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How Innovation Helps the Growth of Digital Sales


Digitalization is nothing new in the business industry as the world has shifted toward digitalization for the past few decades. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted the digital model of business to another level. 

In a 2020 study, Salesforce showed that 60% of customer interaction took place online compared to 42% in the previous year. Meanwhile, up to 88% of customers also expect digital innovation from companies during and after the pandemic. This shows how customers start to put emphasis on company value by what they are seeing online. The sudden surge of the online presence of the majority forced businesses to rethink their existing strategy, especially when it was directly related to their customers.

The changes brought by digitalization

The increasing use of digital-based platforms has affected several aspects of businesses. Demand to be available digitally has changed the marketing industry even before the pandemic hit. We can easily spot how large to small companies transitioned their marketing strategy into a digital approach. Even though it sounds like most companies are already familiar with digital marketing, the fast-changing nature of it requires constant learning on what is relevant at the moment.

The second change mostly catalyzed by the pandemic is the change in how companies do their business. Many employees have been forced to work remotely and moved most of their workflow online. Occasionally, companies have been required to modify their products or services to fit the current demand or trend.

The adaptation of businesses on their strategic planning and performance measurement to fit the ongoing and upcoming challenges is a conversation that is often missed. The fast-changing digital world has caused a lot of developments in companies towards important matters that can sustain their business by upgrading and preparing their resources

Innovation is the key for digital sales

Similar to other sectors, sales activities also demand to have a digital model more than ever. Data shows that digital sales, in general, can boost revenue up to 28%. As much as digital sales sound promising, it also demands a constant upgrade and innovation.

Innovation is one of the most crucial parts to achieving maximum digital sales growth. Just like traditional sales, the ability to engage with the customer is still a major factor in the success of sales. However, the digital model demands companies to be more attentive to the changes in customer behavior. Companies and even salespersons are required to see the need and trends in the market.

The innovation in sales technology is also predicted to have a big impact on how long-term revenue is generated. The use of more efficient CRM and even the use of AI can be a huge booster in sales growth. For example, now the customers have become more digitally savvy, this also means that they are more aware of cyber security. Things such as transparency in sales activities and data collection are just some of the things they look out for. In turn, the growth in technology would also mean an increase in demand for people who are knowledgeable in the digital space and can operate the business.

Improve Future Performance through “Lessons Learned”


Image Source: Cherrydeck | Unsplash

Nowadays, organizations need to learn more than ever to confront difficult situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and economic risks. Thus, they need to learn how to quickly adapt to the unpredictable in order to remain competitive.

Continuous improvement is based on learning and transferring knowledge to modify behaviors and achieve great results.

This concept of “learning organizations” was introduced in the 90s. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, described learning organizations as “organizations that encourage adaptive and generative learning, encouraging their employees to think outside the box and work in conjunction with other employees to find the best answer to any problem”.

In this context, “Lessons Learned is an important tool for learning organizations. It consists of knowledge obtained during a project and should be considered in future actions to improve performance.

This knowledge should be stored in a database, such as Lessons Learned Register or via wiki.

Using this tool, the project manager benefits from a great opportunity to learn from the experience of others and help them improve the profitability of the business.

Lessons Learned reflects both the positive and negative experiences of a project and can be categorized as:

  • Informational (e.g., how employees’ duties could change during times of emergencies)
  • Successful (e.g., capture effective responses to a crisis) 
  • Problem (e.g., describe examples of actions that failed and potential ways to resolve them). 

Capturing Lessons Learned should be a continuous effort throughout the life of any project and should be initiated from the beginning of the project.

The Lessons Learned Process 

Specialists have different approaches regarding the stages of the Lessons Learned process:

  • Capture: It refers to bringing together information or knowledge from different sources that could be valuable for future projects. Lessons learned can be captured through text, audio, video, or image.
  • Store: It implies defining and deciding on the environment where Lessons Learned will be stored.
  • Verify: It consists of validating Lessons Learned for correctness, consistency, redundancy, and relevancy.
  • Distribute or Disseminate: It means spreading the knowledge in the Lessons Learned to a team, department, or organization.
  • Apply or Reuse: It refers to making the Lessons Learned useful to current and further projects. 
  • Withdraw: It means recognizing when a Lesson Learned is no longer useful to current and further projects. 

One option to identify Lessons Learned, is to organize Lessons Learned Sessions with the project team. During these sessions, the team members will be asked to respond to a survey which includes questions related to activities that go well, activities that do not go according to the plan, and recommended improvements.

