Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) empowers your software engineering projects. Hence, companies that use DDDM can enhance their productivity and ensure optimized results.
Unfortunately, although many firms understand the benefits of DDDM, they fail to implement it in their software development practices.
Professional developers can create a better understanding of data-driven decision-making through a detailed analysis.
Additionally, they can learn to understand the benefits of using the DDDM approach in software engineering.
Implementing data-driven software engineering requires an understanding of your software development.
Moreover, a developer’s work needs to be measured against the impact experienced by software users. As a result, software developers can ensure that the available resources are appropriately utilized.
Let’s start by understanding data-driven decision-making:
This type of decision-making depends on the availability of valuable data. This data includes facts and analytical metrics.
Strategic business decisions are possible when decision-makers use the available information systematically.
Good DDDM becomes a possibility when teams develop critical thinking. In addition, this method requires all your decision-makers to develop data handling and processing skills.
Managers, directors, and business owners run data-driven processes by identifying the valuable parameters in the line of work.
Data-driven decision-making usually works as a self-service model. Professionals mark the different data sets that have value in an organization.
Therefore, they are then responsible for leading their software engineering efforts based on the collected data.
Data collection and availability have always remained significant in corporate decision-making. New Vantage Partners carried out a survey in 2019 that found that 31% of companies now run as data-driven organizations.
Therefore, IT companies like software development firms are switching to the use of big data.
Companies are focusing on developing essential core capabilities when using DDDM. The first capability is developing analytical agility.
The second capability is achieving a community for information use. And the third and the most important one of data proficiency.
Organizations develop analytics agility by seeking to use historical data. This agility allows software developers to protect themselves against new challenges.
Hence, they are better prepared to employ the available information to make decisions swiftly.
Analytics agility improves by improving data and making connections between different measurable values. It also empowers the analytics vehicle and enhances its results at a higher level.
In addition, leveraging the available talent is also essential for a business to use analytics according to changing situations.
Creating a data and analytics community has its tremendous upside. But, first, it requires developing a culture for collecting and processing data elements in companies. Hence, it empowers data-driven decision-making.
There are already established platforms like GitHub that allow data professionals to collaborate and benefit from the collective information.
In addition, they get access to data analytics tools that enhance data processing, resulting in accessing useful information.
Data proficiency is an essential core capability of developing data-driven decision-making practices. A proficient data professional can analyze different elements and find out what your business requires critical insights.
Data proficiency is the ability to transform the available data into proven results. Hence, we find that all successful brands have this core competency.
Moreover, software engineering holds a lot of weight since this field deals with many measurable data variables.
Therefore, controlling them results in enhanced business performance and the ability to manage change.
The use of modern business intelligence tools results in excellent profitability. Therefore, organizations are developing an improved sense of how DDDM can help their departments and corporate tasks.
The data-driven approach has a characteristic efficiency to it, helping organizations reduce their expenses. Some other benefits also become available when using this approach:
DDDM ensures efficiency. Take the example of Lufthansa Group that employs an analytics platform. They had found a 30% increase in efficiency compared to the group’s performance when they didn’t have analytics uniformity.
Their efficiency was a logical result of gaining flexibility in decision-making. In addition, it resulted in various departments practicing autonomy and making decisions with fewer bureaucratic delays.
The BI Applications head argued that the company achieved a better understanding because the organizational resources understand the importance of using data.
Another significant benefit of DDDM is the reduced cost of operations. It occurs as the firm becomes aware of their losses and reduce them.
The availability of data encourages transparent practices. In addition, IT companies can create specific tools to make use of the available data.
One way to reduce costs is to implement dashboards for employees or users. It decreases the time for detecting the required tasks and increases the performance of software projects.
Consequently, software firms can enjoy dedicated and timely project management.
DDDM results in swift access to business insights. These valuable information bits result from data processing and can often provide software firms with a minor advantage.
But, as a result, they can beat the competition and gain a more significant foothold in the IT market.
