Using Your Data to Make Insights

By Jason Williams, Delivery Lead – Altis Canberra

It’s a common understanding across most organisations that data and analytics are valuable. Most organisations have large quantities of data available to them but don’t access and analyse that information effectively, either through having not collected or stored the information appropriately or the lack of technology and skills capable of analysing the information.

So how, as an organisation, can we best utilise data analytics to achieve better insights and make better, informed decisions? When collecting information, an organisation should have a plan of action and a goal in mind. Although storing and analysing data has become much easier and more affordable in recent years, it is extremely important to plan goals in advance, understanding what you aim to achieve with the information you are collecting.

To start, it’s worth deciding whether you are ready to collect data, and how you intend to collect more information. Depending on the function of your organisation, it’s easy to collect transactional information. These are things such as interactions with clients, goods or services you deliver, all of which can be extremely powerful information. It’s important to also identify how accurate and important the data you collect is, including whether or not it was collected in a valuable way.

Reviewing the way you currently collect your information before beginning to analyse it can help you determine whether any valuable insights exist. If you find they do not, this can drive data collection processes going forward.

As noted, most organisations already collect and store a large amount of data.  It’s worth looking to understand the data and collection processes, how frequently the data is updated and where/when it is stored, and are there any concerns around security for this information? Having answers to these questions can help ensure you understand your organisation’s current processes, as it can give direction to what’s needed.

As part of storing and analysing, there can be specific skills and experiences required to effectively sift through the information and utilise associated data warehouse and intelligence tools. This can be expensive and can be difficult to maintain and manage in house. Outsourcing these types of tasks can be beneficial.

If looking to expand internally, it’s best to look at expanding both IT technologies and data analytics. McKinsey & Co have done studies that show 40% of organisations had a greater performance when investing in both, compared to those that don’t. Investments in IT infrastructure should go hand in hand with data analytics technology.

When we have accurate collected information we should use this to make insights. The key way to do this is by visualising our data.

Visualising your data is a key part of gaining insights as it presents the information in an easily digestible way. Most business areas have at least a few staff who are comfortable with data and numbers, however, if you can create appropriate visual representations of this data, it is more likely to be understood by all staff, and guarantee your data is used effectively.

Having access to data and analysing it is all well and good, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t translate all this effort into tangible outcomes. Collecting data and having tools to analyse it is a great step in the right direction, however it is very important to work out how to transform these into effective actions.

These actions come across the whole organisation from the top down, and it is essential that buy-in is established across a whole organisation. This means using insights for each and every decision-making process across an organisation.

Being able to learn how to utilise this data correctly will benefit your organisation immensely.

The Altis Approach

Altis is the largest and most experienced data and analytics consulting firm in Australia and New Zealand, with over 115 permanent staff focused on data warehousing, business intelligence, data management and analytics. We have the most experienced people in our industry to ensure your project success. Our corporate ethos of “Connecting with Courage, Heart and Insight” summarises the unique value proposition we offer you.

For over 21 years, Altis has delivered a variety of projects ranging from data strategies and roadmaps, health checks, on-prem and cloud solutions, and analytics solution implementations. We have a proven approach to provide clients with access to their information, to help them gain insights and give them the power to make informed decisions. Altis delivers services and solutions by employing world-class methodologies and technologies coupled with strong consulting capability. Altis is constantly improving our approach, applying a quality management process to ensure that best practices and lessons learned from prior projects are documented and applied to future work; enabling you to benefit from this cumulative Altis experience.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more or have a data discussion!

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