Lessons Learned are documented in the Lessons Learned Register, which is intended to assist an organization in identifying better opportunities for improving their management practices and promote the Lessons Learned and evidence of better practices observed from a project. 

Some important fields that should be included in the Lessons Learned Register are:

  • Category
  • Description of the situation
  • Problem/Success
  • Impact
  • Action Taken
  • Recommendation

The Lessons Learned Register may also include other fields considered relevant by each organization.

The knowledge gained and recorded in the Lessons Learned Register should be shared and used by project managers, team members, and leadership to decide on further projects’ activities.

Once the Lessons Learned are identified and documented, the organization should release the necessary resources to apply them. These can also include a change in culture.

Thus, organizations should strive to build a culture that recognizes when things go right and when things don’t go as planned. They can benefit from each experience and improve performance by using Lessons Learned.

If you’d like to learn more ways of managing individual and team performance, don’t miss The KPI Institute’s Certified Employee Performance Management Professional and Practitioner Certifications.

How the global pandemic changed Annual General Meetings in Corporate Governance


In early 2020, mobility restrictions and lockdowns were implemented in most countries due to the spread of COVID-19. Those restrictions clearly impacted the way people interact and communicate. Online and virtual meetings became the new normal, from schools to businesses.

In the realm of corporate governance, one thing that changed was the shareholders meetings or annual general meetings (AGMs). AGMs are a critical component in corporate governance practice that is mandatory by law, where directors and shareholders interact. The pandemic forced companies to shift from traditional AGMs to virtual shareholders meetings (VSMs), and this brought technical, legal, and cultural challenges.

A report from the World Bank claims that 84% of the economies are allowing VSMs in their legal frameworks. Even countries that previously did not allow VSMs had introduced provisions through emergency legislation to enable virtual meetings. VSMs, as a virtual meeting, clearly have some differences from a conventional physical meeting. 

In the 2020 report of VSMs practice, several benefits and drawbacks of VSMs are reported. Most companies expressed positive reactions due to its lower cost of operation and being more eco-friendly, while some companies expressed the technicalities of organizing VSMs are quite an issue. Conversely, shareholders felt that there might be a lack of transparency and felt less involved in the company. It can be argued that a lack of readiness and experience of companies to organize VSMs are the cause of the negative response from some of the shareholders. 

A year later into the pandemic, mobility is slowly increasing and borders are starting to reopen, however, some changes are likely here to stay. As a consequence, there would be a future for VSMs as a permanent substitute for traditional AGMs. Best practices are starting to be built to successfully replace AGMs. Below you can find some recommendations based on these best practices in organizing a VSMs:

  1. Establish the rule of conduct of the meeting just as a physical one, and communicate them clearly: In a simple way, you should treat the VSMs as a face-to-face meeting. Communicate them clearly in plain English. Specifically for VSMs, you should differentiate between regular participants and verified shareholders, whether they have the permission to speak or they can only listen.
  2. Establish clear procedures for verified shareholders to vote remotely: Make sure that you only give vote access to the shareholders that have voting rights. It is also important that the votes are properly recorded.
  3. Establish clear procedures for shareholders to ask questions: Questions are important, so make sure the Q&A sessions are scheduled. For questions that cannot be answered at the meetings, document them and answer them later (e.g. via e-mails, phone calls).
  4. Archive the meeting and make it publicly available for a reasonable period of time: Most virtual meeting platforms have a record feature, which you can easily use to do this archiving task. Having someone assigned to prepare the Minutes of Meetings can also be useful.

Companies should take this moment as an opportunity to improve their relationship with stakeholders and shareholders. This transition from conventional to virtual meetings opens up many possibilities. The flexibility that is enabled by technology has allowed solutions that were previously impossible. It is possible that VSMs are only just the beginning of a better form of future AGMs.

Is data visualization a science or a language?


Image Source: StockSnap | Pixabay

Is data visualization a science or a language?/

That is a question posed by Colin Ware in his book, “Information Visualization.”

We deal with data every day, especially at work. It can fuel our decisions and change the way we work. At the same time, if we’re surrounded by a huge amount of data, we may not find it easy to arrive at an optimal decision. This is where data visualization comes in.

Data visualization refers to the graphical representation of the data. It makes large amounts of information easier to understand and helps identify patterns and trends. People can easily comprehend information and make conclusions through data visualization.

“Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space,” wrote American statistician Edward R. Tuffe, author of the book “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.”

Understanding how to approach data visualization allows people to equip themselves with the right tools, approach, and strategies as they gather data and present them visually. This is important to businesses who want to understand consumer behavior patterns or governments seeking data-backed insights on a crisis.

