Most organizations struggle with a host of different issues as they continue to expand and grow their business. One area that is commonly overlooked is the collection of the company data. Key performance indicators or KPIs are often defined, but rarely utilized effectively. Disparate systems are myopically designed; and to be able to extract any common understanding can be a daunting challenge. As with any relationship, if it is not constantly updated and rejuvenated, it will die. In addition, trust is also a key factor. Taking all of this into account, we at iDashboards often hear, “I know what I want, but how do I get there?”
Create a road map for your data
Benjamin Franklin is often cited as stating “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” and Sir Winston Churchill famously quipped “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” With any project, outlining the goals of the objectives and building a road map of what you have and what you want to see is critical to its success. Start by gathering information on where your company information is located (Excel, server database, back of a napkin, etc.). Clearly articulate what you would like to extract from this data (profit and loss, sales by region, company revenue, etc. this list is ad nausea). This seems easier said than done, but if you take the time to invest, the rewards can completely change how you, and just as importantly, and your entire company does business.
Make sense of your data
A technology that has been gaining momentum over the past decade is data visualization. I have often heard it said “How can I make any sense out of 5000 rows and columns of data?” Centralization, customization and visualization are crucial to taking this next step. Over 100 years ago the invention of “Talkies” (or later named “Movies”) replaced the reading of books and novels from the past few thousand years and has transformed many aspects of our society. The disseminating information as quickly as possible is also key to keeping pace with the state of business today. Try to pry any young person between the ages of 6 and 16 away from their smart device while watching YouTube and you will need chain mail and steel plated body armor to protect yourself. We have been, and continue to expand as a society based on sight. What we see, how fast we interpret what we have seen, can decide a company’s fate. Do I choose to embrace these new technologies or do I continue to do business in the same manner and function?
One of my favorite sayings from Einstein is “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Can you relate?
Get in touch with your data… or you may soon find you are “in touch” with a bankruptcy lawyer or state unemployment representative.
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Even if you’re not the artistic type, this guide will have you thinking like a graphic designer and making informed choices that support your data narrative.