I read a great article by Benjamin Spiegel on the ineffectiveness of throwing wads of data at clients, rather than just focusing on the actionable insights that the data reveals. It got me thinking about what this means to agencies in their own businesses.
What gets measured, gets managed
We all know the saying: “What gets measured, gets managed”. But does it? We all love information on our own businesses, but in
practice do we really have the time or inclination to interpret
everything that is available? Especially since so much more can be
measured now than ever before.
And if we are the lucky ones that can scrape together the time to
interpret these gems, do we also have the time to implement any changes needed, based on the data?
Why measure what you are not prepared to manage?
I challenge you to turn this statement around and ask: “Why measure what you are not prepared to manage?”
Management systems on the market today have hundreds of out-of-the-box reports, and various plugins that allows a business to pull, sum, and slice the data every which way. The one common trait I have seen in businesses that report on anything and everything…they struggle to turn all that information into a strategy they can
action in practice, or a point of view they can execute.
There are of course businesses that have teams in place to help measure the information and recognise the problems. But more
often than not, what I’m seeing in these business is while they have all the information they need, they either don’t have the time, or are just not prepared to manage their teams through any change. This is a different issue completely but both boil down to the same thing: lack of focus.
I am not saying agencies should forget about looking at their
businesses analytically. But rather they should look at their own strategies and focus on data that supports their strategic goals.
If you’re an agency that starts sharing those business goals (and the performance metrics associated) with your team, you will ensure you are working together towards a common purpose.
Once you have this focus and the sense of purpose then you can start measuring. Communicate. Measure. Communicate. Measure. Communicate. Evolve.
Evolution is the cream on the cake. At this point your performance should improve and through engaging your team in the journey you will gain new anecdotal insights. These insights will give you a new point of data to focus on and as a team you can evolve your strategy and fine tune your information.
After all, what’s the point in accumulating business data if you’re not going to take the time to manage the outcomes?
Helen Johnson is a Business Systems & Workflow Consultant and the Founder of Tangram Consulting.
For more information on making the pieces of your business work better together contact firstname.lastname@example.org