Everything in your company runs off of data, but the numbers can’t stand alone-they need to be combined for specific purposes before you can make strategic decisions. Below are the pitfalls to data consumption and the remedies to turn your data into the “secret ingredient” for your business:
It’s critical that you make sense of your data – integrating applications, providing more in-depth reporting across platforms, and ultimately making information more available and more “intelligent” for your business. It’s all about getting information into your hands timely so you can make better, faster decisions.
Everything in your company runs off of data, but the numbers can’t stand alone-they need to be combined for specific purposes before you can make strategic decisions. Trends develop, that if not analyzed can leave insights unseen. Information – a general, but powerful term, is about turning data into useful decision points. Whether you are measuring performance, flushing out waste in a process or cost structure, or ultimately just looking for more effective insight into how a process, department, or function within your company is performing – you are in need of better “business intelligence”. Below are the pitfalls to data consumption and the remedies to turn your data into the “secret ingredient” for your business:
1. Like Ingredients, Data Can’t-And Shouldn’t-Stand Alone
Having a data source or a metric is like having a bottle of cinnamon: super critical for dozens of uses, but pretty awful when you take it on its own.
And business professionals understand that a single point of data can’t stand on its own; that’s why we all have dozens of data sources spitting out numbers, metrics, ad KPIs for departments throughout the company. Unfortunately, having all of these numbers residing strictly in their respective departments is much like keeping your spices in their bottles and never using them to season a meal.
Where am I going with this?
If you’re not looking at all your KPIs together in real time on an executive management platform, you’re flying blind.
2. Great Data/Ingredients Don’t Always Equal a Great Outcome
Remember that time you tried to make dinner and the fire department ended up outside your house? There’s no doubt that you bought the highest quality meat, but things can go south quickly if it’s not put together right.
When you’re using your data, the context and interpretation is everything. With very little effort, an employee can use a very expensive data source to give you doctored, late, or just plain incorrect data. You start using that data to put together objectives, and poof! Time to bring in the fire brigade.
3. Timing Is Everything
Without the right executive management platform, you’re probably getting delayed information and reacting to outdated issues. It’s like paying for a nice restaurant and getting whipped cream on your salad and creamy Italian dressing on your gelato – good stuff, wrong place.
4. The Recipe Matters
If you’re comparing numbers from different platforms that are not set up to measure the right metrics, you may be trying to reconcile apples and oranges. Do you know what an apple pie tastes like when apples are switched out for oranges? If you can picture what that would do to your next dinner party, then you’re starting to get the idea of what the wrong numbers can do to your business.
Author: Nick Smarrelli, GadellNet IT Consulting
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).