The DataHero Blog

5 Ways to Defeat Data Overload For Good

May 5th, 2015

data overload-2

Data is being created at an unprecedented rate. We’re all expected to make sense of this deluge of information, but how do we all manage that? How do we take action based on the data our company collects, and use it to ultimately make better decisions and a smoother customer experience?

Automate As Much As Possible

Exporting to Excel and then re-building the same reports each month with updated data is no one’s idea of efficiency. You also don’t want to be forced to search through multiple versions of a report to find the most current one. Manual data entry should be a thing of the past as well. Each of the previous three scenarios can be solved with automation. Set charts and dashboards to update automatically as the data within your cloud service changes. If you use Excel for data storage, make sure that your charts will update with new Excel data as well.  Streamlining these tedious tasks like updating reports is probably the simplest and most important part of fighting data overload in your company.

Centralize Your Cloud Data

With data available from nearly every cloud service your organization uses, a manager now has to log in to six different dashboards to answer a simple question about campaign performance. Or you may need to pull together six Excel spreadsheets to answer that same question. As an example: to track a specific campaign, pull email marketing metrics from MailChimp, revenue metrics from Stripe and customer behavior metrics from Mixpanel into one dashboard and streamline your analytics process. Keeping all this information in one place also makes the next point far easier; effective analytics communication.

 

Share Dashboard

Communicate Findings Effectively

Data analysis does nothing productive for your organization unless its findings are shared. The dark side of automating your analytics is that it could be dumped into whatever analytics platform you use, and never see the light of day. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the analytics insights will “speak for themselves”. Instead, communicate insights with your team or organization through shared dashboards or presentations. Check out this post on effective data communication for more tips.

Act on Data Insights

The worst thing to do is let “analysis paralysis” get the best of you. Your organization has dedicated resources to extracting and making sense of this data. Ensure that you can dedicate the resources to effectively communicating the insights from that data and following through on any actionable insights as well. The best way to do this is to ask yourself from the very beginning if the analysis you’re conducting is really productive for the organization. We collect so much data just because we can, not because we should.

Make Data Analysis For Everyone

Along with more cloud services comes more data generated by these cloud services. More employees in every department are expected to make decisions based on their data. This doesn’t mean every person in the company needs to become a data analyst. To quote Xiao-Li Meng, former head of Harvard’s Statistics Department, “you don’t have to become a winemaker to be a wine connoisseur.” While we don’t all need to become data analysts, we do need to be consumers of data, and communicate the findings from that data.

Ready to start implementing these best practices? DataHero provides a centralized location to visualize and store all your cloud data, plus Excel or CSV files from your desktop. It’s also designed with the non-analyst in mind, so you can ensure that everyone within your organization has access to the data insights they need.

 

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By Kelli Simpson

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