The Art of Winning By Utilising Data
In the 2011 film Moneyball, Billy Beane (portrayed by Brad Pitt) faced an epiphany – that the conventional baseball wisdom was often wrong. As general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, he managed to assemble a team with a small budget using his own methods instead. The team reached the playoffs in four consecutive years from 2000 through 2003. The Athletics became the first team in the 100 plus years of American League baseball to win 20 consecutive games.
To have a competitive sporting team, you will always need quality players and the cost can be inflated due to the competition. After all, every team wants the best players to be world conquerors. This is the same reason Real Madrid created the Galácticos era by investing millions in signing extraordinary players. But can every organisation splurge that much cash? So how did Billy Bean manage costs and improve the club’s position?
The secret was Data.
Data has been the most valuable asset for any organisation in the last decade and will be relevant for the foreseeable future. Once the data has been analysed, then it becomes a pathway of information that can create wonders. In a nutshell, Data helps solve problems.
The Role of Data in Decision Making
Decision making is a make-or-break point in any organization, which is when data analysis plays a major role. Industry experience backed with genuine information will improve any decision-making process. Of course, there is a margin of error in everything but this helps you make evidence-based decisions.
A thoughtfully calculated decision will always be more efficient. After all, when there is a problem you want to know why it happened and how it happened. Based on the data, you can easily improve the process and avoid the same problem from occurring again. You will also be able to predict future problems along the way and be prepared when it occurs.
Understanding the Market with Data
Being one step ahead of your audience needs and pain points will help you understand the market and improve your products and services. With the right data, you will always be ahead of your competition. At times only tiny tweaks are needed, but the effects can be very impactful.
A real-world example is the recent McDonald’s BTS meal campaign. McDonald’s came up with the BTS meal based on the KPop Boyband BTS, which has been a hit among its consumers. The re-packaged meal consists of sets that they already have – but was a fan favourite of BTS members. Despite the pandemic, fans lined up for the BTS meal set and trend BTS meal on most social media platforms. How did McDonald come to this decision? Data Analysis again.
Utilising Data for Resource Planning
One of the most satisfying rewards of Data analysis is you end up not wasting your organisation’s resources. Initial action plans will need extra resources so you do not fall short of your objectives. Not to mention, you can optimise the resources based on the outcome of the results. This will help you pinpoint where your focus should be, such as which area needs improvement or more resources.
Many organisations might already have the Data but end up making wrong decisions. What might have gone wrong there? Remember, raw data is useless until it’s converted into useful information and action plans. Most probably the wrong tools were used, as the output mechanism is very important.
Organisations need to invest in products and services which have data analytics embedded in them. It is logical to have an automated process in analysing data rather than waste human resources on this.
I believe that data is the most valuable currency currently and will determine an organisation’s progress and gain a clear advantage. As the Japanese term Kaizen puts it, continuous improvement.
Written by: Nanthakumar Naiker