Data: NOT the icing on the cake. Data is the CAKE!

Good article below…and I like the analogy I found in it.

“Data is not the icing on the cake…Data is the cake”.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2015/05/26/the-new-data-options-that-drive-decisions/ by @michaelhickins.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that EVERYONE likes cake…but plenty of us do. Lot’s of different choices, and ways to obtain them…Buy them, bake them…square cakes, round cakes, bundt cakes…cup cakes.  Cakes filled with fluffy, rich goodness…all wrapped in a layer of creamy icing.  Choices…that’s the problem with cake.  Too many, and you end up having choice overload.

That’s the problem with data – it’s everywhere.  Anyone who has had to report results back to the business knows how important it is to pull timely, accurate data.  If your company doesn’t have a solid plan around Business Intelligence – and the foundational tools to enable it – good luck sharing across departments, or tying back to operations, or some other relevant area of the business.  Excel spreadsheets alone does not a Business Intelligence plan make.

Machine Data, social media feeds, risk data, customer service logs, sales reports, service delivery…the feed of information is relentless, but are you learning anything from it?

What Michael Hickins is proposing in his article is:  Start working on getting a handle on your present business, get used to the complexities that will manifest, and beginto accurately report on your business.  Put a plan in place to help you recognize trends in your current business model and:

1. Reduce Operating Cost
2. Increase Revenue
3. Make Faster, Smarter Decisions

And guess what?   All that Data you are generating will let you do so much more. Once you have a handle on current operations…start imagining a world of Predictive Analytics.  Analyze historic AND current data to act on information while it still has value.  Predictive analysis  can help you:

• Identify opportunities and act with confidence
• Recognize at-risk customers and accounts
• Create more robust, reliable financial models
• Weigh the potential impact of new strategies

You don’t need to be a C-Level exec to drive the power of this discussion within your organization.  Every level of business leader has a role to play in improving Business Intelligence and leveraging analytics to deliver benefits throughout the organization. Finance, Management, Sales, Operations, Service. Everyone.

Chances are, if you are reading this…you are thinking about your own business. Maybe…don’t try to do this on your own.  Why don’t you have an assessment done to gauge your readiness and help you create a plan to achieve your company’s goals?

I’ve got a whole team of folks who would love to talk to you.  Reach out to me on LinkedIn and let me connect you to someone who can help you find out where you are today, and how you can get to where you want to be.

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