How to Use Data to Be a Better Manager

ProjectManager.com

Numbers make the business world go around. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you how to use that data to become a better manager.

Here’s a screenshot of the whiteboard for your reference.

how data can help managers

In Review – How to Use Data to Be a Better Manager

Jennifer opened with some old chestnuts, such as “The numbers don’t lie,” “The numbers tell a story,” and “You can’t argue with the numbers.”

All this is true, she noted, except when it isn’t. That would be when you’re not honest with the numbers and manipulate or falsify them. That, in some cases, is illegal.

Why Is Data Important?

Okay, if we don’t fudge the numbers, data is fact-based figures and information. This data is stored, usually in computer hard drives or in online project management software, and can be a great resource for the following reasons:

  • Data can help you monitor and control your work.
  • Data tells a story that helps you communicate.
  • Data provides trends to give you a big picture.
  • Data indicates variances.

Yes, data is helpful, but how do we acquire it? There are many ways. Jennifer noted a few, such as reports, research and surveys.

Related: How to Prevent Response Bias when Conducting Surveys

In terms of the aspects of data, it can be historical, which means you can adjust your project when comparing it to similar projects of the past. You can also receive data in real-time, which can help you as your track the progress of your project. But whatever data you receive, it must be accurate and relevant to help.

How Does Data Help Managers?

A manager is working to make better decisions in the moment about their teams and their work. In order to get better results with those decisions and to sustain a fulfilled and happy team, data is essential. It even helps to maintain a work-life balance, while enabling you to learn and grow a profit.

But how can a manager do this with data? Jennifer answered that question by looking at it from two points of view: people and schedules.

In terms of people, data helps determine who does what, whether there’s enough people on the team or too many. It also addresses whether those people need to be upskilled or require more training. It can even reveal why team members might choose to leave.

With schedules, data can address if you’re working too much or too little, why you’re finishing on time or not and whether you can delay or expedite the work. In short, you want to think of data as a tool. It’s a key to success, especially with the help of capable online management tools.

Pro-Tip: Once you began to think strategically about data, a whole new dimension to project management opens. For example there’s data visualization, which helps you use data in a graphic way to better understand what it’s saying.

Take it Further: There are other ways besides data analysis to help you be a better manager: learn how to be a good manager.

Thanks for watching!

Transcription

Today we’re talking about how to use data to be a better manager. Well, we’ve all heard the phrase, “The numbers don’t lie. The numbers tell a story,” or, “You can’t argue with the numbers.”

Okay. With the exception of manipulation and falsification of the numbers, which in most cases is illegal.

So let’s assume we have legal data, which is facts, figures, information that is stored and in today’s time, typically in a computer. So why is data important?

Well, data helps to monitor and control. It helps tell a story. It provides trends and also indicate variances.

So how do we get this data? So we could get data through reports, research, or even polls. There are many other ways but these are a few.

Then, what are some aspects of the data that we get? Well, some data can be historical data which is helpful to help us to project ahead for things that are similar.

There’s also real-time data which helps us make decisions all along the way to maybe help change course or directions, but the data must be accurate and relevant. We’ve all heard, garbage in is garbage out.

So how can this help a manager? Well, managers are responsible for their team members and their work. So they’re striving to get better results. They’re striving for happy and fulfilled teams, people with work-life balance and so that they can learn, grow and profit for their family.

So how does a manager take this data and get this for his team and team members? So let’s look at two aspects. The people and schedules, just to name a few.

Well, if we’re talking about people, we’re talking about who do we have on the team and what are they doing? Do we have enough team members or do we have too many? Do we need more training? Do we need more skills? And in some cases, why are they leaving?

When we look at schedules, we’re looking at our team members. Are they working too much? Maybe, do we have some that are working too little? We can also ask, are they finishing their work or deliverables on time? And can we delay or expedite some of the projects or some of the things that they’re working on?

So these are some of the aspects we can look at to help get these, and I think a success key to get the data, whether it’s historical data or real-time data, is to have a reliable tool.

So if you need a tool that can help you with your data and be a better manager, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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