Making decisions that lead to successMaking business decisions is an essential part of company leadership. You may need to check audit compliance, sales quotas, employee productivity, or customer satisfaction.

So how do you jump start the success of your business and make sure you have ALL the information you need to make knowledgeable business decisions?

Get more data, right!?!

Big data, and critical business decisions are terms consistently used in the same conversation. As a whole, ‘big data’ is boasted to be one of the most important assets to growing your business. While it is certainly useful for decision making, big data requires cleaning, sorting, analyzing, and interpretation in order to identify key trends. This has lead to an important question- Can this big data, with its complexity, be use for making daily decisions?

“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina

As with any scientific issue, the debates on using big data for business decisions are never ending.

What we do know, is that according to research conducted by Capgemini consulting a key issue with big data is “being able to analyze it in real time.” Managers want and need to be able to use their data to assist them in the decision-making process immediately, not tomorrow.

The problem is that big data, due to its size and complexity, can leave you with so much information that it becomes convoluted; slowing down the daily decisions making process. It doesn’t matter if you work in security, operations, sales, or executive management; as a leader in your organization, you need to be able to answer questions and make decisions in the blink of an eye. The truth about big data is that it is messy and of course, big. You might even receive numerous ridiculously long reports with hundreds, maybe thousands, of numbers every day.

You don’t have time to fumble through an extensive XLM, CSV, SAP, or other data file and make the perfect pie chart so that you can visualize what the numbers are telling you. No, you need specific information guiding your decision-making process at your fingertips and the rest of data can be left to the analytics team.

A part of this problem is knowing what data you need. Capgemini’s study also addresses this and their article discusses the importance of having ‘all the relevant information’.  The problem defining what is relevant?

The facts derived from data are important, but the facts that are important to the sales manager are not the same facts that matter to the compliance manager. Each actor needs different indicators to help them make decisions specific to their business goals. Relevancy is subjective.

It is also important to remember that data can’t determine relevancy. For example, your data may indicate that you are over your marketing budget. This could be highlighted by a negative sign in your data file. What the data is not telling you is that your marketing department just invested a lump sum into a new e-marketing strategy.

With this information you now know that the budget deficit is not a flame, a fire, or even smoldering smoke, it is an investment in the future of the company, with an anticipated rate of return.

The truth is, it is not possible for a 60-page report to tell you ‘real time’ everything happening within your company. For the most part, it probably will not inform your daily management decisions except for giving you a few specific numbers (you probably needed off of only one page)

In order to have all of your departments relevant information, you would need to have a platform that allows you to streamline your data and pair it with department specific indicators.

The good news is, smartcockpit does this. it allows you to input any question you want to answer and then attach relevant data. You can note your human based business decisions or create an action plan for a critical problem.

Importantly, the power of smartcockpit is much greater than simply streamlining department specific information. The software calls attention to areas of concern so that you to quickly identify the issues you need to spend your time on.

You are also given extreme flexibility in how you and your individual company uses the program. You can manually adjust for unanticipated changes such as a marketing investment. You simply amend the performance indicator and note that the seemingly negative value is actually a positive change for your company.

You can also add a reminder to the indicator and check back next month to see if the investment is proving its worth. Or, you can create a new indicator altogether. You can manually enter data, combine files; whatever it is that informs your indicator, you can include it in this program.

You don’t have to flip through 10 xlm files, enter numbers from SAP, and create a line graph. smartcockpit keeps everything in once place!

It is truly a business-driven program with the ability to save you time and assist you in making informed management decisions. It also has the power to rejuvenate, and fine tune, your company’s interdepartmental collaborations. For example, each department has their own cockpit, but if the sales and the accounting team need to easily communicate their daily decisions, their cockpits can be shared with one another. Yes, this means that the CEO can streamline all cockpits and observe the major business decisions occurring within the company – giving him time to focus on his own performance indicators instead of running around trying to figure out which fire is the biggest.

The ability to make informed business management decisions in an instant will be a vital asset to your business. Because data-driven facts don’t always tell you the whole story the ability to combine your indicator relevant data and human business decisions into a single platform will greatly improve your decision making and collaboration process. It also frees up time for you focus on what is important. Don’t waste your time staring at pages of data. Spend your time focusing on what matters. #smartcockpit