Executive Assistants: Enablers of Informed Business Decisions

Excellent Executive Assistants are able to gather crucial data for smarter and more informed decision-making, potentially saving companies millions of dollars.

How much is an informed, data-driven decision worth? Potentially millions, as the right answer can mean the difference between sustained profitability and bankruptcy in an ever-increasingly complex business world. In fact, a recent McKinsey & Company study found that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable.

Where does that vital information come from? The unsung heroes of informed decision-making are often the Executive Assistants (EAs) working tirelessly behind the scenes, serving as capable counterparts of the most powerful decision-makers and businesses.

The Invaluable Art of Information Gathering

An excellent Executive Assistant possesses a keen understanding of where to source, how to interpret, and communicate complex information. They skillfully navigate industry publications, company databases, and public records, and even leverage their professional networks to extract the most valuable data for their executive. The better the EA, the more impactful the effect of the decision will be. It's a skill, combining resourcefulness with knowing the right questions to ask.

Think of them as curators who not only identify relevant data points but contextualize, filter, and interpret them.

One of the best qualities of an Executive Assistant in analyzing data is being able to separate hype from substantial, distilling vast amounts of information into actionable and measurable insights.

Here are just a few examples for what such an EA can do:

Activity Data Insights
Market Monitoring Market reports, competitor press releases, financial filings Uncover competitors' strategies, strengths, and weaknesses; anticipate market moves and adjust own approach
Trend Spotting Industry news, publications, thought leadership pieces Identify emerging trends; predict shifts in technology, consumer behavior, regulations, or supply chains
Customer Insights Customer feedback (complaints, praise, feature requests) Analyze patterns to predict which issues matter to customers most; highlight areas for product development or service improvement
‘So What’ Analysis Data from reports, market analyses, customer feedback, etc. Communicate implications of data; highlight potential threats (e.g., a competitor's new product launch) or opportunities (e.g., an underserved market segment)

EA as Collaborator: Enhancing Executive Focus

Time is finite, for store clerks and top-level executives alike. By assuming the burden of information gathering and initial analysis, Executive Assistants create a critical advantage — they free the executive's time and mental bandwidth.  This means the executive can focus on the big picture: strategic planning, relationship building, and the nuanced aspects of decision-making that require their specific expertise.

The Bottom Line

The role of Athena Assistants in information gathering and research elevates their status from administrative support to strategic contributor. When empowered with the right tools, trust, and understanding of the organization's goals, your Executive Assistants become a hidden weapon – one that gathers the intelligence needed for those winning business decisions.

Interested in how an elite assistant can revolutionize your approach to information gathering and research? Get started with Athena.