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4th May, 2023

Predictive Analytics: How to Power Your Team With Data-Driven Strategic Decisions

Running a successful business requires attention and well-thought-out strategies.

However, no matter how much care and planning you put in, these can often fall short when challenges arise. 

More recently, businesses have become all too aware of this.

Faced with unforeseen circumstances and challenging situations, many have had to be flexible and adapt how they work.

No one can predict the future. However, there are often clues that managers and employees can pick up on, suggesting where the business is heading.

With these, businesses can be better prepared and implement change management models to take control of the situation and direct the business.

One way of identifying these areas is by using predictive analytics.  

What is predictive analytics?

Business data can tell us a lot about how a company has progressed in the past, as well as where they are now.

Yet, this same data can be used with predictive analytics to discover trends and suggest what may happen in the future. 

This may be looking into the near future, forecasting your business profits and outgoings for the next week or month.

Alternatively, predictive analytics can create a longer-term image of the reception of campaigns and products.

Predictive analytics can be created by gathering a team to review past data from your Australian VoIP numbers, ecommerce website, and social media channels.

There are also data analysis software options and machine-learning algorithms that automatically process the past data of your company to make future projections.

Both methods track how different elements of your business impact each other, using this to inform their predictive analytics results. 

6 ways to power your team with data-driven strategic decisions

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Once you’ve gathered your predictive analytics, your business should use these as an indication of where your business will be in a month, a year, or even ten years.

This can inform choices about moving to a four-day work week, for example, or implementing new procedures and software by considering the likely outcomes.

This can help to forecast the challenges your business may face. By using past data, you can predict future patterns that lead to success. 

Taking a data-driven approach to your strategic decisions can be applied across your business, in every department or team.

How each of these uses predictive analytics will vary, using different data and data management trends to inform various decisions, plans, or improvements.

Keep in mind that what works for one team may not be appropriate for another. 

Here are just some of the ways your business can use predictive analytics to power your teams: 

Use predictive modelling techniques

Different modelling techniques can help to present your predictive data in a variety of ways, which may suit the working methods and strategies of different teams in your business.

Using a mix can emphasise diverse predictions, giving your business a comprehensive overview of the future.

It can also present the most likely outcomes, as well as those less common, allowing your departments to prioritise the data they pay attention to and make decisions based on. 

One predictive modelling technique is a decision tree, which maps every possible outcome of a decision, helping teams to assess the benefits and disadvantages.

Alternatively, to see the role of order fulfilment in supply chain management or the relationship between other areas of your business, logistic regression uses past data to display their influence on one another.

Neural networks are another modelling technique, often using AI to recognise patterns in the data. 

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Anticipate future finances

Knowing how much available finance your business has in the future can help you to make responsible spending decisions in the present.

Using predictive analytics, you can track your incoming and outgoing cash flow and map the likely pattern this will continue. 

This should take into account regular periods when your expenses are likely to be higher as well as the periods when your profits are highest due to increased selling.

AI tools for predictive analytics can also identify recent changes to your finances, adapting their predictions in real-time to anticipate growth in income or rising costs to your business.

This gives your business more opportunity to adjust current work practices, such as setting budgets or creating a proposal for accounting services.

By taking steps to manage your finances effectively, your business can continue to work within a range of normality. 

Prepare your resources

Being able to predict the future activities and progress of your business can be used to inform the resources you invest in to optimise your workflow.

For example, your analytics may show that after certain types of campaigns, your customer leads increase significantly.

From this, your sales department may decide having appropriate call forwarding software in Dialpad is more of a priority. This enables teams to work effectively by preparing the tools they’ll need.

Your staffing can also be managed according to your predictive analytics. Particularly when seasons of growth are foreseen for your business, it’s important to start making hires to enable your business to continue expanding. 

Likewise, your predictions may show increased workloads for a specified period, such as around holidays.

This may prompt you to acquire temporary staff or source agency workers to meet the staffing demand. 

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Foresee problems

Generally, we don’t mind being faced with unexpected success with our businesses. However, it’s the problems that can be difficult to manage. 

The use of predictive analytics, especially progress tracking software or AI, can detect small changes and the beginnings of problems where other employees may explain them away or miss them.

This can alert different teams, prompting them to take action before the problem grows and becomes disruptive to the business.

These issues could be anything from equipment breakages to marketing campaigns losing the interest of your customer base.

An AI tool may use previous data about how long other pieces of equipment typically last and the signs that show the equipment is not functioning as it should.

Similarly, with set key performance indicators (KPIs), AI can monitor when engagement falls below an acceptable threshold and looks to be losing customers. 

Manage business risks

Along the same lines as foreseeing problems for your business, predictive analytics can help you to take planned risks and manage their outcomes.

These can use historic data and sentiment analysis to suggest the best times to take risks, such as when your business has a stable profit and a loyal customer base.

Alternatively, they can deter you from taking risks where these have more potential for causing damage to your business or may not work out. 

By mapping all the possible outcomes for a certain action, predictive analytics can help you assess the overall benefit of performing an action or making a change.

Where the majority of outcomes seem advantageous or manageable, taking the risk could be worth it.

You’ll also be able to prepare for the range of outcomes, reducing the damage if the risk doesn’t play out as you had hoped. 

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Proactively improve experiences 

Whether you’re looking to optimise your customer experience or improve the employee experience with your business, reflecting on past data from reviews and surveys can highlight the most effective changes to make. 

Understanding the relationship between your actions and the experiences of others can identify essential improvements.

These analytics can raise your awareness of areas of dissatisfaction leading to customer churn or employee turnover. 

Using existing data, you can build a picture of the impact of changes you make.

Predictive analytics can recognise similar changes made in the past and base their forecast on these.

This can help teams to prioritise the most important aspects of customer and employee experiences.

For example, this may emphasise that your target market would value a toll-free number for business that generates positive sales calls over FAQ blog posts. 

Information is power

The more informed you can be when making decisions for your business, the better those decisions are going to be.

Using predictive analytics adds to the information at your disposal, helping to envision the future of your business and prompting you to act when necessary. 

AI tools can help with this, finding the patterns in your data and monitoring trends to suggest a variety of potential outcomes, which you can use to make data-driven decisions

There are many ways of creating predictive analytics and different techniques will be useful in different departments or areas of your business.

Having a variety at your disposal can increase the information available to you, giving you a better picture of the future possibilities for your business.

What works may vary from team to team, so having an AI tool that can provide a range of information can help cover all the bases.

The only way to find what works for you is to try it out.