With everything including your egg carton spitting out data these days, analysis can be overwhelming at times.
Big data, the buzzword, can apply to everything from electronic health records, to equity markets, even to the demographic information of people who like the Miley Cyrus Facebook page.
And at some level, with the right mindset and tools, there is room in all those places to leverage data for real value. The accessibility of smart data is currently peaking, and there is not only a growing but definitive advantage possessed by companies who use smart data and identify themselves as data-driven.
For the most part, businesses have housed and analyzed volumes of data (on their performance, their consumers, their competitions) for years, but there has been a disconnect between that data and insights to drive real-time, up to date business decisions. Much like the US reports economic and employment data in hindsight causing public markets to react months later, data that is reported on after the fact creates a slower growth/improvement model where iterations of improvement are based on slower cycle times.
The data-driven improvement (or event reactionary) cycle can be influenced by many factors including but not limited to: organization size, organization structure, technology tools, personnel, and competition. Of these factors, there is room for a spectrum of data-driven philosophies, and there is a proper cadence and process for every data-driven business. However, smaller, agile, analytical companies are in a unique position today to accelerate growth and outperform their competitors. The tools and decision-making structure of agile companies mean that with the proper infrastructure data can feed into decisions in close to real-time.
A/B testing, web analytics, ROI tools, user segmentation tools, and database interfacing products among others have lowered the barriers completely for small companies to access the same insights as their towering predecessors. To some extent at a smaller size, startups are perfectly poised to leverage data to best serve their market and fuel growth by pivoting quickly and with purpose.
And there is value to consumers as well. Businesses know their consumers better than ever before through data, and that translates to better service, communication, and ultimately products. At NurseGrid we use a suite of tools to capture data and insights from all of our business activity. We strive to deliver value to our users by compounding the data and feedback we get from them into our product. And one step beyond, our products seek to aggregate data and activities of Nurses to improve their efficiency in their jobs. At NurseGrid we are a strong proponent of the smart, and valuable use of data (link to hospital scheduling software can improve performance)!