Senior management and data usage
If you are a senior management executive, this article is for you. By the end of this article, I hope you’ll be convinced that it’s time to ask or even demand for a change from your head of BI.
In the past year, I have spoken with many senior level managers, and I have found they all share two things in common; they don’t have much time, and, they often don’t have direct access to their department or company’s data. This slows down their ability to make decisions and work on future development for their business. Many managers tell me they usually wait for their reported to supply them with answers to their questions, which is a big blocker in making data actionable. In 2019, things have to change!
The job of your organization’s BI team or the Analytics team is to first enable senior managers to readily consume and explore data from all their reported departments. They should be building reports to focus on department’s activity and performance in a more granular level. This would allow senior managers to dig into the data to learn what works and what doesn’t, without the need to wait for someone to relay this information. It should be accessible and unfiltered at the tip of their fingers. I’m not suggesting you should micromanage, but you should instead use this data to find new opportunities to improve strategies, user experiences, and general directions across departments.
Owning your data and using your data are not different concepts. They both allow you to maintain and collect raw data in-house in one true data source . Collecting all this information into one wearhouse enables you and your employees to access it with whatever tool they prefer.It also ensures you all see and analyze the same numbers, and above all, ensures you use the best available data when you work on your strategy and planning.
For example, enabling you to easily access data with Tableau or Power BI won’t require much learning on your part. If the dataset is built correctly, most of these tools will be intuitive and easy to navigate. After a 3-hours training (mostly on datasets), you’ll be able to build your own reports and dashboards to answer all the questions you have in a fast, responsive environment. What a great change compared to Excel sheets with pivot numbers.
I’m a big believer in ‘one report from c level to junior level’. This report helps all levels of the organization to align and understand the business goals and objectives using data. However, this is only good as an indicator of where we stand and how far we are from achieving our goals. But as a senior manager, you’re expected to mostly focus on exploring new opportunities for the future.
Now all you need to do is actually commit to do more data research and drive better results. This is how you create success and quickly find new trends.