We were recently asked by a prospect, ‘how will I know when it’s the right time to get an automated performance reporting system?’
Basically, we believe that you will reap the benefits of such a solution if you answer yes to any of the questions below.
From our experience this is often the principal sign that leads to marketers and agencies alike making the switch to an automated solution. If you find you are spending the majority of your time pulling data into Excel and creating super spreadsheets, rather than putting your analysis expertise to good use then it may be time to look for help!
Maybe you’ve found yourself in the sticky situation as being known as the company ‘Excel guy’ (or gal!) who get’s called on to create increasing numbers of reports for any type of data (even data you don’t work with) just because you have mastered complex functions!
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Many others are in a similar situation. While we appreciate that you would be able to bring much better value to your organization by actually analyzing your data and making recommendations for actions to be taken (just like you do!), but it’s often hard to break the cycle of manual reporting.
Take a step back and put together a case for the increased value you could bring to your team by employing your analysis skills, and we think that your boss will agree that automating your reporting will be a sound and profitable decision in the long run!
Of course you do! And of course they don’t look at all your data, right? If you don’t have an automated reporting system (or a time-wasting super Excel – see above) it’s likely that your data is all over the place.
Personally, I’m not sure that I would have the inclination to jump across multiple consoles or different environments to consult disparate numbers that mean little in context. I can’t imagine your colleagues would either.
So what’s the value of even collecting this data if no one is even using it to make decisions? Very little. To turn your big data into useful data: put it together, in context, in an accessible location, that promotes collaboration and insight sharing so you can use it to make recommendations for change.
To take an extreme example: I was recently speaking with a marketing manager, let’s call her Jane, from a large organization who told me that just yesterday she had run into a colleague from another department at a networking event. Her colleague had been speaking about how they use Sprinklr for their social media management. Jane was quite taken aback. Her department uses Radian6.
She complained about the seeming inefficiency of this decision to use 2 different tools, both in terms of cost and also due to the the ‘data silo effect’ as she called it. Jane explained that this other department collected valuable data that could be used to help her department add context, competitive insight and benchmarks to their own performance.
While the example above may be quite acute, this problem is quite common. Wherever data silos exist within your organization preventing you from full access to valuable information, a performance reporting system can provide greater and more efficient access to data. Data democracies can increase the value of data as it is distributed company-wide and also allow it to be used in new and unique ways to make better decisions.
Conversely, a performance reporting solution can also help you ensure that each individual only sees what is relevant to them so that they don’t waste time looking for what they need through masses of reports. Each individual can access personalized reports that show them what they need to be able to do their job well, while access to sensitive data can be controlled through complex systems of Data Governance.
In the same way that you have data silos, you may also have knowledge silos.
Those analysts with the greatest skill in interpreting data, or those colleagues from another department who can bring a unique take on your data, may not be heard if knowledge silos are allowed to exist.
Break these down by centralizing your data and allowing collaboration between different groups. Opening up the conversation around data, taking these out of meeting rooms with closed doors and private email chains will lead to the distribution of knowledge throughout your organization and allow all team members to learn from the experience of others to improve decision making over time.
As we’ve previously explored, there definitely is a place and time for making decisions based on intuition. There are, however, a number of biases that can impact these decisions, as well as countless situations in which data can aid decision making.
Where lack of data, lack of access to data, the inability to measure the impact of past decisions, or understand the results of actions taken, inhibit your use of data in decision making, an automated performance reporting solution can help you get on the right track.
Such a system can also foster a culture of data-based decision making as your team comes to understand the value that data can have in making impactful decisions by showing you the results of this, and also encouraging teammates to share ideas and collaborate around data.
Did you answer yes to any of the questions above? Maybe it’s time to start considering how an automated performance reporting solution can save you time and help you make better decisions!
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