At RUBIX. we firmly believe that being data driven is a journey that starts with establishing the right foundations. However, successful business leaders know that data on their own can’t improve their organisation — it’s how they use their data to improve the quality and speed of their operational and strategic decision making that leads to better business performance.
It’s what you do with data that counts!
That theme was reinforced at the recent Melbourne Business School Data and Analytics Conference. There was a distinct sense of optimism about the potential for analytics to transform organisations and even society as a whole — Lord Mayor Sally Capp announcing Melbourne’s own Open Data initiative as one example.
“Data isn’t information; information isn’t knowledge; knowledge isn’t wisdom.” — Ian Lowe
Still, there isn’t one approach or tool to using data and analytics so, like most things, you need to start with the end in mind.
Start with understanding what is happening within your business.
Businesses often arrive at a stage of growth where they have gained complexity, but lost the ability to understand the essential processes and workings of their business. The impact they seek from data and analytics is visibility and operational control of both revenue and cost drivers.
In this case they are best served employing essential reporting and business insight tools that turn data into insights for better operational and management decisions (e.g. around regulatory aspects). This is business intelligence.
A picture tells a thousand words…and enables strategic decision making.
A key tool to deploy to deliver business intelligence from your data is visualisation through tools such as dashboards.
In a complex business world where executives are constantly time poor, having lots of information can be a double-edged sword — they are almost over informed. When their ability to rapidly and accurately digest information is vital to ensuring their decisions are sound, a picture truly ‘can tell a thousand words’.
With clear, easy-to-interpret dashboards and visualisations about the most important levers and triggers in an organisation, reliable and well-informed decisions can be taken to optimise a business’ performance.
“Some boards are informing themselves, by using insights-driven leading indicators to address … the risk of obsolescence of their business itself..”- Rebecca McGrath, Respected Board Chair and Non-executive director
Further, progressive boards are informing themselves, by using insights-driven leading indicators to address one area of concern for boards (perhaps at the extreme) — the risk of obsolescence of their business itself.
Better and faster operational insight provides stability and strategic advantage.
It is an organisation’s ability to turn data into insight into more intelligent decisions, quickly, that helps them optimise the operational efficiencies, to better navigate through and to strategically capitalise on their disruptive and constantly changing competitive environment.
Now you have established your data foundations and are leveraging this asset to turn your data into insight, you have established a launchpad to accelerate your growth and performance.