Having a scientific method to reduce uncertainty is often one of the least leveraged opportunities in traditional businesses. Therefore, one of the first things I do when I join a business is to get a data warehouse built.

The next step is to start using a BI tool to slice and dice data to learn as much as possible around what's selling, what's not, what's changed over time, how does employees stack up against each on sales and other metrics, where and what are the inefficiencies, how are we winning or failing, where do we lack clean data to make decisions, etc.

Being able to quickly analyze any part of your business without the need for external consultants or analysts is essential to avoid costly mistakes based on unfounded confidence, decisions, and strategies.

Business is all about making decisions under uncertainty. Access to data and scientific methods of using data can help reduce that uncertainty and the financial, operational and cultural costs associated with poor decision-making.