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Working “data-driven”, what does that mean?

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Matthijs Bookelmann is business developer at the JADS MKB Datalab and has a master’s degree in Strategic Management. In this interview he talks about what data driven working is and how you can benefit from it as a company.

The digital transition: threat or opportunity?

“The economy is digitizing at an incredibly fast pace. As an entrepreneur, your priority is always to make your business run smoothly. Digitization is sometimes perceived as a threat, but actually it offers many opportunities to do just that; make your business run better. And the good news is that this change to a data-driven way of working costs less than ever before.”

Making better decisions thanks to data

“Making better use of your data enables you as an entrepreneur to get better insight into your business and therefore to make better decisions. That is the core of data driven working. We have defined data driven working as follows: A data-driven company is one that collects and processes data to arrive at actionable insights and uses these insights to make better informed decisions.”

The flow of data-driven work

“To better understand the flow in which data-driven companies operate, it is important to understand terms like “data”, “information” and “knowledge”.

The flow starts by collecting data that is measurable. For example, items sold, production costs or time spent performing a particular task. The next step is extracting information from this data. For example: more items were sold yesterday than the day before, production costs are increasing, or relatively more time is spent on task A than on task B. This information is incorporated into the knowledge, an individual’s thoughts about what is happening in the business. Knowledge can be based on hard data or on experience and gut feeling of the entrepreneur. Knowledge is what you base your decisions on: what action to take, whether you should perhaps set things up differently, or whether the normal course of action is effective.”

The flow of data-driven work

Create more value

“The data-driven insights, combined with your own expertise and gut feeling as an entrepreneur, give you just that edge over the competition. Many SMEs rely on gut feeling and experience only. There is nothing wrong with that, but data-driven insights can bring you additional, objective input to complement your existing knowledge and influence your decisions. This way, you can create more value as a result of a more data-driven way of working. Also, in today’s digital age, it is easier than ever to use data as a source of knowledge. Most SMEs already have data available or can extract it easily from the systems they work with. After that, people who have the skills to work with data can start preparing the data for analysis and extract the first valuable insights.

We are happy to help

“Fo SMEs who want to take the next step towards working more data driven, JADS MKB Datalab could be the perfect partner. We facilitate short data science projects for SMEs executed by Master students Data Science & Entrepreneurship from JADS. Entrepreneurs are also welcome at one of our inspiration sessions or workshops. We enjoy working with entrepreneurs to explore and spar about the possibilities within their own company.”

More information

Want to know more, attend a workshop or have a question? Read more about the JADS MKB Datalab on our MKB Datalab page.

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