When you sit in your meeting room looking for new and innovative ways to take the company forward, the chances are that you all sit at the table with a series of spreadsheets in front of you and numerous slides on a presentation projected onto the wall with the latest financial data. You then have to take that information and establish just what is available to you in terms of time, money and resources and decide on the next big thing that will take your company forwards.

The data you have available is possibly the most useful resource you will look at in these meetings, but there’s often so much of it that it all merges into one series of pie charts, graphs and numbers. To try and decipher it all, many businesses have brought in big data solutions that help to turn these facts and figures into clear, easy-to-understand information that can be used to work out the next area for investment, where cut backs are needed or where extra staff could be of major benefit.

In many cases it’s not the actual data presented that will help to make these decisions, it’s how it is presented. Even the very best analysts can struggle to work out what all of the information means, and can find it difficult to present it in a way that makes sense to everyone. When you have a form of software that can handle the huge amounts of data that is available to some businesses, it’s much easier to incorporate every single statistic for a true, real-time representation of the current situation that can expose every success and every fault.

Ready, Set, Go – Real-Time Responses to Real-Time Events

A solid business strategy needs some foundation, otherwise it’s going to fall apart at the seams and no business can afford for that to happen. If you’re going to invest time, money and resources into a long-term plan you need to ensure that every section of that plan is watertight, and using the kind of data that the various analytics software options can reveal can help you to do just that. Predictions are just that, guesses at what could or might happen, but having access to cold, hard facts is far more beneficial and much more likely not only to get the green light from your investors and shareholders, but to succeed.

Sometimes the kind of data this is revealed needs to be acted on immediately. Many might have suspicions that a certain campaign, project or investment is faltering but they need some solid proof to back up those theories. With the availability of real-time insights, you can make the decision to cut funding to a certain area or to pull the plug on a particular campaign before it was horrendous consequences for the business.

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84