Many business owners and executives fear being wrong when about to make an important decision. It’s so paralyzing a concern for some people that the decision never gets made.
When does this happen and why?
It often happens when businesses develop a false sense that they’re doing things right combined with an attitude that spending money to analyze data is a non-essential cost. It also happens because intuition is still what’s primarily relied on by many to make important decisions
Taking a close look at your data requires real courage because, if done right, it’s going to reveal certain ugly truths about the business – about some of the people, the processes, poor decisions that have been made, customers you should fire, and a lot more.
One thing about good data is it doesn’t lie. And it’s great for accountability. And it will surface various eye-opening truths, some of which you know are already out in the open and staring you in the face.
On the subject of Truth:
The biggest inhibitor for businesses in using their data to help drive decisions is no confidence in the data’s accuracy. In 99% of companies, there is no single version of the truth when it comes to data. There are 3, 4 or 5 versions (maybe more) accumulated over the years. So what’s a leader to do whose management team is already complaining about a shortage of data resources?
We recommend the following 3 steps:
- Inventory your data. Understand what you have. Understand what it is, where it is, how many versions of it exist, how it moves around, how long it’s retained, who’s using it, how important it is to the business. All other activity is fully or at least partially wasted effort without this starting point.
- Run a simple pilot that pays off in weeks/months and demonstrate efficiency gains through smarter handling of the data. Focus on areas that are meaningful to most employees — inventory, scheduling, production orders, etc.
- Take what is learned from the pilot to develop a long-term, prioritized plan for managing data more strategically. If done right, this will pay off in HUGE dividends!
On the subject of Digital Transformation:
We meet many companies that have formed internal ‘digital transformation teams,’ but aren’t really looking at how they use their data. True digital transformation is way more than pretty graphics and data dashboards. To truly effect change, companies need to look at the truths within their data and use these to grow and advance the company. This is the true ‘win’ these teams should be striving for.