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How to Fuel Your Business’ Growth Using Data-Driven Decision Making

According to BI Survey, 58% of companies are still basing over half of their business on gut feeling or past experience. This not only is a potentially risky strategy, there's also little need given the vast quantities of data available in today's digital world.

Adopting a data-driven approach to decision making has proven to be a much safer approach, and research from McKinsey & Company also found that companies with data-driven strategies have a 5% better rate of productivity and 6% more profit than their competitors.

If you're planning to enter the B2B market in Singapore or grow your business in the region, here's everything you need to know about employing a data-driven strategy to make better decisions.

 

The Importance of Data-Driven Strategies

Data-driven decision making (or DDDM) enables businesses to make better, more informed decisions by using insights gleaned from hard facts and data as opposed to having to rely solely on gut feeling or past experiences.

With the advancement in technology for business in recent times, it's now easier than ever before for companies and organisations to make use of data before making all kinds of decisions, from how many product units to order to which distribution channels to use.

Not only does the use of data make the decision making process more efficient, it also saves businesses money. It's proven to be particularly useful for marketing purposes; research from McKinsey found that companies who focus on data when making sales and marketing decisions are able to increase their marketing return on investment by 15-20%.


Companies are realising the importance of using data to inform their business decisions.
Source:
Synthio B2B Data Driven Marketing Report
 


Barriers to Successful Data-driven Decision Making

A large proportion of companies are still hesitating when it comes to employing a data-driven approach to making their decisions, so what are the potential reasons behind this?


Finding High Quality Data

Your business can only make effective decisions when the data they're based on is accurate and complete. Unfortunately, though, many companies recognise that this is a problem for their organisation; a survey from Forbes Insights and KPMG found that 84% of CEOs are concerned regarding the quality of the data they're using to make decisions, a sentiment echoed in the chart below taken from the Data-Driven Marketing Trends Survey.

Global Database is fully aware of the importance of quality data in business decision making, which is why every record contained in our Singapore B2B directory is subject to comprehensive and consistent checks and updates, including those by a team of in-house staff.

This is why we have one of the highest accuracy ratings in the market - and our users can rest assured that they're using the freshest data possible.  
 

Legal Issues

Another potential challenge for businesses using data in their decision making is the concern that they may not actually have permission to use the information they need. While the rise of the open data movement has meant there is now more freely available data than ever before, it's still very important to make sure your business is complying with data privacy laws as well as ensuring you have the right to access and use the information you need.
 

Cognitive Bias

It's natural to have some bias thanks to your past experiences or gut intuition, but it can become a problem when you're basing all of your decisions on this alone and ignoring or disbelieving what the data is actually telling you. For example, confirmation bias is when you choose to favour information that confirms your beliefs or theories, regardless of whether they might be incorrect.
 

Time-Consuming

Research from the Harvard Business Review found that 18% of businesses are using over 15 sources of data, whilst 9% have lost count altogether. Clearly, undertaking this level of research can easily become incredibly time-consuming, and end up wasting a lot of resources that would be better spent elsewhere.

At Global Database we collate our Singapore company data from a wide range of reputable sources, including Companies House, our partnerships with trusted data providers, Chambers of Commerce, stock exchanges, annual reports and publicly available data using our own patented web-crawling technology.

All of this information is then compiled in our online platform and presented in a clear and easy to understand way, ready for you to access and download or transfer to your own CRM.
 

False Statistics

When you're collecting data from a wide range of sources it can be easy to let inaccurate or even manipulated data slip through the net. This is why it's so important to fact check statistics, or only use reputable sources such as Global Database; all of our data is verified on a continuous basis to weed out any inaccuracies.

 

Tips for Implementing a Data-Driven Strategy

Once you’ve decided to use data-driven decision making, it can seem difficult to know where to start in getting the process moving. Here are our tips to make it more manageable.
 

Figure Out Your Objectives

The first step in putting together an effective data-driven strategy is to determine exactly what your business is hoping to achieve, and therefore which types of data you need to be using in your everyday working life. For example, if you're a new company, or expanding into a new region, you'll probably want to know more about the market, so looking at competitor insights would be a good place to start.

The vast majority of businesses agree that having a clear strategy in place is essential when you’re implementing data-driven marketing.
Image source
:Synthio
 

Make Use of Free Company Insights

Research from Informatica revealed that 35% of companies use data from third party providers. Global Database not only offers highly-accurate company information, it has also recently opened up its Singapore database to provide details on 1.6 million companies and professionals completely free of charge.

This includes data such as financials, company size, years in operation, monthly web traffic, technologies used, employee details such as name, job title and seniority level, and more. It also offers direct contact details for employees at all levels, so you can reach right out to the decision makers you need.

With this information, you can make more informed business decisions such as whether or not a lead is qualified, whether to invest in a company, to hire a particular person, or to work with a particular business partner or supplier.  

Hire the Right People

Data professionals are much in demand now; as more and more businesses realise the potential that using data can bring, the more companies are on the hunt to fill roles in the analytics field. The downside here is that there is now a shortage of talent; it's becoming increasingly harder to find and retain data professionals, and that's not likely to change anytime soon considering that job openings in the sector are expected to grow by 15%, according to research from IBM.

Image Source: Forbes

When you're screening candidates for your company, regardless of the position or department they'll be working in, it's a good idea to determine how data-driven they are. Encouraging this kind of culture from the beginning will make it easier to ensure it's being rolled out across the board.

If you're struggling to locate the talent you need, Global Database can help. You can search for professionals based on job title, seniority level, location, industry and company size, in order to headhunt the best data professionals for your company.
 

Use the Right Technology

In order to get the most out of the data and keep your decision-making processes as efficient as possible, it's essential that you're using the right infrastructure. Look at your current stack and see what you'll need in order to implement your data-driven strategy; do you have tools to access both internal and external data? Tools to ensure your data is secure? Tools to analyse the data effectively?

By using Global Database's technology insights you can see what other companies in your niche are using, which can be a useful jumping off point to build your own stack, by both using tools that are industry standard and being more advanced than your rivals.
 

Can You Justify the Cost?

Before you roll out your new data-driven strategy, it's important to take a step back and work out the costs involved. Things can start to add up and get expensive very quickly if you decide to use a wide range of datasets, which is why it's essential that you plan effectively and only use the data that will bring you real value in your decision-making processes.

Thankfully, you don't have to worry about things getting expensive with Global Database - all of our Singapore B2B company information is provided free of charge, but still remains just as high quality and accurate as our paid-for data.
 

Implementing a data-driven strategy often takes time; it's important to be patient and break the process down into manageable chunks in order to make sure your strategy is as carefully crafted and effective as possible. Focus on developing a data-driven mindset in your company, and don't be afraid to change the strategy as your business' needs evolve over time.