Data interpretation is quickly becoming one of the most useful business tools of the modern age. Proper application has led to better business practices, optimized strategies in all departments, and increased total revenue. Facts and figures have never held so much power and the technology to track them is still advancing.
Despite the obvious power of data interpretation there are still plenty of companies who haven't figured out how to implement it with success.
As data stores accumulate mountains of raw data businesses are still unsure of how to sort through and define the numbers and projections that are most relevant to their objectives.
So what is data interpretation and how can it be applied successfully? Many businesses are hindered by "the numbers", unable to comprehend that an elevated approach to interpretation must be taken in order to achieve significant results. Data interpretation is a complex necessity that combines critical thinking, strategy, and analysis, helping you achieve better business in the long run. These skills can be tapped with the use of dashboard reporting that enhances the user experience and provides customizable landing pages that are set to parameters that only display pertinent information.
If your business is still struggling with overwhelming amounts of data or looking for a refined approach to data interpretation, read on. Let's break down the basics that will help you understand your data and fine tune the skills that will allow you to use them effectively.
What Does Mean Data Interpretation for Business Users?
Simply put, data interpretation is the gathering, organization, and inspection of data with the goal of uncovering useful information and trends that can be applied toward future decision-making processes. Proper data interpretation is the key to good decision-making strategies in business, providing contextual facts, figures, and visualizations that inform the likely results of every given scenario. But data is completely useless without the skills to analyze its relevance to your goals. Make sure you know what information you need to examine by defining your business objectives as clearly and concisely as possible. Based on your objectives you should be able to create a shortlist of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will provide the most relevant data for your needs.
Data Interpretation Questions Are Solved with Reliable Data
That's right, you don't need to utilize every scrap of data in your data store. Some figures will have absolutely nothing to do with your sales goals so it's imperative that you don't get bogged down by tons of irrelevant information. Once you have established a truly useful set of KPIs your analysis will automatically become simplified by the mere act of narrowing your focus to reliable data.
But how can you organize and implement your KPIs to their best ability? Determining what data to use is one thing, but ensuring continued reliability is a matter that requires a solid business intelligence (BI) platform and advanced dashboard software. The power of a BI platform with personalized dashboard capabilities can improve data processing by allowing each end-user to customize what data they receive. Remember, every department has slightly different objectives to meet and your financial KPIs won't necessarily be the same as your sales KPIs.
Using a Solid BI Platform for Data Interpretation
So, what can we assume based on the departmental need for reliable data? We can assume that dashboard personalization is one of the most important factors to look for when implementing a BI platform. Superior BI software should empower businesses to make better decisions by providing insightful analytics, personalized resources, and high-level reporting and visuals. Your BI system should deliver answers that can inform every step of your business strategy.
Fortunately, the Cognos BI solution is one of these tools, delivering fast and reliable information for optimized business performance. Cognos is a global leader in the business intelligence market that aims to make business decisions as cognizant as possible. You can share insights, analysis, and reports inside and outside of your organization effortlessly, and depend on a customizable dashboard experience that works for you.
Data interpretation can seem like a vast and confusing task, but with the right tools your business can thrive on educated decision-making that can help you turn strategy into action and numbers into sales.
Download our free Guide to Data Analysis and Interpretation, which includes a bonus data analysis worksheet to help assure your process is organized.