Data visualization may be considered a science because it is a process and represents data methodically and accurately. Data visualization begins with volumes of information, undergoes an intensive cleaning, classification, statistical and mathematical modeling, analysis, and design process, and ends with a visualization. 

On the other hand, many argue that data visualization is a language because it uses diagrams to convey meaning. Data is encoded into symbology and semiology. The syntax and conventions of these diagrams are not inherent and must be learned. 

Data visualization helps to communicate analytics results in pictures. In simple words, data visualization is the language of images. That is on par with the language of words both written and spoken and with the language of numbers and statistics.

Merging science and language

Science and language do not have to invalidate each other. Their elements can go hand in hand in data visualization. 

In data visualization, the challenge is how to make more people take interest in scientifically processed data. Presenting appropriate and relevant information in an engaging format through design is what makes data visualization successful. Science processes and provides information based on certain objectives while design is a form of communication shaped by visual elements.

Combined, scientific data and design can generate meaning out of raw data. The end result of data visualization is almost always a story. In storytelling, the plot (design) won’t be able to progress without the characters (scientific data) and vice versa. 

Ensuring that graphs and charts present meaningful results is important now more than ever. In MicroStrategy’s “2018 Global State of Enterprise Analytics,” 63% of data-driven organizations said that implementing analytics initiatives led to high efficiency and productivity while 57% said they became more effective in decision making.

With this, the challenge for organizations is to know how to structure, format, and present their graphical data that will allow them to make faster business decisions. Sign up for The KPI Institute’s Certified Data Visualization Professional course to learn the fundamentals of creating visual representations, the most effective layouts, channel selection, and reporting best practices.

How data analysis helps in decision-making


High quality data can play a huge role in increasing efficiency and improving performance and can help managers in the decision-making process. Sometimes, it is acceptable to make decisions based on instincts and gut-feelings, but the majority of them should be backed up by numbers and facts.

Data-driven decision-making is a process of collecting measurable data, based on organizational goals, extracting, and formatting data, analyzing the insights extracted from it, and using them to develop new initiatives. Nowadays, advanced software is available to help with data gathering, processing, reporting, and visualizing, to support managers.

The main steps of the decision-making process

The first step to build a well-functioning, data-driven decision-making process is to clearly define organizational goals, and to identify the questions to which the answers we find can help reach these goals. For example, if our company’s revenue goal is to increase its portion of the market share by 20% until the end of the year, a good question would be: what are the most important factors which have influence on market share?

The next step is to identify data sources and to find custodians. The source of the data highly depends on its type. There are qualitative data, which cannot be expressed by numbers, and quantitative data, which can be measured by numbers. We can collect data from primary and secondary sources. Primary sources can be observations, interviews and surveys, whilst secondary data can be collected from external documents, third-party surveys and reports.

The third main step is to clean the gathered data. During the data cleaning process, raw data is prepared for analysis by correcting incorrect, irrelevant or incomplete data. There are six data quality dimensions which should be kept in mind, during this process: Accuracy (indicates the extent to which data reflects the real world object), Completeness (refers to whether all available data is present), Consistency (refers to providing the same data, for the same object, even if this data appears in different reports), Conformity (consists in ensuring that data follows a standard format, such as YYYY/MM/DD), Timeliness (indicates whether the data was submitted in due time, respecting the data gathering deadline) and Uniqueness (points out that there should be no data duplicates reported).

Only now, the data analysis process can start. Statistical models should be used to test data and find answers to the business questions identified beforehand. Descriptive statistics can help to quantitatively describe and summarize features of data and to describe, show or summarize data in a meaningful way. For example, monthly sales or changes in employee competency levels can easily be presented in a visual manner.

Interferential statistics can help find correlations between different variables and predict future outcomes. For example, by using regression analysis, we can make a prediction on how growth, experienced in the employee competency level, can positively affect the sales volume.

Even if the data gathered is cleaned and correct, and the data analysis process has respected all the recommendations above, if the data is not presented in a meaningful way, it will not be of much use. Well-presented information and the outcomes of the analysis can help in interpreting data, thus supporting the decision-making process. From time to time, data should be updated and re-evaluated, to make the best decisions in today’s continuously changing business environment.


The advanced analysis techniques and software, which are available nowadays for the majority of organizations, make it possible to build up a data-driven decision-making culture, which leads to more prudent business decisions. These tools generate more thoughtful decisions that help performance improvement, which ultimately lead to organizational growth.

Find out more about the dat sources in our Certified Data Analysis course.


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