Productive companies compete more effectively in the marketplace. They also generally report increased profitability, improved employee engagement, happier customers, and opportunities for growth. Knowing best practices to measure and increase productivity with data will help your business thrive.
Traditional methods of measuring productivity can prove misleading. For instance, an employee may look busy, work many hours, or even generate large numbers of finished products. But inefficiently used time and low-quality work actually reduce productivity.
When businesses gather the right data and analyze it effectively, they can identify top performers as well obstacles that stand in the way of productivity. Armed with data-driven insights, they can then design strategies for success and improve employee experience at the same time. Consider the following best practices for using data to increase productivity.
Practice Good Data Governance
Data-driven insights require accessible, quality data. Effective data governance programs ensure that organizations know what data they have and where it lives. Further, they enable decision makers to quickly obtain the data they need, while protecting that data from unauthorized access.
For instance, a business may capture thousands of data points. But if a decision maker uses old data, or if valuable data remains hidden, the resulting strategies may prove flawed. Data governance practices such as metadata management make data more visible, allowing data users to quickly find and understand related data points from multiple sources.
To Increase Productivity with Data, Use the Right Data
Data analysis only delivers useful insights when you measure the right data. For example, the employee who works the most hours may not be the most productive employee. Instead, consider gathering data such as tasks completed, customer satisfaction and supervisor reviews. Comparing multiple metrics will provide a more complete picture of productivity.
Additionally, once you identify top performers, you can use relevant data to determine useful strategies for other employees to use. For instance, when you analyze the habits of top sales associates, the data will show a trend over time. That data could include time to return emails, number of demos each week, meeting length and so forth.
Start with Small Projects
Choose a pilot project to develop your data fluency. Then use the lessons learned from that process to tackle larger, more complex endeavors. For example, measure click-through rates and conversions following the release of new ad campaigns. Over time, the data will show with clarity what resonates with the target audience.
Using data and experience from the pilot project, you can then expand your scope to include larger projects. For instance, insights gathered in the pilot project may point to weak links in your processes. Use those insights and relevant data to focus effort on areas with significant potential to improve productivity.
Build Data Literacy Across the Company
For decision makers to use data effectively, they must know how to interpret, evaluate and communicate data properly. If a data user lacks the ability to discern quality, relevant data, they may reach faulty conclusions. The strategies resulting from low-quality or misinterpreted data can prove costly.
On the other hand, when data users know where to find data and properly evaluate data relevance and quality, they make better decisions. And when they also understand the tools to analyze and effectively communicate data, they benefit the entire organization. Building a corporate-wide data literacy program helps to ensure success.
Give It Time
A marketing department analyzing the effectiveness of a specific ad campaign can determine the success of the campaign within days or weeks. For most projects designed to increase productivity with data, however, trends will emerge over a period of months.
For example, a study of the effects of remote work on productivity may involve comparing a year’s worth of data from both remote and in-office workers. It will take a while for employees to settle into the new environment, and productivity may wax or wane with time. Resist the temptation to come to conclusions prematurely.
Data Governance Experts Help You Increase Productivity with Data
The data experts at Messaging Architects can help your organization implement comprehensive data governance, unlocking the value and power of organizational data. With proper management, that data can drive strategies to improve productivity and ensure increased profits, employee engagement and success moving forward.