Data – unlocking dynamic business performance
Data doesn’t need to be daunting. Used effectively, it is highly valuable and will ensure your business decisions are as efficient and well-informed as they can be.
Harnessing the right data at the right time, in one easy to navigate place, can make all the difference.
The best starting point is to have clear answers to 3 key questions:
- What 5 measures can you use to track success in your business? (Know your business)
- Whose behaviour needs to be influenced? (Know your audience)
- Do you have the right systems in place to capture data? (Know your systems)
Your responses to these will guide your understanding of how data can and should be used in your business – no matter its size or maturity – and where to invest your time and resources.
The use and presentation of data shouldn’t add a layer of complexity to your business operations, it should harness the key information required by the owners, managers and staff and make it easily accessible – enabling the best possible decision making.
In a recent BDO webinar, Isaac Harris from Reflections Holiday Parks and James & Sarah Corbitt from Summerstar Tourist Parks shared how they use data effectively in their businesses for improved decision making and performance management.
With Summerstar parks spread over 11 sites and some 2400km in WA, James Corbitt says they “rely heavily on readily available data to drive decisions from a strategic standpoint…To do that, we utilise a number of cloud-based systems that are really the backbone of our business.”
Occupancy, rates, booking charts, accountancy information, google analytics, review scores and more are captured and used to support a range of business decisions from acquisitions through to day-to-day operations such as cleaning times.
Reflections also use a wide range of data sources, but Isaac Harris stresses the need for quality over quantity:
“It’s all well and good to have your information systems, but they need to hold accurate data. There’s no value in an information system that isn’t accurate. At the end of the day, you need to know who your customers are and if you don’t, it’s really hard to build a sustainable business” he says.
Sarah Corbitt adds that having access to data is one thing, but whether it is useful or meaningful is another question entirely.
“What we’ve done, with the help of Parki, is consolidate that data so it can be used in a useful manner…We realised that giving [our] people data is like giving them a steering wheel – they’ve got a direction to point in and they know where they’re trying to go”, she says.