It’s spring. Birds are chirping, the sun is starting to peek out from behind the clouds and temperatures are rising slowly but surely. There’s something about this season that makes us all want to tidy up our spaces, both in the literal and figurative senses. Out with the old, in with the new.
Business leaders can use this time to evaluate their operations and performance, to make adjustments that’ll define “business as usual” for the coming year. This will, of course, look a bit different from company to company — based upon size, industry and other relative factors. Still, there are some principles every enterprise can use to start decluttering and making improvements.
Here are four ways to “spring clean” your business this year.
1. Consider Opportunities for Automation
New solutions are constantly emerging for, well, just about every business function you can imagine — especially when it comes to artificial intelligence and automation. As one business owner notes for HuffPost, it’s important to periodically consider opportunities for automation “from bookkeeping to customer support and manufacturing to marketing.”
You may be surprised to find manual processes are still sucking up undue time and effort, or that previously automated processes could be improved upon even more. It’s helpful to crowdsource feedback from employees who are on the front lines, working directly with workflows and programs potentially ripe for improvement.
2. Optimize Your Approach to Business Intelligence
Becoming increasingly data-driven is a rising goal for companies looking to both compete and innovate — goals that can be helped or hindered by your approach to business intelligence (BI). Legacy BI tech simply cannot keep up in an environment in which static reports are already old news and data silos separate users from the insights they need.
If you’re struggling with the limitations of years — or even decades — old tech, investment in an advanced platform should be your first order of business. You’ll need one that’s scalable, user-friendly and capable of generating interactive charts in seconds rather than relying on static reports from specialized data teams.
Companies who are embracing the latest data analytics solutions can also use this time to get organized and optimize the user experience. Here are some useful tips for spring cleaning your BI platform from the experts at ThoughtSpot:
Analyze BI user behavior and system logs to gain insight into the user experience. This will help you better understand who is accessing what content with what queries and for how long — information you can use to improve the user experience.
Get rid of, or archive, outdated reports like weeding a garden.
Push the most-used reports and parameters to the top, so users can access it more easily.
Implement context-aware links within reports, allowing users to quickly launch other related reports — the way ecommerce sites recommend related products to shoppers.
Enterprises optimizing their data platforms are likely to see more employees using these tools. This heightened adoption has the potential to fuel better business outcomes.
3. Look for Ways to Reduce Wasted Time
A couple minutes here, a half hour there — wasted time isn’t always obvious at first glance, nor does it seem particularly egregious when considered as individual incidents. However, multiplying the seconds wasted across your entire workforce day in and day out will reveal the true cost.
One example is re-evaluating your company’s approach to meetings — ensuring they have clear goals and structure. It’s likely your organization can forego certain meetings in favor of letting employees stay at their desks.
4. Evaluate Staffing and Hiring Practices
There’s no better time to evaluate your hiring practices over the previous year and develop a staffing plan for the upcoming one. The first steps, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, are evaluating your organization’s strategic goals for the coming year, taking the pulse of the labor market and redefining roles based on your needs. Check in with current employees to see where they perceive the gaps within their teams and departments to be. This enables you to prioritize the most important hires.
There are many ways to “spring clean” your business so as to streamline performance and make targeted improvements to your best practices.
Picture credit – pixabay