1. Home
  2. Our Blog
  3. Too Much Data, Not Enough Insight?
Too Much Data, Not Enough Insight?
Do you ever feel surrounded by data but struggle to really paint a picture of what it is telling you? Businesses are now collecting data on a larger scale than ever before. But sometimes it’s easy to get lost in a maze of numbers, charts and percentages, without coming away with anything actionable.

Whether you’re a marketing manager drowning in website analytics, or a finance director trying to understand why your sales were up, but your profits were down in the last quarter, feeling overwhelmed by the data can make business analysis virtually impossible.

As a business leader living in a data-centred era, you have the distinct advantage of calling upon masses of data to make decisions. However, cutting through the noise and depicting stories from this information is a huge challenge.

 

Big Data or Data Overload?

Over the past ten years, we’ve seen a rise in “Big Data”, a structured (or semi-structured) approach to collecting vast amounts of information. Even though it’s a term used since the ‘90s, the trend of Big Data really took off in the past decade. 

 

'Big Data' Searches (Source: Google Trends)
'Big Data' Searches (Source: Google Trends)

 

 

 

Some experts in 2013 estimated that 90% of the world’s data came in the previous two years alone. While we couldn’t find a credible source for this figure, it wasn’t surprising considering how much personal data companies hold, the number of internet devices the average person uses, and the number of analytical software businesses use.

All this data gives business leaders like you access to information you would never have seen before, allowing you to identify trends and new opportunities.

But are you trying to analyse too much data? At what point does Big Data turn into information overload?

 

What's Data Overload?

Data overload is when you become bogged down, distracted or overwhelmed by the amount of data presented to you. It’s common when there are loads of uninterpreted data, but all you need is the information to answer your initial question.

An example would be a marketing director drowning in a pool of data. They’re misguided and confused by conflicting figures from different dashboards, siloed data between teams and systems, and constant alerts to real-time updates.

This leads to multiple problems, such as wasted resources, burnout, and analysis paralysis.

 

Analysis Paralysis

‘Analysis Paralysis’ is when you spend too much time looking at and trying to analyse data without taking away any conclusions or actions. Data overload is a factor, especially when decision-makers spend too long looking at information, numbers and figures but still struggle to dissect and interpret any of it.

When you have an overload of information that isn’t segmented or filtered, it is complicated (and time-consuming) to identify key trends or spot unique opportunities.

 

Business Analyst

One of the responsibilities of a Business Analyst is to break businesses free from data overload and help leaders make informed decisions based on data they can trust.

Business Analysts can gather swathes of information and data, segment and sort it into categories to make it easier to interpret, and then use their storytelling abilities to give you a holistic view and extract actionable insights for improvements.

Their technical knowledge and communication skills mean they can engage with professionals from all levels of the business, from the board level to the IT team.

 

Optimise Your Data Processing and Analysis

A Business Analyst can wear any number of hats depending on the project. Their strong analytical and communication skills mean they can analyse all your existing data and create a roadmap of what needs to change, translating it into understandable languages for everyone, from director to technical levels.

Even if you have data stored in murky waters where you can’t see what’s buried, a business analyst will find it in those deep, dark corners and extract tangible insights from the information they find.

For example, a large membership association asked our BA team to help them better understand how their members engaged with them and the validity of the data.

After many years of investing in the parts of their IT that users could see (websites, portals, dashboard), their back-end systems were not performing as intended.

Our business analysts had a look “under the hood” to see what data was lurking underneath the bonnet. First, they stripped out all the unnecessary data, then optimised the valuable data hiding underneath. Working with the leadership team, we identified the relevant data to their business objectives and explored how to streamline the data collection stage even further.

As a result, we created a much-improved customer journey for all their website users and allowed them to engage with users on a completely new level.

 

Are You Ready to Enlist a Business Analyst?

If you’re trying to understand what your business data is telling you, or you want to start utilising your company data to help drive decisions, talk to one of our Business Analysts.

We’d love to hear about your business and find out how our team of business analysts can help you reach your objectives.

Fill in this short contact form, or phone: 01775 722377.

9th May 2024