Picture a healthcare firm responsible for the safekeeping of COVID-19 vaccines at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s vital that the vaccines maintain a certain temperature. Too much above or below that temperature, and the vaccines are rendered useless. To track this vital metric, a system is put in place to monitor various metrics like temperature and humidity, enabling information to be sent out in real-time so that experts can assess the data and analyze and evaluate the data to instantly alert officials when something goes awry.
That’s an example of how the cloud can lead to better – and more impactful – decisions based on data. And how data-driven decision-making is becoming imperative for a wide range of businesses.
What is data-driven decision-making?
Data-driven decision-making is all about identifying business choices based on real-time data rather than just using intuition, best practices, or the age-old excuse, “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
The scenario above is just one way we have been able to assist clients with leveraging data for their benefit.
Data is everywhere. Visit a website and scroll down the page, and your data is collected. Once we gather big data – and after we use techniques to clean that data – we can manage and analyze it through cloud technologies and make the most of it to help our clients grow their business.
Benefits of data-driven decision making
There are plenty of benefits to data-driven decision-making.
For starters, it eliminates decisions based on hunches and guidelines that may not align with how your users actually are behaving or what they’re looking for. It also enables you to analyze what’s working, what’s not, and where changes or improvements can be made.
For example, you could improve your product or service offerings like we were able to assist the healthcare firm above by instantly tracking temperature changes and saving thousands of dollars. Or you might want to improve customer support like the way we built a chatbot that featured natural language processing to give the feel that customers were speaking with a real person and enhance the user experience.
Another way data-driven decision-making can help is by using cloud technologies to impact your sales funnel. One example of how this is done is by tracking metrics like if a user is a frequent visitor to a site or determining how often the user puts items in their cart but doesn’t complete the transaction – known in the e-commerce industry as cart abandonment. Similarly, data-driven decision-making can be used to determine inefficiencies that can save the business time, energy, and money. Or, it can be employed to research the user patterns or needs of customers through their browser searches.
Just as data is everywhere, so are businesses everywhere striving to use that data to benefit their bottom line.
E-commerce sites are among the leaders in data-driven decision-making for some of the reasons mentioned above. Determining how long a visitor stays on a site, what they click on, what they put in their basket, and what they ultimately purchase can impact changes that need to be made to increase purchases for that customer or future customers. We’ve worked on projects where we’ve tracked the movements of customers and analyzed why they don’t buy and made recommendations to encourage more purchases.
For one of our nonprofit clients, we developed a chatbot as a way for the nonprofit to gain some information and help the visitors at the same time. Ultimately, the chatbot connects the visitor to a live person. But through an omnichannel process, we’re able to collect information and share that with our client in an effort to grow.
For the healthcare firm we started this blog with, our role was to capture data through sensors in the storage units, migrate it through a data pipeline, and conduct analyses to inform the client and help them save money.
Terazo’s approach to wrangling data from the cloud to make strategic decisions
For many businesses, getting started is the biggest hurdle. That’s why we start by understanding the needs and goals of our clients. We give them a solution based on their needs. Because we work to build a customized solution for every business, we review different cloud platforms and frameworks to customize a solution based on current and desired tools and how they can be integrated. By staying in close contact with our clients, we can update them on our progress and, together, make any changes or adjustments that are necessary along the way.
Once we have a plan of attack, we work on wrangling the data, which is typically acquired in raw form through data wrangling or cleaning it. For our healthcare client, we went through two or three stages of a cleaning process to ensure that the data was the cleanest it could be, ensuring that we could provide the best analysis possible. Data modeling, which helps manage the data in a way that helps the client receive it in the best possible fashion, is also important – as is documentation. Without documentation, the work can easily double or triple. In addition, if data isn’t documented, it can be lost.
We follow best practices and keep up with the latest cloud technologies since every client is unique. It’s imperative for us to know what tools and technologies are available and what to use, and when.
We avoid centralizing all data into a data warehouse initially because the data may not be meaningful when compiled together. Instead, we produce a simple prototype with a specific set of data to allow for efficient and focused decisions. This prototype can be used to create more iterations to reduce the time-centralizing data and allow our clients to use real-time data to solve problems during the process. The ideal outcome is a boosted return on investment from the client’s SaaS and PaaS investments – in less time than previously possible.
If your business is struggling to make sense of all of your data, we’d welcome the opportunity to determine how we can leverage cloud technologies to help grow your business. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.
Terazo is a solutions-oriented, platform-centric software development and managed services firm offering integration and automation services that enable clients large and small to run more efficiently and realize new business value. We support mission-critical platforms, applications, and online services for customers in a wide variety of fields. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation and learn how we can help your organization grow and thrive.