The Data-Driven Expert's Guide to a More Productive, Profitable Company

November 24, 2014

Better decisions start with better company culture.
As business decision makers, it's mission critical to harvest the full value of our data in order to make the most educated, confident decisions. To do so, we need to evaluate if the structures and processes we have in place really support this.

Most processes and organizations are built on the assumption that the further up the hierarchy the better you are at making decisions. 

The TARGIT Journey

This is what the TARGIT Journey is all about: moving away from the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person's Opinion) mentality towards a world of data-driven decisions throughout the entire organization. 

This first step in the TARGIT journey could be referred to "traditional" BI and analytics on top of a data warehouse. The nature of this is high complexity and low agility. So even if it provides a lot of value, there is more to be desired. Think of this: If you are just using your BI to upgrade your reports to good-looking dashboards with the same audience and the frequency, then the value is low. 

The next natural step will be include real-time data discovery and action. This step moves the organization towards operational excellence and directly addresses two very important business challenges:

  1. Reducing the lead time from our actions until we see the measurable results.
  2. Finding data that are not influenced by an immeasurable number of factors that makes learning impossible.

Consider sharing your data with your suppliers and other external stakeholders. This is what we at TARGIT call the act of democratizing data. The ability to seamlessly and easily share important information throughout the company breaks down traditional department silos.

One of our main objectives at TARGIT is to deliver the right information to the right people in the right time so every company decision maker, in every department, has instant access to the data they need to make intelligent business decisions.

And the third step in our journey is to start looking at data in the outside world. Try to understand what is going on before it impacts you. And, yes I'm referring to big data. 

But the idea about looking for new sources of data that help us to put things in a better perspective is not a new idea. As Herbert Simon stated 30 years ago: If your data doesn't give you the answers, look for more details instead of squeezing the data you have. That is common practice in all physical science research. And the idea of step three in the TARGIT journey is exactly to make your decisions in a scientific and structured way. You can read more about the Journey in this free eBook on how to become a data-driven organization.

As the speed with which the amount of accessible data grows, we need to constantly rethink how we observe and orientate ourselves best. Every time we can find a way to exchange a lagging indicator for a leading indicator, we should do so.

Numbers don't lie

The research that Erik Brynjolfsen and his colleagues at MIT have done has proven it: Data-driven organizations are more productive, profitable, and more valuable than those are less data driven.

According to this same research by Brynjolfsen, we are on the verge of the Second Machine Age. They reported many striking similarities to the first machine age, when technology boosted productivity and completely changed the way we live. And today IT seems to be the only perceived way to better productivity.

But in order to become a truly data-driven organization - to achieve that third rung on the TARGIT Journey, there must be that shift in company culture I mentioned above. 

In a speech I gave at TARGIT Decision Day back in September, I spoke about why this is critical, and how it can be achieved by any company. You can watch the full video here or click on the image below.