7/23/2015

Data Blockages Can Give Your Org a Heart Attack

Around 2004, I  joined a tennis club near the house.  The club was basically run down at the time.  But for some reason, this was the happening place amongst the tennis community.  People traveled from all over the county to get a good game of tennis.

Basically,  people just showed up around 4pm,  without a pre-set match.  People would team up as they arrived, find a court, and start playing.  It was free form.  After the set finished, players would change courts and find new people to play with.  Lots of good energy.

And there was one guy,  who orchestrated things, behind the scenes.  He knew everybody.  And  he was always willing to  talk with people.  And his network comprised everyone on the courts.  Essentially the go-to guy for information on  the happenings of the  tennis community.  People freely shared their info because they received information in return.

That guy knew the power of information.  And how to get it, distribute it.  And that allowed him insider information and an elevated status.

In the workforce, information typically flows downhill.  Those at the top, know what's going on at most levels of the org.  And that knowledge allows them to run the business.  That top down system is dismantling.  Because the information is now flowing in from the data.  All the applications running the business, from lead generation, to sales, to processing and  fulfillment, accounts receivable and payable, to renewal history and customer retention.

So if you want to keep a pulse on the business, you have to have access to the data.  In the form of reports  and dashboards and KPI and mobile and self service.  And that pattern has been growing the past years.

Now we can access data from repositories on the web, public data, social data, scraping web sites, leveraging non traditional data forms such as log files, unstructured data, emails, semi-structured data, etc.  And there're tools to store this data for long periods for later retrieval.  To look for patterns, knowledge and insights.

So upper management is now placing emphasis on the data.  To get a glimpse of the past (traditional),to Predictive Analytics, as well as Prescriptive Analytics, changing  the future events to conform with desired expectations.

So what does that mean?  Management is not only about managing people, products and flow.  It's also about metrics and insights and trends and patterns.  Does the traditional MBA prepare people for this new work environment?  Can a CEO manage the business without access to data?  Can a business maintain their competitive edge without data or a social networking presence?

The world is changing.  Being disrupted.  Forcing change on every company and business and government organization to adapt to survive.  How are we preparing the future generation to thrive in the future world when they're learning outdated skills.

The rules that dictate the world are crumbling all  around us.  Those who have access to pertinent information will rise to the top.  And those who can  interpret the data are even further ahead.  And those who can make changes to existing systems based on the data will be still  further ahead.

What are you doing today to create a culture embedded in data.  Data needs to flow through the org and empower workers to  take action.  Because the information is no longer silo'd in the executive offices.  The data trickles up, instead of top-down.

Those who have access to the information are the go-to people in today's world.  Just like the guy at the tennis club.

The world is getting smaller.  Real time.  24x7.  Always connected.  Less barriers to information.

Data is not the new oil to be mined.  Data is the blood of every org.  Flowing through every appendage, like veins.  If you got blockages, you're heading for a heart attack.  If the data is flowing smoothly, you're org is in  good health.  What is the health of your org?

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