QnA at Sydney Hills Business Chamber Event - Using Data Effectively To Drive Decisions

by Ammar Quettawala

At a breakfast event hosted by Sydney Hills Business Chamber in June 2021, I got an opportunity to speak on the topic "Using Data Effectively To Drive Decisions". I couldn't answer a few questions at the event due to the limited time available, and I mentioned that I would answer them later.

How do you assess what business solution to solve first?

I am assuming you meant what business challenges to solve first. The business owner would be aware of the areas (pain points) limiting the revenue/growth (sales performance, team productivity, etc.). With this information available, we help the business prioritise the pain points and come up with a plan to solve these in the order of a priority. This way, the business can unlock the most value first.

Sometimes, a business owner may not know about these pain points. As part of our consultancy, and before implementing any solution, we talk about current processes and their performances. This session helps us identify the areas where the business can make improvements for more efficiency.

How you do tackle data discovery in a “data immature” business with many sources, duplication and inconsistent quality? AND

Data is only useful if it is up to date and “clean”. What processes do you put in place to keep data “clean”? 

Generally, data cleansing and migration are time-consuming tasks in data-related projects. These tasks entail fixing the existing data values and removing redundant entries that have crept up over time. These days mature systems allow you to enter data so that team members do not make mistakes by utilising lookup fields, real-time checking of addresses, dependent fields, access restrictions, etc. These systems also check the duplicates as you enter data or run a process later to find duplicates.

As I mentioned during my presentation, organisations need to set up the right culture and processes for data-driven decision making to work successfully.

Do you think that project management is best delivered by the vendor or the client?

It depends. Generally, the vendor or a service provider has know-how on tasks to be completed for successful solution implementation and has a PM for their projects.

In our experience with bigger projects, a PM on both sides manages their tasks and resources to keep the project on schedule (and cost). It helps in project control and risk management. We understand that a small business may not have a PM. In such cases, we provide the project management with a firm commitment from the business owner that our PM will manage the tasks assigned to their team members.

data project

There are 1000’s of CRMs in the market. Is it a CRM or a tailored consistent view of your business that provides true value?

In short, customised (and flexible) CRM would provide you with the most value if your business is such that it cannot use out of the box CRM as is. Again, from our experience, each business has unique processes. A micro-business may use an out of the box (or off the shelf) solution. But when the business starts to grow, it finds out that it is stuck with a CRM that doesn’t work for them anymore.

I know quite a few businesses that started with a famous “free” CRM that worked for them initially. Once they needed more functionality, it cost them a lot to subscribe to the upgraded version. But because they already had so much data in the “free” CRM, going to another CRM had a high upfront cost due to data migration.

Choosing the right, flexible, and scalable solution is a critical first step.

What do you think is the most effective data indicators to analyse in a service based or product-based business? 3 indicators would be great.

Well, it depends on your desired outcome and vision of success.

  • Getting more money in: Revenue growth, profit margin, sales, costs

  • Growing number of customers: number of new customers signed, market share, customer churn rate, customer acquisition cost

  • Have happy customers: number of customers retained, net promoter score (NPS), time to close support tickets, employee satisfaction rating, etc.

  • Each of the above indicators is measurable. For continuous improvement, the business owners should identify the opportunities by regularly measuring and enhancing the processes.

About the author:
Ammar Quettawala is a strong advocate of automation and passionate about helping businesses to create a superior customer experience. He is Director of a Consulting company called QTECX Solutions which focuses on all aspects of customer relationships including business process management, marketing automation, sales enablement and customer service via CRM systems and business process automation. He has worked globally with industry leaders in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Far East, and Asia Pacific.

Ammar loves to speak in business forums and conferences. He mentors business owners as well as final-year university students to help them express their uniqueness and stand out as professional individuals. Ammar’s customer centric approach to business is illustrated by his beautifully simple and powerful life mantra: "Be good, do good". Find out more about Ammar on LinkedIn.