Has this happened to you? The time to make a decision comes before the feeling that you have enough information to reach the best decision. You settle on a decision to buy enough time to get the information you are missing.  When you finally get the information you need, you realize the option you want is no longer on the table.

Analytics has emerged as a key ingredient for delivering meaningful data to decision-makers in a timely fashion. Here are five ways that analytics leads to better business decisions:

  1. Process: Analytics requires the gathering and analysis of data. The process of determining what to measure, and what meanings to attach to those measures, focuses attention on the elements that will make a decision a good one.
  2. Data Exploitation: Transaction data systems begin feeding into data analysis systems.  The expense of gathering all the data needed to operate the business becomes an investment in ways to manage the business. Analytics points the way to decisions that focus resources where acceptable risks will generate the highest returns.
  3. Data Quality: The importance of data increases when the data life cycle does not end with the invoice payment and the tax return. When an organization recognizes that the quality of the data has a direct impact on million dollar decisions, systems emerge to monitor, assess, and improve data quality.
  4. Transparency: Where options are chosen with a clear vision of the basis for the decision it is easier to get broad based support for the choice. Not only do more participants understand the decision but what it will take to make it a reality and the impact its success will have on the organization.
  5. Confidence: A decision based on properly applied analysis of meaningful data gives the decision-maker confidence that gets communicated to those executing the decision, which in turn increases its chance of success, making it an overall better decision.

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