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3 Ways to Use Big-Data Concepts to Get Your Next Raise Appealing to the fact-finding nature of today's business leaders is a smart strategy to take with your boss.

By John Boitnott Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Big data is powering everything businesses do today, from supply chain management to marketing processes. As companies realize the power of using real data to make decisions, they're relying on it more and more. The result is a shift in overall leadership styles, where executives now want to see hard numbers before they'll sign off on changes.

For rank-and-file employees, this can be good news. In the coming years, leaders will increasingly rely on industry statistics when evaluating pay rates and job responsibilities. However, if you work in a business where change is rare, you may find that you've gone years between pay raises. Instead of waiting for your boss to realize you're underpaid, why not use these same big data concepts to demonstrate to your supervisor that you need a bump in salary? Here are three ways you can use big data concepts to convince your boss you're worth more money.

1. Show your value.

Have you increased your company's bottom line? From the production line to office administrative staff, everyone has an impact on the money a company brings in and sends out each month. Maybe you found a way to save the company thousands of dollars a year by shifting to a less expensive manufacturing process. Or you may have increased monthly cash flow by landing a few new clients. Even if you simply support the staff that brings in the money, you can show how that daily contribution makes a difference.

Pull together charts that show the money you either save or bring in each year. This will help justify an increase, since you'll show that your pay raise is more than covered in the money you're adding to the business' bottom line. If you can show a measurable difference in cash flow from the time you joined the company, you'll have an even stronger case.

2. Cite research about industry rates.

When employers consider hiring someone, they often consult resources like Glassdoor and before choosing a pay range. You can conduct the same research and determine exactly how much your position is worth. This can vary from city to city because of cost-of-living differences, so it's important to know the worth of your work in your current area. Your worth will also depend on your years of experience in your field.

Before approaching your supervisor about a salary increase, research what others in your field are making and show that there's a big difference. You may find in your research that your salary is actually within the range of what it should be. If so, you'll have to come up with a valid argument for why you are worth more than you're making, perhaps because of certifications or the special skills you bring.

3. Demonstrate necessity.

If you've been in your position for a while, chances are the cost of living has changed. There are several cost of living calculators available online, but these are designed to show the difference from one city to the next. Instead, you may have to use your own monthly expenses to show an increase over time. You can make a chart of your monthly utilities, rent and other expenses to demonstrate that your expenses have gone up while your salary hasn't.

You may have the best leverage if your company has seen substantial growth in the time you've been on staff. If your business is struggling, the fact that your cost of living has gone up will be of negligible importance to your company's leaders, who are well aware of increasing costs.

Approaching your supervisor to request a pay raise can be difficult. But if you handle the request using facts instead of emotions, you'll be much more likely to get what you're requesting. By compiling charts and reports showing why you need a pay hike, you may appeal to the fact-finding nature of many of today's business leaders, increasing your odds for success.

John Boitnott

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Journalist, Digital Media Consultant and Investor

John Boitnott is a longtime digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He's written for Venturebeat, USA Today and FastCompany.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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