Every business is sitting on a pile of valuable data; but few know how to get it.
In this blog we share insight into two of the free tools available to businesses, to help you make better use of your data. The good news is, you don’t need a degree in computer science and it doesn’t need to cost!
Let’s start with the obvious one – why should businesses be accessing data?
Data is the lifeblood of any organisation. When gathered, analysed and presented effectively, data can be used to inform and empower business leaders to make decisions based on insights. Data-based decision making avoids business leaders having to rely on ‘hunches’ and can be used to improve your business for both employees and customers.
So, what next?
Think about all of the data your business gathers across all departments. Are the sources integrated and working together? Finally, reflect on what percentage of your data is being used to provide meaningful insight to inform what you do? How do you visualise it in an easy to read format?
There are a number of tools available which offer different capabilities including Excel, Power BI, SQL Server Reporting Services and Python.
Excel: Comes as part of Office 365 and the one you’ve probably already used. The basic capabilities are easy, making it simple to create reports which indicate patterns in data. To make the most of the full range of capabilities some will need some training but the basics are there and just waiting to be utilised with the right guidance.
Power BI: is a free data visualisation application also from Microsoft. Power BI allows you to build interactive dashboards and reports quickly. It enables business users to visualise their own figures and data in an easily-readable format to help you make key decisions. Once you know how to make the data available, you can avoid having to bother accounts, for example, to provide that added level of insight.
SQL Server Reporting Services, Python and other tools can be used for more advanced analytics to help with data integration and for mining larger volumes of data. Probably best left to the experts.
What’s the next step?
It’s obvious but important to state: most businesses have access to large quantities of data. Improving your data analysis and integration can be relatively easy and does not need to be expensive. Data analysis provides business advantage by making it easy to spot correlations and trends which inform decision-making at many levels and across many departments.
Software Solved has delivered over 1000 successful projects, spanning over 20 years, providing cost-effective custom solutions, built on time and to budget, for the likes of RSA, the National Trust, Save the Children, BBC and many more.
Contact us for a free consultation on any issue connected with your data or software systems on 01392 453344