Please welcome guest blogger Martin Jetton, Quantitative Research Scientist with the Hiring Solutions Group at Kronos, Inc.
1. You face complex decisions. Computers are good at one thing, really just one thing — capturing and storing data. Okay that is two things, but really they are good at data. Now it seems that all decisions have both lots of inputs (data points) and lots of subsequent data is created after a decision. With this increase in available and captured data is the increase in perceived complexity. A closed-loop data philosophy will help sort through the inputs and outputs of handling complex decisions.
2. You’re having problems with processes. Business is processes with “stuff” (material, customers, patients, widgets) in one door and out another. Businesses survive, grow and flourish by managing their processes. Business processes are made up of both material and the decisions along the process that create the material. If, and it’s not such a big if, the decisions along the process are improved you will improve the product. As a business person do you look at your day to day processes for the subtle decisions that go into each? Do you intend on improving those processes to reap the most of each step of a process?
3. You’re troubled by risk. Linking data inputs to a decision with the results of a decision is the first step in understanding, managing and reducing risk. Risks come in many flavors but I think they scare people. You know which ones I’m talking about; legal risks, safety risks, personal risks, liabilities — they’ll make you go screaming to your office door, get into your car to head home and jump into a warm bed to avoid risks. What are the best ways to minimize risks? Understand them first. Look at the decisions that put you, your organizations, and your products at risk. What data points do you use to evaluate the risks? How do you improve your decision making around risks? And more data does not minimize risks…sometimes it only clouds the decision. Again, tie the data to the decisions and evaluate the impact of data points and their impact on managing risks.
4. Your organization is not making the most of its data. This is what I’m talking about. A closed-loop philosophy makes the most of your organization’s data by linking the data used in decisions to the decision outcomes. Again back to the computer thing, computers are good at one thing, data — capturing and storing data. What is your company doing with that data? Are they reducing risks? Are they improving processes and understanding the decisions that drive costs/revenue?
5. You need to beat stiff competition. If you are not using a closed-loop data philosophy to improve your business, maybe your competition will. Think about it.