Often businesses will engage a consultant or instruct their staff to conduct surveys directly with their customers and at other times it could be downloading information that is captured at POS. We are all aware of big data, however, it’s the relevance that’s most important and what is manageable with the team that you have.

If the data collected is through a survey, it’s important spend time preparing it to include general questions such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Frequency of visits (if relevant)
  • Home suburb
  • Language spoken at home

These questions help identify demographics and will assist you in analysing and structuring an action plan (AP).

Having colourful graphs displayed in multiple shapes providing a number/percentage is the tip of the iceberg—it’s what’s beneath the surface that supports the figures; it’s the comments and the written analysis that will assist you in creating your AP.

Whether using quantitative and qualitative questions, a figure needs to be supported by customer survey comments in order for your team to make informed decisions on the data.

The data as such takes the form of a research tool and, over time, also facilitates evaluation of performance programs, informing future strategic and action planning.

8 areas where businesses can use data

  1. To reflect on organisational culture and develop cultural change programs
  2. To inform performance management systems (recognition, reward, discipline)
  3. To adjust workplace behaviour
  4. To inform communication with the client base
  5. To analyse marketing impacts/trends
  6. To evaluate response to legislative change
  7. To guide physical developments and enhancements
  8. To establish a strategic competitive edge

From the foundation of service, a platform has been established for strategic planning and performance management. What do graphs, statistics and comments about performance mean to the organisation beyond targeted marketing initiatives?

Too often we see data analysis left in the bottom drawer because it’s too daunting to dig through. The box can be ticked to say it’s been done, but with no Action plan being written it’s a complete waste of time and money.

When creating an AP from the results of the data collected, having the team on board to enact upon the findings when agreed tasks are formalised and for them to be accountable within a time frame is critical.

Will the AP cross multiple aspects of the business: marketing, service, performance management and, if so, who needs to be included in your team to be responsible for the tasks?

An AP is a lovely report to say you have but actually ticking off the actions is what improves the successful growth of your business.