports are good, but imagine if the CEO asked: “Ok great – thanks for that report. What would happen if we delayed shipments by 3 months? Or changed the cost of that item by $500 a unit?”  

Could you re-present the answer fast? Or would it be back to the room for hours of work again? Only to come back and find the CEO has forgotten altogether or the opportunity has passed. Having adaptive reports will enable you to make agile adjustments and see the outcomes instantly, allowing you to make better business decisions. 

  1. Is ad hoc reporting possible? 

The business landscape can be a very volatile environment. Business decision-makers need answers to pressing questions as quickly as possible, sometimes from scratch. But when time is of the essence, employees can’t always expect to find business solutions in their traditional, already compiled reports. Reports and analyses that take days for delivery often arrive too late.  

For instance, if an executive said: “We’re got a stock shortage of a particular part. We’ve found a replacement, but it’s 10kg heavier and $6 more expensive. How will this impact product sales and shelving space?” 

Is it possible to pull together a report that hasn’t been created before? 

Ad hoc reporting and “on the fly” analyses are important because it enables businesses like yours to quickly find answers to unique queries as soon as a question is posed – effectively hastening your decision-making process. 

For more, read about data storytelling here.  

  1. How deep are my data silos? Do they seamlessly integrate? 

Information silos occur when one data set in one location is separate from another, making them hard to integrate. 

This can pose problems when it comes to data analysis, as the information may be stored in software or formats that are inconsistent. There’s a lot of time-consuming manual work to be done in standardising the data and putting it into new compatible formats before any useful insights can be even gleaned from it. 

Data integration doesn’t sound especially urgent or glamorous, but the cost of ignoring it could be huge. Silo-related problems grow exponentially. To integrate your data for company-wide analysis, try moving to a unified central system to manage data, with flexible assignable and re-assignable user permissions and the option to easily export data and generate meaningful reports. 

  1. Are there gaps I need to improve? 

As your data sets grow, problems like slow report generation, inaccurate data analysation and data silos become a burden. The Information Age has well and truly dawned on the business world, and companies hampered by restricted access to their own data risk sinking below the waves.  

For this reason, it’s important to have a trusted data partner who can help you generate and analyse your business data so you can stay focused on what you do best. 

This is where Minerva can help 

At Minerva, we provide you with the solutions you need to be a data-driven business. We can help you shift your decision-making process from reactive to proactive. 

By providing you with access to your data at a granular level, we help you take back control of your business. Helping you to make better and more strategic decisions for the future. 

Minerva can make your business dynamic and agile  

With Minerva’s business and technology expertise, you’ll get access to tools and solutions needed to effectively execute scenario planning and stay prepared for whatever the future may bring. 

We can work together with your organisation to understand your goals and requirements, before providing you with the right systems and procedures that you need to get the most out of your data and make better business decisions—helping you to become truly better at what you do. 

If you’d like to learn more about how Minerva can help your business, contact us on 1800 646 378 or email

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