It’s not a surprise that nearly every business leader wants their people to take more advantage of their data.Data-driven cultures promote customer and employee retention as well as drive efficiencies from productivity to profitability. Data analytics skills are in high demand in most industries, however there is a profound shortage of data skills across workforces. In the national business press in Australia, we see constant headlines of “salaries jump 20 per cent to lure skilled specialists.”Recruitment experts report a “remarkable” level of demand for specialists in data analytics, forcing companies to offer salary increases of between 25 per cent and 30 per cent to attract talent. Elsewhere, mid-level specialists in data analytics, cyber security and financial crime could expect salaries to rise to between $280,000 and $300,000, up from between $200,000 and $220,000, if they switched companies.
Instead of continuing the expensive search for data skills in new candidates here’s another way of tackling the problem. Invest in a companywide data analytics solution that will both retrain your existing workforce as well as attract people interested in a data-driven culture to join your business.
I know what you're thinking – that’s not a solution – that’s more effort and disruption but it doesn’t have to be. Plus there will be greater long term benefits. Look for a solution that can consolidate all your data into one place and is easy to use, and before long – you’ll have a team of more data-driven people.
Here are some tips to get more from your data.
It’s a mindset – you need to want to change and be more data-driven.
Leaders want to create holistic business models, they need to be fully integrated and built around how their people work best. What is evident from the last couple of years is that companies will continue to have people working remotely so people need to easily access information to make accurate decisions. A new, whole-of-business approach is the norm. All parts of the business need to work from the same data. They need to integrate systems, people and processes across the business and the technology needs to help drive this. By providing access to the same data across the business also helps a team of people to adapt and learn together, and they can share ideas and have a more empowered and iterative way of working.
The need to make fast but accurate decisions is crucial and companies need to be able to assess a situation quickly and take action. Never before has the need for accurate and timely data been greater and everyone in a business needs access to timely data and use it effectively.
Opt for a solution with a low barrier to entry
Digitization is necessary. But where do managers start? Mid-market companies have a limited tech budget, and from experience, many digital projects take a long time to implement.
You, therefore, need to find a solution that has a low barrier to entry. What will provide you with the fastest and most effective route to data clarity? You need to get the fundamentals ticked off like integrations with your ERP and other data sources. This can mean the difference between having a comprehensive data set in 4 weeks or 12 months. And of course, you are best to opt for a cloud-based solution.
Analyzing is about looking at the detail but the detail is so often locked away in legacy systems. And these systems are best left alone to do what they do best, collecting data. Phocas pulls together a data warehouse in a box that is simple and secure and can bring together data from ERPs, CRMs, 3rd parties and makes it accessible to be put to good use by different teams across your business.
Easy to use with a high adoption rate
"We just want simple" – that’s what many people say when they are investing in new technology but often it’s hard to find.
Mostly when jobs come up that require numbers, people immediately think of spreadsheets. But they are not always the best tool for the job. Spreadsheets are not easy to build, they are prone to errors and version confusion. Spreadsheets are often locked down or have formulas that people don’t understand. Spreadsheets make some people feel powerful and others feel powerless. They don’t bring people together and make them feel good.
You need a data analytics tool that people can learn quickly and use themselves; that refreshes, and your data is current, and that you don’t have to keep going back to specialists, analysts, and consultants for help.
When people know they can’t corrupt the source or break the set-up and formulas and they can use it in 100 different ways; it naturally becomes the go to tool.
Once Phocas is implemented, 1 in 4 people in business use it from executives to the purchasing team (based on BARC survey of global data analytics users).
There are many theories being touted to solve the global skills shortages – higher wages, migration or DIY. We like the latter because everyone in a business will benefit from more knowledge and have access to analytics, reporting, planning, budgeting and forecasting all in one tool.
To find out more, download the eGuide: Building the case for data analytics.