Organizations love data in all forms, be it plain numbers, reports, trends, graphs, spreadsheets, et al. This fascination for data has created ‘factories’ that churn data by the minute. On top of this, research and studies produce additional data.
Do business leaders know whether all the data generated drive better decisions?
There are many organizations where data is collected because ‘someone’ started it long back. The successors tend to simply follow ‘history’ rather than dig deep to question the relevance as well as the value of the data collected. Case studies exist where CEOs insist on data-intense business reviews on a monthly basis with significant effort from almost all functions to generate and present these data. When a new CEO moves into the same role, he does away with much of the data generation on a regular basis and prefers to go by ‘exception-based’ approach. Here, the question is not about ‘who is right?’
How do managers ensure that they are getting the appropriate data that supports healthy decision-making process? By answering this crucial question, organizations could enhance their ‘return on investment’ of effort in creating data! Based on research, experts recommend professionals to address the following aspects in their ‘data creation and consumption journey.’
- Ask the right questions – Stop collecting data that is available. Instead, focus on data that would enable firms to answer critical business challenges. Once you get this right, business could channelize effort to collect the relevant data.
- Tell a story – At an enterprise level, data is usually fragmented. For data to make immediate sense and coherent, it is important that they convey a story.
- Looking back or thinking ahead – Unfortunately, most managers review data that is already ‘past.’ For businesses to thrive and compete, it is pertinent to have data that enables you to see ahead.
- Quantitative vs. Qualitative – Many firms focus on data that is quantifiable. Unfortunately, quantitative data may not show the complete picture, and in some cases, such data may not be available as well. In today’s dynamic world, leaders must also make themselves sensitive to ‘qualitative signals.’
For organizations to be successful, leaders have no choice but to invest in systems, structures, processes and governance mechanisms that covers the entire cycle of data capture to data consumption. The capability of firms to manage their data would be the key differentiator in a hyper-competitive world and if businesses are keen to retain and enhance their market shares for their products and services.
Is your enterprise ready for the data analytics challenge?