Going by the sales figures this Diwali season, it appears that the demonetisation slump faced by business houses is slowly beginning to turn around.  The post-Diwali period represents a crucial time for Indian companies.  The sales figures achieved during this season is what determines the way forward for most businesses with budget planning and business strategy.

Everybody today is unanimous on the importance of the role of a number cruncher – a person who can figure out the future course of action based on data available today.  However, only a few know how to exactly identify these wizards of numerical data.  A numbers analyst is one who dissects the data available comes up with a strategic plan.  Thus, you would need an assessment tool which could measure an individual’s ability to interpret and manipulate data.

Numerical reasoning assessments are widely used to measure potential and offer recruiters more information about an applicant’s ability to perform effectively in a role. The Numerical Data Interpretation Test (NDIT) measures a candidate’s ability to understand and analyse or decode information presented in various tables, charts and graphs and draw appropriate inferences from this information.  It also evaluates his ability to identify when additional data is required to make certain assumptions.

NDIT consists of questions of varying difficulty and is ideal for identifying number wizards at both graduate and managerial levels.  It is scored using the item response theory and can be linked to applicant tracking systems with results being available immediately via the platform.  As the test determines an individual’s ability to interpret data under time pressure, it sifts out unsuitable candidates and improves candidate quality at the final stage of recruitment thereby reducing the hiring cost and time.

There was a time when predicting sales for the future and creating a business plan around it was more of a guessing game.  If sales increased, they assumed that the strategies were sound and moved forward using the same ideas.  If there was no improvement, the plans and strategies were tweaked until sales started to show an upward trend.  However, now technology has given organisations the ability to see exactly how their strategies are yielding.  Using data analytics, they can monitor customer activities and tie them to specific sales efforts.

In addition to setting up the right systems, you need the right person who can marry the data with a certain human insight.  A data analyst will enable you to make smarter decisions toward higher profits and business growth.  For instance, a company in an effort to improve sales identified a team of number crunchers who were tasked with analysing competitive pricing data on a weekly basis.  This team working hand in hand with a category-management team managed to deliver a one percentage point of margin uplift with very limited additional overhead.

As the saying goes, being in the right place at the right time makes all the difference.  In the same way, having the right person for the job (a numbers wizard in this case) ensures a successful business strategy!