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  • Writer's pictureNicky Finlay

Why Data is Key to a Successful Business Planning Process

Updated: May 30, 2023

As we get to that time of year when businesses begin to put together their plans and budgets for the next fiscal year, we thought we’d take a look at the importance of data to support the planning cycle.

Planning can be a stressful time for all involved as they are securing budgets and want the opportunity to try new things to drive the business forward. There is however always a balance between the risk of trying new things and continuing to do what has been done before.

Planning by definition is about understanding where you are and where you want to get to and all the steps in between.

Planning blind without any data makes the decision-making process difficult. Having the right insight and measurement in place provide evidence as to what has and hasn’t worked and even predict the potential impact of a strategy. Making decision-making about where to invest much easier.

Measurement, and therefore good data, is a core component of any business strategy, be that strategic or marketing planning.

H. James Harrington authored a quote that is so perfect for this blog:

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

Here we examine a simple 5 stage planning process, detailing what data is critical at each stage:

Data is vital to every stage of any planning process.

If you don’t have a data strategy that supports your planning processes, it’s a good time to start putting one in place. Identify where your gaps in knowledge and insight to improve the planning process are and build your data to ensure it can support it going forward to be able to improve your decision-making.

We have helped many businesses to define data strategies to support their business and sales and marketing planning. If you are looking for help, please do get in touch.


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