These improved business insights include customer experience, related expenses, risk reduction, and the staff’s capacity to use business information tools like IBM Watson.
Using dashboards that offer actionable insights is excellent for software engineering firms. Therefore, they get enhanced insights and make full use of the available business information.
Top software firms incorporate continuous improvement in their working environment. This goal becomes possible by implementing a data-driven decision-making approach.
Hence, software teams can make small incremental changes to ensure better business performance in manageable chunks.
Companies enjoy better results in their software projects by preferring the improvements mentioned by facts.
Therefore, the knowledge level of the current employees becomes a non-factor, removing any organizational hindrance to progress.
Consequently, software firms can create scalable solutions that improve with each iteration.
Data-driven decision-making ensures consistent results. Since facts form the basis of business management strategy, companies can set better organizational policies.
As a result, software engineers can support their arguments, achieving the required compliance level, regardless of approach.
Another benefit is that since software developers gain insight into each project, they find the discrepancies through the recorded data.
Hence, their efforts get improved in the next project. After a few tasks, the data-driven approach removes randomness and guarantees consistency across the board in software engineering projects.
Data-driven decision-making has a few limitations. Incidentally, software teams should become aware of these problems to reduce their impact. In addition, companies can also take steps to remove these limitations altogether.
Here are some common limitations that software engineering firms must avoid to benefit from the DDDM approach:
Software companies are typically used to data collection for only data analysts. However, a DDDM approach means that this data and the resulting insights must become available for everyone in the software firm.
Therefore, the right direction is to use dashboard software and make the information universally available for all employees.
DDDM provides the best results when software firms use the available data in all departments. However, not all employees have the training to develop business insights and improve their operations.
Consequently, companies must offer relevant data and analytics training for all resources.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential measurable elements that define business performance.
Unfortunately, data availability doesn’t automatically mean that the company is setting up the right KPIs for the job.
Wrong KPIs cause time-wasting and decrease organizational efficiency. However, analytics experts can reduce the effect of this limitation through prior research.
If a software firm doesn’t implement a universal data management solution, different departments may fail to employ the benefits of data analytics.
Therefore, a suitable software solution should be available to all stakeholders, helping them learn from the global organizational data.
All stakeholders must support data-driven decision-making in a software firm. Otherwise, the company may face a chaotic situation with different departments having individual understanding levels.
However, with company leaders sharing their information approach with others, the organization can defeat this limitation.
When you understand the core capabilities of DDDM and the limitations that you must conquer, it is possible to implement this methodology.
The following essential steps will allow a software engineering firm to establish a data-driven decision-making strategy successfully:
Software firms must set up fixed and well-defined organizational goals for data insights. For example, the company needs to increase its business through social media ads by 20% in the next fiscal year.
However, some goals may require data points like achieving 100k social media followers.
Software firms use different developments tools. Therefore, they may already have access to many business data elements.
Usually, they require a means to ensure that all these data elements are available on a single platform. As a result, a data analyst can turn them into useful information for all stakeholders.
Data collection is an iterative process that occurs with every business activity. This step requires reporting working hours, costs, and other facts in every software engineering project.
The next step is to use a suitable data management software tool to perform the required analytical tests.
The information must also be in an easy-to-read form like a graph or a report with numerical analysis. A time distribution also helps with this part.
Data analysts and essential stakeholders in a software firm must develop business insights from the previous analytics step.
For instance, they may need to add a feature to their software product to match what the competitor is offering.
It is essential to review the results of the current business insights. Therefore, the last step in DDDM is to develop the current set of data analytics.
This review should further empower the analytical tools, resulting in a continuous drive toward the primary business objectives.
Data-Driven decision-making is improving the way software engineering firms approach their work. Hence, it marks the way forward for progressive organizations looking to achieve incremental benefits.
IT firms can empower their software engineering teams by implementing the DDDM methodology. First, however, they must ensure that they develop core competencies and avoid the limitations of this strategy.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.