The people behind Davies: Senior Analyst, Sumeet Maru explains why data is so critical to business decision-making

21st July 2022

Tell us about how you use data in your role to help clients?

I use data to help make decisions as it is a factual record of information. There are two types of data that I typically use in my role –structured and unstructured.

Structured data is easy to search as it is stored in a relational database. it consists of phone conversation data such as time of day, duration, contact number, hold time, etc. Whereas unstructured data is the opposite as it is difficult to search due to its varied storage methods and formatting. An example I would give of unstructured data would be social media posts or recorded conversations of customer experience (CX).


In your opinion, what are the three main reasons business should be doing data driven decision making?

  1. Tying data insight to decisions provides confidence that the best decision has been made
  2. You’re able to be less reactionary, for example by capitalising on a trend before the competition, or by identifying a growing risk before it gets out of hand
  3. You’re also able to quantify benefits, for example by measuring performance, and tracing the costs and benefits of an activity


What are the best ways for organisations to maximise data?

There are two broad areas to consider when working with data of any kind, namely data quality and insight generation.

Data quality is the foundation for any effective use of data. To get a more concrete understanding of data quality it’s helpful to look at its common characteristics such as, accuracy, completeness, consistency, and timeliness.

After ensuring your data is of an acceptable quality, you’re able to generate powerful insight which only happens once it meets four criteria: valuable information, accurate answers, on time information and an actionable conclusion.


What advice do you have for organisations looking to improve their data quality?

I would suggest that as an immediate improvement they should ensure they are maintaining and enforcing definitions for key metrics as well as capturing information by using fields with lists or selector buttons to error-proof data entry. I also suggest that organisations should make use of a template with sections for requirements on free text notes.

If I were to give them some longer term improvement advice, I would suggest they automate their data clean-up and reporting processes and use speech/text analytics tools to search through and report on their unstructured data.


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