The last few weeks have not been easy. With a pandemic in tow, businesses are experiencing a difficult time. With so much information and chaos, it’s hard to make sane decisions. Most businesses are so worried that they are thinking to push back crucial business projects like data preparation and analysis until ‘things get better.’ But, if there’s anything we’ve learned from this pandemic, it’s the fact that data is powerful. In this crucial time of uncertainty, you will need your data more than ever to make key business decisions.
Data Matters Now More Than Ever
As data experts, it’s our job to make sense of data. We’ve been analyzing the role of data during this time and we can safely conclude that the preventive measures we’re adopting, the predictions we’re making, the success we’ve had with containment would not have been possible without data.
While it may sound grim to use the COVID_19 virus as an analogy to the importance of data, it must be done to help businesses understand that to go forward in these difficult times, they will need to rely on their data.
For example, you’re probably thinking of how you can keep your business sales in the + despite the chaos. For this you’ll need your data. You’ll need to know whether your most frequent customers are the ones hardest hit with the pandemic. Sometimes, with all the chaos, we tend to lose sight. Businesses themselves may be wrapped in fear and let the situation dictate their decisions rather than the data. So essentially, right now, is the time to double down on your data instead of pushing it in the backburner.
Data Preparation Can Be Done from Home
If it’s any consolation, we’re living in an age where most business tasks and projects can be performed virtually. Like every other business task, data preparation can easily be done from home. In fact, our clients are least worried when it comes to data preparation. Because we offer an on-premises solution, which can be downloaded on any PC or server, users can fix their data right from home.
There is no need for additional connectivity to prepare your data, no need to worry about a stable internet connection and absolutely no need to worry about any technical barrier.
More importantly, our data integration allows for direct connectivity to an organization’s database which means you don’t even need any third-party connector or solution to access, fix and maintain the quality of your data.
There is no reason why you should not focus on your data preparation project and see it through.
How to Successfully Pull Off a Data Project Remotely
Working remotely is already a significant challenge, but to pull off a data project? Well, don’t worry. Over the years, we’ve mastered the art of remote working, ensuring both our employees and our clients get the support they need to manage their projects from any corner of the world. Here’s how we have been doing it successfully for over a decade.
1. Create a Work From Home Plan
This might sound redundant and you may already have heard it way too many times, but, we’ll still go ahead and reiterate it. Create a plan. Include:
- Working hours: You’ll need all your employees to adhere to a certain routine if your business has high levels of collaboration and teamwork.
- Task management: It’s easy to feel lax when working from home. Set up a task management calendar and automate the reporting process. Employees can simply mark tasks done at the end of the day. A tool like Monday.com is highly recommended.
- Collaboration: You might be tempted to get folks on call for every minor thing, but don’t do so because it creates an unnecessary distraction. Set a time for communication. Maybe 15 minutes every morning to set the day and 15 minutes every evening to get the status of the day. We recommend using good old Skype for collaboration because Slack can tend to become distracting and annoying.
- Milestones: Make a two-month plan with milestones in place. With the current situation, it’s hard to say how long it would take for businesses to return to normalcy, therefore, it’s better to be overprepared than to be underprepared.
- Tools Everyone Needs to Have: List down tools you will need to use while WFH. While everyone will have the bare basics like Skype, Zoom, Trello etc, you might need to invest in additional tools depending on the nature of your business.
We recommend the following tools as must-have if you’re working on a data preparation project from home.
- TeamViewer: In case of any technical challenge, you will need to provide remote access to your desktop. TeamViewer is a must-have especially at a time when you’ll need expert guidance from your staff or from 3rd party consultants.
- WorkSnaps: Want to measure your team’s productivity? You might need a productivity tracker like WorkSnaps to ensure everybody is aligned with the common goal. It’s important for teams to keep their collaboration and working hours in sync to pull off business projects.
- Miro: A team collaboration software, Miro is a great replacement for whiteboards or team meetings. The software lets you collaborate live on a virtual canvas that acts as your whiteboard, allowing for real-time brainstorming without needing to physically meet. If you have a large team working collaboratively on a data preparation project, you’ll find Miro quite useful.
2. Redefine Your Goals and Focus on the Process
The pandemic has created a paradigm shift in the business world. If you’re going remote, you will need to revisit your goals and processes. Your needs, as well as the needs of your customers, may have changed. The goal may be not to sell, but to retain, not to promote, but to sustain. Depending on these shifts, you will also have to redraw the process, ensuring that you and your team do not lose sight of the goals.
Your data will be the primary instrument in helping you identify these new goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Every decision you make during this time will be critical and will require you to lean on your data to support them.
3. Stay Calm and Embrace the Change
Working from home is a challenge. You have to make an extra effort to keep spirits up, keep the job going and ensure everyone’s on the same page. With so much going on, the fear, the uncertainty, the loneliness, the mental stress etc, you will really need to stay calm and embrace the change. Like everything else in life, it will take a week or two for you and your team to get used to a new working style – and hey, take it from us, remote working is cool! You get to save on fuel, you can focus on what matters, you can avoid getting sick!
Remember, the further we head into difficult times, the more you will need to rely on your data to make critical business decisions but if your data is not prepared to meet your analysis needs, you’ll be making flawed decisions. In a time when uncertainty is prevalent, we need to rely on statistical information to keep a business running, to help customers feel reassured and most importantly to continue to contribute to the economy.
In times as these, it is best to move on, than to stand still and be eaten by the uncertainty. We are fortunate to be empowered by data, by metrics, by technology, helping us brave the uncertainty together. Here’s to running your business successfully!