5 ways to turn feedback data into actionable insight through better reporting
In many ways we are currently in a golden age for data. We’ve never had so much information available about customers, employees and wider business operations. The rise of digitisation and a population that is more willing to share its feedback is driving an era of Big Data that can potentially transform how we monitor operations and make business decisions.
However, the sheer amount of available data, scattered across multiple systems, departments and formats can mean that organisations cannot integrate this information quickly enough to take the real-time decisions required by the pace of business today. It is a case of either not being able to see the wood for the trees, or, in some cases not having access to the complete picture. This is particularly true of employee engagement and customer experience/Voice of the Customer feedback, which is vital to business performance, but can be difficult to collect and share with the right managers quickly enough to support real-time decision-making.
How can businesses overcome this challenge and quickly turn data into actionable insight? Dashboard-based reporting provides the platform to achieve this, but to work properly needs to focus on five areas:
1. Information available in real-time
Succeeding in business today requires companies to be agile, flexible and able to make fast decisions. To do this managers need to be confident that they have the latest information at their fingertips – in many cases last week’s data is simply too old to rely upon. Ensure that the data flows into your dashboard are updated automatically so that your managers can have confidence in the timeliness of what they see.
2. Integrated across all relevant data sources
Managers also need to have a complete picture of all relevant data so that they can make informed decisions. This means automatically integrating information from multiple sources, such as customer feedback, Voice of the Employee and business metrics into a single dashboard. This avoids the need to flick between screens or to manually compare different reports, speeding up decision making and ensuring that conclusions are based on all the facts.
3. Personalised and tailored reports
When it comes to reporting, different managers and departments will obviously have different requirements. Make sure that your dashboard reporting is designed to make it simple to create tailored reports for specific groups, and that it is easy to personalise what they see based on their particular needs, location and department.
4. Dynamic, not static reporting
Traditional reports rely on pre-set templates to deliver static reports, often as PDFs or PowerPoint presentations. This is no longer enough - managers need to be able to interrogate the data, drill down into particular areas or figures and ask ‘What if?’ questions in order to gain a complete understanding of what is happening. And they need to be able to do this themselves, rather than having to request a new report from a company analyst, which adds time and cost to the process.
5. Effective and easy to use
Managers are busy, don’t have time to wade through columns of figures and want to focus on areas where they can add value to the business. Bring data to life with visualisations, maps and other graphics that gives an at a glance picture of what is happening, and allows them to drill down quickly to find out more. Also, ensure that your reporting allows dashboards and reports to be shared across the organisation, helping support knowledge-based decision making across the enterprise.
Today’s world requires vital decisions to be made more and more frequently, across the entire organisation. To do this successfully requires access to complete data, in real-time, through personalised reports that can be easily interrogated by managers looking for more information. Only by adopting real-time dashboard-based reporting can organisations ensure that they are turning data into actionable insight rapidly enough to improve their business going forward.
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Alex has over 17 years’ experience in Voice of the Employee and Voice of the Customer programmes – mainly with large international organisations in the communication and financial sectors.
Since the mid 1990s Alex has worked in online research managing hundreds of employee surveys. Over this time he has developed a keen understanding of...