Isn’t it time to move from hindsight to insights?
In the era of the smartwatch we find it normal to know about ourselves with literally a flick of the wrist, we call it quantified self. Isn’t it time to really move towards the quantified organization, to Fitbit your organization?
We read about big data, data driven decision making and business intelligence everywhere, buzzwords enough, but when it comes to reality we only use it in hindsight.
These days, if I walk into an office, I get an immediate answer when I ask a manager about sleeping patterns or heart rate. However, if I ask about the performance of the main value streams or delays in those value streams, I’m usually directed to the BI-team. If I ask an SMB owner about cash flow, I’m directed to his accountant. Maybe you feel comfortable driving your car without a realtime dashboard but you shouldn’t and the same goes for managing your organization big or small.
Insights, the path to success
When driving you usually at least watch the speedometer on your dashboard, you don’t go to the garage to ask at what speed you have been driving. Why should managing an organization be any different?
While sometimes it’s okay to follow your instincts, the vast majority of your business-based decisions should be backed by metrics, facts, or figures related to your goals.
By leveraging the wealth of data available into insights, it’s possible to make more informed decisions that will lead to commercial growth, evolution, and an increased bottom line. Those insights should be available in now, not later. What’s holding us back?
Scattered data, high complexity
We have so much data but it’s scattered in silos, or using it is to complex, or our IT organization expects us to use BI-Tools when all we want is insights.
About 10 years ago I was asked to come and drink a cup of coffee at a multi-national sales organization. The sales people where send on a Microsoft training SQL Server Reporting Services so they could create the insights they needed themselves. Imagine the panic. I was asked if we could design a simple solution, we could and we did and it became the most used unofficial application in the company.
So how did we do it and how can you do it?
Land and expand
We followed a simple agile path. Think Big start Small. Always keep the big picture in mind but build for immediate use. We didn’t start off building a complete solution. We build simple blocks named in the language of the users that allowed them to correlate data from various sources into reports, without the need to know the source or how to get there. The salesforce decided which next block would add the most value. All reports were based on data in near real time.
You can do the same for/with your organization. By implementing the right reporting tools block by block, you will be able to make the kind of data driven decisions that will drive your organization forward. It isn’t hard and it should not be costly. Just do it!
This article is an introduction to a series of articles themed telemetry by design. I will post more on my site lion.nu, follow me on linkedin or facebook if you like to read more.