Data has become an essential component of decision-making in modern businesses; gone are the “Mad Men” days of CEOs putting companies to work on a hunch.
And it exists everywhere; every call, every email, every meeting – any interaction at all really! – is an opportunity to gather information and glean insights that could be used to improve the quality of a deliverable output. To put the scale of opportunity into perspective, consider this statistic: 90% of all data that has ever existed has been created in the last two years.
This unparalleled growth shows that we are beginning to understand the importance of and possibilities provided by such data. This data, which is quite literally at your fingertips, could produce more useful, actionable information, if captured correctly.
With the backing of data, consultants’ expertise can be enhanced by an added level of objectivity – blending art and science – to sharpen their advice and recommendations.
1. It can remove unconscious bias
Even the most experienced consultants are prone to basic human nature and with the best of intentions, cognitive bias can creep in from time-to-time. Whether that’s over-reliance on previous experience (e.g. doing what you did last time because the outcome was positive), time pressure, or simply liking a candidate who doesn’t fit the criteria, there are plenty of reasons why a consultant might inadvertently offer advice that contains some level of subjectivity. At a time where business strategy, especially concerning HR and people, has never been so important, relying on one person’s opinion seems like an unnecessary gamble.
What does this look like in practice? Our consultants are fuelled with data-driven insight, so the questions you want answering have objective research at their core from the outset. They then use their expertise to present the most suitable and appropriate solutions, ensuring that you are receiving the most accurate information possible on which to base your decisions and strategy.
2. You can identify trends and patterns
Having organised data to analyse adds structure and process to the way in which answers are discovered. These processes typically allow for the testing of primary goals or targets outlined by clients, but also facilitate drilling down further into data to uncover any emerging correlations, trends or patterns. Earlier in the year a client asked us to run a broad engagement survey with their employees and in addition to the top-level feedback, analysis of the data uncovered some DEI culture biases that we were able to help our client strategize to address and deal with.
Having the ability to explore the data gathered in more detail increases the likelihood of recognising these trends, which in turn allows us to examine the reasons underpinning them. These reasons are one example of the additional level of insight structured data analysis can glean from your data to provide more meaningful and impactful solutions.
3. Your efficiency and effectiveness can significantly increase
It’s generally regarded that company success or failure can, in one way or another, be linked back to efficiency. The above points identify ways in which you can make smarter, more informed decisions, but good analytics and data processing also facilitate those decisions being made faster. We no longer have to wait months to see whether change has the intended effect and can actually view things in real-time, meaning proactive steps can be taken using known data to make the right decisions much earlier.
Within the Talent Intelligence team at NSCG, we have implemented processes that improve individual and team workflow, as well as provide more detailed and actionable feedback to the team. Importantly, the feedback available can be accessed at earlier checkpoints within project work, which means we are working more efficiently by identifying areas of strength and concern within projects much sooner, both of which raise our standards and provide a better quality of output for you, the client.
At New Street Consulting Group, we are constantly evolving and improving the way we incorporate data into our processes and deliverables to our clients to help them make quicker and better decisions. I’m really excited to continue finding ways to keep our outputs as relevant and informative as possible, and if you would like to know more about who we are and what we are doing with data, please get in touch.