Fact or feeling – How are Decisions Made?

How are business decisions made in your company?

In management manuals and movies, you first have to systematically gather information, reflect on it and then analyze in depth, listen to different perspectives and compare options until you find the right answer.

Now that’s quite a mouthful, if only we had that kind of time…

In real life, decisions have to be made quickly, on the basis of information available at hand, experience and insight. In this article, we’re going to see how we manage to interpret future situations and, if necessary, decide how to take corrective action, again using the same method.

Knowledge management has been proposed as a solution to the challenge described above. Decisions should be based on solid understanding based on reliable data. The reality is, rarely do we have the necessary data at the right time. The decision-making cycle is still always short – its timing and significance often cannot be predicted. Yet preparedness should be there all the time.

Here are three tools and actions that any company can take to strengthen its decision-making culture:

  1. A business KPI dashboard covering the entire customer journey to help understand the cause-and-effect relationships of business success.
  2. Systematic and long-term approach helps to better understand the numbers over time
  3. Tools are available to acquire, use and share data to get it to the right people at the right time

Naturally, a company’s main performance metrics are focused on sales. However, simply interpreting sales figures is not enough. Shifting the focus from just sales to the whole of the customer journey makes it possible for a company to understand what happens before, during and after the customer makes a purchase decision. For example, how marketing messaging is reaching your audience, at what point in the customer journey prospects drop off and what current customers say about their experience.

When implementing new KPI metrics, it’s important to have continuity when tracking them and at a minimum, measurement of KPI’s should always follow strategy renewal. I.e. When implementing new strategies in your yearly workshops, it is not necessary to continually renew/reinvent your metrics and focus instead on what you have.

Big decisions are the result of the aggregation of many small decisions. Small decisions, on the other hand, often happen almost unnoticed. Often, we suddenly find ourselves thinking about a detail and realize that this is what we need to align with for the future. Will we have the data we need at the time? Or will the decision ultimately be based on the image we have formed on the matter?

Business Intelligence software in general aims to provide the data needed for decision making through a variety of “dashboard views”. There are numerous business intelligence solutions on the market today, few however, are able to combine information from not only sales, production & operations but also digital communication channels. This is a problem for modern businesses because customer communication has moved almost entirely to these channels regardless of the industry. A crucial part of the customer journey.

BisLenz provides the tools to monitor and report on the digital customer journey in addition to sales. Key metrics can also be tracked in a mobile app, just in time for those on-the-spot decision making moments and you need a little more fact to support a better decision.

Without it, you’re essentially making a decision on gut feeling.

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Marko Filenius

Marko Filenius

marko.filenius(at)tridea.fi
Marko Filenius

Marko Filenius

marko.filenius(at)tridea.fi