What is data-driven decision-making? | Source

Data-driven decision-making (sometimes abbreviated as DDDM) is the process of using data to inform your decision-making process and validate a course of action before committing to it.

In business, this is seen in many forms. For example, a company might:

  • Collect survey responses to identify products, services, and features their customers would like

  • Conduct user testing to observe how customers are inclined to use their product or services and to identify potential issues that should be resolved prior to a full release

  • Launch a new product or service in a test market in order to test the waters and understand how a product might perform in the market

  • Analyze shifts in demographic data to determine business opportunities or threats

  • How exactly data can be incorporated into the decision-making process will depend on a number of factors, such as your business goals and the types and quality of data you have access to.

The collection and analysis of data have long played an important role in enterprise-level corporations and organizations. But as humanity generates more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, it's never been easier for businesses of all sizes to collect, analyze, and interpret data into real, actionable insights. Though data-driven decision-making has existed in business in one form or another for centuries, it’s a truly modern phenomenon.

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Benefits of Data-Driven Decision-Making | Source

1. You’ll Make More Confident Decisions

Once you begin collecting and analyzing data, you’re likely to find that it’s easier to reach a confident decision about virtually any business challenge, whether you’re deciding to launch or discontinue a product, adjust your marketing message, branch into a new market, or something else entirely.

Data performs multiple roles. On the one hand, it serves to benchmark what currently exists, which allows you to better understand the impact that any decision you make will have on your business.

Beyond this, data is logical and concrete in a way that gut instinct and intuition simply aren’t. By removing the subjective elements from your business decisions, you can instill confidence in yourself and your company as a whole. This confidence allows your organization to commit fully to a particular vision or strategy without being overly concerned that the wrong decision has been made.

Just because a decision is based on data doesn’t mean it will always be correct. While the data might show a particular pattern or suggest a certain outcome, if the data collection process or interpretation is flawed, then any decision based on the data would be inaccurate. This is why the impact of every business decision should be regularly measured and monitored.

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2. You’ll Become More Proactive

When you first implement a data-driven decision-making process, it’s likely to be reactionary in nature. The data tells a story, which you and your organization must then react to.

While this is valuable in its own right, it’s not the only role that data and analysis can play within your business. Given enough practice and the right types and quantities of data, it’s possible to leverage it in a more proactive way—for example, by identifying business opportunities before your competition does, or by detecting threats before they grow too serious.

Read full article @ Harvard Business School Online

3. You Can Realize Cost Savings

There are many reasons a business might choose to invest in a big data initiative and aim to become more data-driven in its processes. According to a recent survey of Fortune 1,000 executives conducted by NewVantage Partners for the Harvard Business Review, these initiatives vary in their rates of success.

One of the most impactful initiatives, according to the survey, is using data to decrease expenses. Of the organizations which began projects designed to decrease expenses, more than 49 percent have seen value from their projects. Other initiatives have shown more mixed results.

“Big data is already being used to improve operational efficiency,” said Randy Bean, CEO and managing partner of consultancy firm NewVantage Partners, when announcing the results of the survey. “And the ability to make informed decisions based on the very latest up-to-the-moment information is rapidly becoming the mainstream norm.”

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Some examples on where you can get data from online accessible resources

FAOSTAT is a collection of online databases containing more than 1 million time-series records covering international agricultural statistics for 210 countries. Data are provided by national governments or extrapolated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) staff. Topics covered are: agricultural production, agricultural trade, nutrition, fertilizer and pesticides, land use and irrigation, forest products, fishery products, population, agricultural machinery and food aid shipments. Data can be displayed as tables or downloaded in Excel, CSV or XML format for use in spreadsheets. Up to 4000 records may be downloaded at a time. Historical time series are available in the "Archives" section. (Updates vary) | Source | Click to visit

In an effort to serve as the hub for climate-related information, data, and tools, the World Bank (WB) created the Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP). The Portal provides an online platform for access to comprehensive global, regional, and country data related to climate change and development. The successful integration of scientific information in decision making often depends on the use of flexible frameworks, data, and tools that can provide comprehensive information to a wide range of users, allowing them to evaluate how to apply the scientific information to the design of a project or policy. | Source

EMBL-EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences. EMBL is an intergovernmental organisation funded by over 20 member states, associate member states and prospect member states. Its main laboratory is located in Heidelberg, Germany. EMBL’s site in Monterotondo, Rome specialises in neurobiology, and its sites in Grenoble, France and Hamburg, Germany specialise in structural biology.

EMBL-EBI’s co-location with the Wellcome Sanger Institute offers vital synergies. EMBL-EBI provides freely available data from life sciences research and maintains the world’s most comprehensive range of open access molecular databases, used by millions of researchers in academia and industry, globally. | Source

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a tool that creates visual representations of data and performs spatial analyses in order to make informed decisions. It is a technology that combines hardware, software, and data. The data can represent almost anything imaginable so long as it has a geographic component. The hardware can be anything from a desktop computer or laptop to satellites, drones, and handheld GPS units. There are a few different software packages, but ESRI’s ArcGIS suite is the industry standard. The public, private, and non-profit sectors all employ GIS to do everything from manage public utilities to organize the movement and dispersion of goods and services. GIS is very functional in traditional map making, to plot things like fire hydrants along a road, or to draw boundaries, like the area of different crop fields on a farm. | Source

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Learn how to use data

On the internet you can learn a lot on how to use data, analyse them and help take better decisions. By clicking on the button below you will be redirected to an example of online course (part of a full certificate) on data analytics