A Story About Understanding Our Data
Once upon a time there was a business. It was a good business, but for many reasons it was getting harder to predict how well or poorly they were doing based on the various measures they were accustomed to using. The market place was changing and so were the revenue sources. Little by little they were losing touch with what the real risks or opportunities were ahead.
This particular business had a board of directors and they were starting to ask different questions. They had an executive team who wanted to not only answer those questions, but they had their own questions that sounded different. They had staff, and they had customers, and other constituent groups with various interests. Why was this becoming such an issue? It never was before.
Regardless of why they were in this predicament, they were in it. They needed to pull together all of this information from many different places and make sense of it. “Well that’s easy”, they thought, “We’ll just ask our IT folks”. Now all of a sudden the IT people were asking questions. Geeze Louise, when was the merry go round ever going to end?
So they hired IT consultants. The questions kept coming, but they thought “hey the consultants at least will help us get through this maze, right”. Well, not exactly. After many hours, days, and months, the questions kept coming and the merry go round continued. They were exhausted.
Until one day they decided to take a different approach. Maybe chasing down all of this information was not the place to start. Maybe they needed to make better sense of the questions first. What were the right questions? What real problems was all this information going to solve?
Well, it was not easy, but they did it. They managed to find the right set of questions that aligned with their strategies – the questions that could help to solve the major issues. So, they went back to the drawing board with these questions in mind and somehow it started to come together. They were getting information to the right people, ahead of the curves, and making real time adjustments to their business.
The moral of the story, “ask the right questions and you might find the answers”. “Ask the wrong questions and enjoy the merry go round.
CEO, ITData, Inc.