18 Jun 2020

Big Data?? Let's Start With Good Data!

By: Karel Vergauwen

How a Netflix show perfectly illustrates the importance good data quality and reporting


Data hygiene, the importance of measuring what needs measuring and why this sometimes proves to be a challenge although no one needs convincing on the ‘Why’ anymore... Over the last couple of weeks, I binge-watched the Netflix original ‘Formula 1: Drive to survive’. An awesome series providing insight into everything that goes on behind the scenes of Formula 1. I highly recommend it! But enough about my binge-watching habit.

Use data to reach pole position 

The thing that stroke me though while watching this show was the extremely apparent need for good data measurement and tracking. Sure, it helps if you have Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel of a Mercedes and 200 of the best engineers in the world nail-biting in the paddock. But still, if you don’t succeed in measuring the crucial metrics so you can base improvements on actual data, you will never reach pole position.

This made me realize that many companies face the same challenge. They might have the superior product or service and really outrank their competitors with a personal customer service. But, if they don’t track what needs tracking nor act on rolling insights, chances are that at some point in time they will see other players take pole position.

Big Data, NLP, predictive analytics

Last couple of years, we’ve been slapped around the ears with concepts like ‘big data’, ‘predictive & prescriptive analytics’, ‘self-service BI’, Natural language processing’,... Without a single doubt there have been extremely valuable new developments in these practises. But still, - to a lot of organizations - the gap between these concepts and their current analytics efforts proves too big at this time. Why is that?

One small step ...

Because it’s a step by step process. Remember how that metaphor about walking and running goes...? Exactly! Advanced reporting and dashboarding and later on perhaps even getting a predictive model in place can only happen if you have your basics in order. That means assigning importance and energy to data hygiene (duplicate and incomplete data), getting behind the ‘why’ of existing metrics and KPI’s and indexing reporting and dashboarding needs across departments.

Where to start?

Sometimes, it's difficult to set reporting requirements, because you either don’t know what’s technically possible or you might feel like you’re zooming too much in or out on something and thus lose the relevant picture. From experience in these situations, we have learnt that an iterative approach is the only way forward.

Example of a Sales Dashboard created for the Media Industry

Example of a Sales Dashboard created for the Media Industry

Take it step by step. Start by indexing the bare basics and key-steering metrics. Then build them, or have them built, and use the outcome to spark further discussion. It’s easier going from A to B than going from nowhere to somewhere.

Let us help you accelerate

Do you want to unlock your Salesforce data and turn them into game-changing insights? Our ‘One-Day-Reporting-and-Dashboarding-Kick-Start’ helps you hit the road. It provides a solid starting point where you have your reporting basics challenged and built,  which gives you room for further exploration. 

Based on your needs, our analytics expert will create custom made, practical dashboards of your focus KPIs and gives you hands-on advice on beneficial actions. What initially seems like a small step, just might prove to be an accelerator for increasing your ROI. Learn more about the service here.