In the part four, the final post in our Business Activation Series, we will cover the most important aspect of activation – distribution of data. In Part One, we discussed analyzing the current state of your data. Part Two covered tools and strategies readily available to help close any gaps found in your data. Last week, Part Three explored the importance of providing a visual context for data and some upcoming tools to assist. Part Four will bring everything together that we learned in the previous posts to help you truly leverage your data with staff and ACTIVATE YOUR BUSINESS. How exactly will Part Four help? Today’s post will explore how you plan around disseminating the data you have collected.
If you truly want to activate your business, you need to encourage a cultural change throughout the entire team. If your team doesn’t comprehend the significance behind your data you can’t possibly hope to create positive change with it. With proper distribution you can create a behavioral change as staff become more aware of their daily impact. Staff can easily reflect on what went wrong and right the previous day when they see the results. You need the data to motivate your team to improve their performance. Thus why you need to create a strategy around how best to disseminate the information – it’s easily the most important step to Business Activation.
First, you need to truly take ownership of information distribution. The moment your organization stops distributing data is the moment Business Activation stops happening. In the early stages it is instrumental that leadership manage the data distribution process, once the team appreciates its importance you can assign ownership elsewhere. It’s critical to have someone that understands the importance of data distribution manage the process at the outset – and in the beginning that person is most likely you and other leadership personnel.
Once leadership is distributing data, you need to determine how best to utilize the data to encourage cultural change among your staff (i.e. business activation). It’s essential to understand that each staff member is different and will interact with data differently. Some individuals will prefer to review text and table based information (i.e. spreadsheets or OLAP Cubes) while others will find visuals that present information with easy to understand graphics preferable (i.e. dashboards). Most business intelligence tools provide either reports or dashboards (or if they offer both will primarily focus on one and reduce the capabilities of the other). As a Total e customer, you have the best of both worlds – our solution offers both numerical and visual based reporting tools to enable all users to interact with their data as needed.
You must ensure that both numerical and graphical reporting formats are provided to staff. It’s integral that you communicate data in such a way that all staff can review, monitor and make effective decisions so that they can get back to their job quickly. The ideal dissemination of data involves starting with the dashboards, followed by drilling down into more detailed numerical information that is already filtered based on issues identified on the dashboard. Taking the ideal dissemination even further, you should work towards getting the data to employees via their smartphone – a feature Total e Integrated will be releasing soon. Another powerful business activator is the use of notifications based on events in the database – for example, automated notifications if tee sheet utilization has dropped, when inventory levels are low, etc. Total e Integrated enables you to provide the right information in the preferred format for staff allowing you to easily become a business activator!
With the ideal report format created, you must now actively disseminate the data. Whether you provide reports weekly, bi-weekly or monthly – you must ensure consistency. Consistency is important for a few reasons… Consistency allows for measurement – if you do not try something consistently for a specific period of time, you can’t determine if it’s working or not. Consistency also creates accountability – you expect employees to meet their deliverables and goals, they should expect the same in return from you. You must set a schedule and disseminate the data accordingly throughout your organization. Send your reports via e-mail, printed or both – whatever method(s) have the highest likelihood of being read in your organization should be utilized.
Hopefully you found our series on Business Activation useful. Remember, nothing is too sophisticated if you come along with us on the journey. If you have any questions about the Business Activation Series, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.