Why You Need To Start Gathering Data Yesterday

With today’s advanced technology, gathering data to derive insights has proven very valuable in many different industries. We’ve seen how Walmart achieved retail dominance using data and how the NFL is using data to enhance competitive advantage and improve player safety. Gathering data is clearly great for immediate insights, such as the location of an asset or current waiting times in a restaurant. But a huge component of data is having a large set, collected over time, that can portray valuable trends and correlations about repeated actions that can be leveraged to improve processes. Analyzing data over a long period of time is a way of “checking-up” on an organization’s operations. Of course, it takes time to accumulate an extensive pool of data, which is why anyone looking to leverage data needs to start gathering it yesterday. 

The urgency to gather data is especially relevant to industries that rely heavily on pen and paper for business processes. Without much, or any, technology, it’s nearly impossible for organizations in such industries to analyze the totality of information that they record on paper. But by adopting new technology that helps gather data pertaining to the different processes that construct the business, organizations can derive more high value insights into operations. These new insights provide visibility into real pain points and opportunities for improvement that organizations might not have been aware of using their current processes.

Gather Data ‘Til The Cows Come Home

Agriculture is a great example of an age-old industry using data to evaluate their business processes. Many farms are family owned businesses that are passed down from generation to generation. They have processes in place that the family has followed for many years and primarily use pen and paper to make decisions. Jim Kim, Founder and General Partner at Builders Venture Capital, described how one of the companies he’s invested in, Performance Livestock Analytics, is modernizing the agriculture industry in an interview with VatorNews in August. He explains how some cattle ranchers follow traditional processes without questioning if there are better methods to follow: “Some cattle ranchers, just based on gut feel, say, ‘You know what? I’m going to feed my cows three times a day.’ You don’t need to do that, that’s actually a hindrance to the cow, but, ‘That’s how grandpa did it and that’s how I’m going to do it,’ no matter the fact that they will probably lose $500 per cow doing that. They’ve never had that visibility before. That’s what [Performance Livestock Analytics] is doing, providing that visibility, and once you have that you can make better decisions about feeding, about the mixture of hay versus corn feed, about feed additives. You can track that cow, you can start making optimization a part of your routine because now you have insights you’ve never had before.”

cows in a field

The cattle ranching example that Jim Kim explains is a great illustration of a business that was previously unaware of “low hanging fruit” opportunities to be more cost effective and improve operations before implementing technology. The education sector certainly uses more advanced technology in it’s daily processes compared the agriculture sector, but it can nevertheless greatly benefit from increased visibility into operations. Equipped with troves of data gathered over a long period of time, schools can understand where pain points and opportunities for improvement exist that they weren’t aware of previously. Those can include retention tactics, program outcomes, impacts of different policies, instructor behavior, etc. 

An Integral Part Of Modern Decision Making

Data is the lifeblood of operations in the 21st century. It creates invaluable insights that organizations can leverage to make better decisions across the board. Analyzing data will continue to become more critical as ways of gathering data increase and new technologies emerge. There is no stagnant state of being. You are either improving or getting worse. The world is moving fast. Don’t let your institution fall behind. Schedule a demo below.

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