It’s pretty powerful that technology can change and shift the dynamics of an organization. Similarly, data also holds great power – but we need to make sense of it. Historically, we’ve talked about data and technology by saying that data informs. Today, the real power is that data can actually transform. It can change the way businesses operate. Data gives us the potential to go beyond the text and numbers — beyond bits and bytes — helping us get beyond our organizational results to make a difference with our corporate community.
In our organization, we make data driven decisions, whether it’s for a product, project, or personnel. However, there is so much data collected to sort through. In just a few short years, all this data can become clutter, much like your favorite junk drawer that houses anything and everything. In fact, 90 percent of the data we’ve collected was gathered in just a few years. With all the data your organization accumulates, how do you know if you’re measuring the right things? [Hint: If you’re measuring it already, then it matters to you.] To that extent, here are some things to consider and challenge if what you’re measuring makes sense for your business:
It’s time to be more discerning in our measurements. Rather than looking at whether we are getting MORE or LESS of something, we need to be measuring if we are getting MORE or LESS of the RIGHT things. For example, every company has “bad customers”. Customers that cost the organization more to service or are never satisfied because our product was never really the right fit for them in the first place. If we measured solely on quantity, we could be patting ourselves on the back for getting 50 more of these high maintenance accounts. However, we’d be better off getting only 10 new “good customers” instead. If we measure smartly, that adds more value to the business.
Consider What’s Important
“Important” is a finite resource. In any organization, everything may seem critical or perhaps just be listed as critical but in order for the business to thrive, we have to be very intentional about how to invest our time or energy. We must be selective with and specific to see what’s truly important to measure. Try ranking those KPIs. Perhaps focus on leading indicators as these will drive other critical measures. Draw some lines around Important vs. Informative. For most organizations, those important items should be fewer than ten things.
Let’s say that you’re confident that you have measured smartly and focused only on what is important, the work doesn’t stop there. We should be constantly challenge what’s getting measured. Items that were previously measured to determine goals and KPIs may no longer matter. These methods of measurement might be determined by past goals and not align with what your organization needs to drive it forward. Constantly evaluating if the current measurement makes sense will allow your company to smartly gather, analyze and use that data.
Ultimately, the true goal of all this measurement is to get ahead of an issue, and determine what the leading indicators are to help us achieve that goal. At Hubble, we see solutions, not spreadsheets. See how we help make sense of your data and make it work for you.