(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Kronos and The Workforce Institute have released a survey showing a changing mindset about hiring boomerang employees. Very interesting data. You can check it out here. Enjoy the post!)
I’m a huge fan of using numbers to make business decisions. As a small-business owner, my time is valuable. I don’t want to waste time on activities that will not benefit me or the company. So Mr. Bartender and I regularly look at data that impacts our business.
One of the things we’ve realized over time is that looking at metrics is hard to do. In order for data to give you answers, it needs to have four qualities:
- Timeliness – We need to understand what timely information means in our industry. Sometimes last month’s data is acceptable and other times it’s out of date.
- Organization – Data needs to be packaged in a way that it can be understood. If you can’t read it, you can’t make good decisions using it.
- Accuracy – Remember the phrase, “Garbage in; garbage out.”? Well, there’s so much data available to us today that we need to know what’s good and what’s garbage.
- Relevance – To really get the most of data, we must be able to identify if something is a trend or part of an isolated snapshot. Understanding the relevance of data helps us make those determinations.
Getting data isn’t magic. It’s hard work. Data needs to be accurate and organized in order to be effective.1