Decision-making that pays off.
The one thing every well-run business has in common is a business plan – usually generated annually and stemming from an agreed budget. However, it’s typical that you and your business leaders face a range of scenarios throughout the year where you need (either on an ad hoc or unstructured basis) to collect data to inform decisions that fall outside of the best-laid plans. These scenarios could be investment opportunities, a divestment, market, supply chain or resourcing challenges, or the need to understand and reduce operational risk exposure.
It’s a universally acknowledged truth that, as CEO, you can’t do everything. But one of the most valuable and impactful decisions you can make this year is to understand where your business sits in terms of data maturity – which includes data security, privacy and literacy. And then, take a deep breath and spearhead the drive to make your organisational data accessible, available, and accurate – so your people are equipped to make better and faster decisions and improve outcomes.
We all know that good data is regarded as a significant business asset. But until it can serve a greater purpose (or you lose access to it), it’s not worth its weight in gold. This is where you come in. As CEO, you are responsible for setting the strategic direction for the entire organisation. For many, contemplating freeing up your data from its cross-company silos and analysing it may seem daunting in terms of budget, time, and scope. However, the good news is that getting more value from your data is not an all-or-nothing scenario. You can start with the most trusted data in the business (usually your financials and general ledger), then move on to payroll – which, again, tends to be highly accurate, and continue in incremental steps.
By leveraging the power of your data at a manageable pace and adopting a perpetual process of continuous progress and improvement, your people can learn on the job. And with real-time data available to fuel their reporting (scenario and otherwise), they can measure, report on, and improve the performance of both the business and your people.
Critically, they – and you - can make decisions based on facts, not best-guess predictions – so risks to the business are minimised.
In an ideal state, business planning is ongoing and collaborative right across the organisation. This offers the benefits of speed and ownership, which positively impact talent retention and attraction – two of today’s most significant business issues.
A final suggestion. Start with the guiding principle of data, i.e., develop a data management strategy that focuses on what you need to keep your business competitive and secure, and leverage your data effectively through meaningful analytics and reporting (Data + Analytics = Gold).
And then, look for the right partner and technology to help you systemise your organisational objectives.
ANZ General Manager - Corporate Performance and Data Management - Fusion5