Having a solid strategy how data and analytics are used in the organization is key in outsmarting the competition. There is no way around it, operational and financial data is being generated by the systems every second. Not using these data effectively means missing out on vital information and missing an opportunity in improving processes and cutting cost. On top of that, a lack of data security is an increasing risk for organizations. Most importantly, the organization needs to be ready to accept the realities the data are showing and be able to use that information to make steer the ship.
We help you lay out your data strategy not only to make sure that data is accessible and accepted across departments, but also to redefine how decisions are made.
Laying the foundations in the organization – not just an IT project
It seems many organizations have not been able to make the necessary steps yet to use their data effectively. This is not just an IT-technical project where data are logged, stored and made available for the organization to use while creating the necessary security steps to protect sensitive data from leaking out. While it starts with making sure that the departments have access to the wealth of data being produced, even more important steps can be taken by creating an organization that is ready to use data to grow and maintain its intelligence.
Ultimately the objective is to create an organization that can make the right decisions based on objectively acquired information. This means that people need to know how to get the right information and ask the right questions. Most importantly, the organization needs to be ready to accept the realities the data are showing and be able to use that information to make steer the ship. Starting with the leadership, people need to be accustomed to using the information that comes out of data as a tool and understand what the limitations of this tool are.
Good interpretation is key
In a world that is almost euphoric about the enormous potential of data it is important to understand that having data available and analysing it does not equal having useful information. The final step is often plainly forgotten: interpretation. This is a step that can only be done by someone who is intimately familiar with the data, the analysis and the operational mechanisms that create the data as it is. Only then can the connection be made to what the abstractness of numbers means in the “real world”
However, the relatively recent demand for management dashboards has left this step in the hands of the management, a position with too little time to deal with detailed analysis and accurate interpretation of data visualisations. This too often results in jumping to conclusions, generalizations and taking actions that have adverse effects in other areas, simply because the step of guiding the decision makers through what the data means is missing.
The remedy is in the ability for the leadership to ask questions to the analyst and a process in which these questions are answered in a timely fashion. This means the leadership needs to be able to ask, “what does this graph mean?”, “what does it show me?”, “why is this metric increasing?”.
An opportunity for change
Having good access to data and the information it contains is not just a tactical advantage for optimizing planning, using less fuel or improving safety. It is also a strategic decision to create an intelligent organization in which its people have a more objective grasp of the bigger picture. The organization will have the ability to create new and more accurate insights in where change is needed and then monitor of its going in the right direction.