Do you have Management Information Confidence?
26 October 2016
Many people talk about Management Information (MI) as if it’s a standard, uniform product. What’s easy to forget is that one organisation’s MI looks very different from another’s, even if they’re in the same sector. It’s rather like comparing hairstyles – it’s subtly different for each of us and how we choose to cut, colour and style it is uniquely personal (although I can only dream of those days sadly…)
It’s the same with MI. Every organisation has data – in fact, in today’s world of Big Data organisations are positively overloaded with it – but how each chooses to organise it, analyse it and use it is very unique. There’s no one size fits all for developing MI; every organisation needs and should have its own, tailored approach.
But in a world that’s awash with data, it’s easy to get to the stage where you can’t see the wood for the trees. Big Data, in particular, offers many opportunities to analyse and learn, but it can also waste a lot of time. Collecting and processing data can be a hugely inefficient operation, so it’s critical to be focused and targeted. Too many organisations try to collect as much data as possible or overlook what they have already rather than asking themselves the basic question: What do we need this for? What do I need to report? Just because you can collect data doesn’t mean that you should.
This is why we talk about Management Information Confidence (MIC). It’s about exploiting your reporting to its full potential and creating actionable insight to enable the bold decisions to be made.
It starts by linking KPIs and reporting with business strategy. If the KPI tells you nothing that you need to know about the business and provides no obvious actions, you don’t need it. And you don’t need the data that feeds it. For the data you do need you can then focus on controlling the data supply chain, from the data sources through to reporting including the processes, systems and roles and responsibilities that can impact the quality of the output.
If each time we received a report, it was relevant, we did not have to double check the figures and could take immediate action with what it was telling us, we’d all be more confident – and waste less time- in our decision-making.