If your organisation is using technology (that is, if your organisation is operating in the 21st century) then you may be aware that the technology does not engender good practice. The up-side of paper is it is finite and will only fit in so many filing cabinets. Our understanding is that digital is better, even though it has created a precedent to never delete, always revise, (never complete) working documents.
The issue with digital is quantity.
There is just too much data to properly ingest in a way that you actually understand. And too many people are completely overwhelmed and, in a noble attempt to stay informed, limit what they see. There are too many “executive dashboards” or “management summaries” that tell you absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, that leads to knowledge silos within an organisation.
Is it possible to understand all the data in your company in a way that is helpful for decision making, to drive forward efficiency and effectiveness on the one hand, and innovation and investment on the other?
Let me expand a little:
Popular terms like “data science,” “big data,” and all the technologies that come with them are just ways to do what has been happening for years; understand all these disparate events that are happening and make a coherent explanation.
In sport, whether you’re a massive fan, or casual spectator, you hear statistics all the time:
- “This is the fourth international appearance for player x and he’s yet to score.”
- “They have won this title x years in a row with this formation.”
This is an attempt to distil things into simple statements that would enable decisions to be made. These are heavily utilised in the gambling industry. Whether helpful or not, the intention is to tell a story that will put events into context.
What information are you presented with on a daily basis? Does it help you understand how the business is performing?
Put another way, what gameplay stats do you think are the most important for your organisation? Is the information you are presented with telling the story you need to hear?
Referring to my earlier blog, you need to know the organisations’ raison d’être.
Why do you tap those little cross hairs on your maps app? Because you want to know where you are. You don’t really care about the curvature of the earth at this precise moment. You want to know where you are in relation to where you want to be.
Your data should be filtered and organised to show you where you are and where you are in relation to where you want to go. You have colourful charts, tabs, and tooltips that flood your mind with information, but what you really want to do is tap the cross hairs.
Naturally, you are going to want to have different levels of detail for different parts of the organisation, but that should all be filtered through the business outcome (where you are headed).
How do other parts of the business get their data? Is it driven by the same motivation?
Getting your data aligned according to the business outcomes will ensure your entire organisation is headed in the right direction, together. Look out for upcoming posts with practical tips on how to achieve just that.
In my experience over the past decade I have seen the impact good, visible data has on business success. This means enabling businesses to depart from manual reporting by creating an appetite for interactive analytics tools, transforming business culture. I believe transparency at all levels of the enterprise will drive up ownership of the business goals through engaging data visualisation and ultimately real-time, actionable data.
As a result of this innovative work with Performance Analytics on the ServiceNow platform, I have presented at several ServiceNow conferences. Most recently at NowForum London 2016, Knowledge17 in Orlando and Knowledge18 in Las Vegas