Do you have too much data and not enough information?

Do you have too much data and not enough information?

Is your daily report 17 pages with a graph on the front page?

This week we met with a prospect who has just this problem. Sure the daily report includes some numbers on rolling progress across his stores, so it’s progressive; but it is too much data and not enough information. The result is that the managers are not reading the report and the rate of errors and bad decisions with a cost impact is increasing.

When the report was three pages it was easy to flick through and see the critical points, but the business grew and the number of items on the daily report grew. The business is now at risk of going out of control because the very reports that lead to the control are themselves out of control.

The answer is not in removing reports nor in hiding the numbers; it is in better technology.

Today, smart businesses are working with advisers and business analysts to get to key metrics in a business and then they are automating the reports and sending them to mobile dashboards that give live feeds to the company data in a graphical and easily browsed way. For large groups or franchise operators this can allow benchmarking reports or sales reports, production or stock reports to be in the hands of the right people with data that is up-to-the-minute accurate.

If you do not yet have the reporting, you have further to go, as you need to have data before these mobile dashboards will give you information to make the right decisions.

A recent example was when Fortescue Metals put mobile dashboards to use in their mines to improve productivity by over 10% and make savings of $30 million. Not every business has that much to gain but the costs of the tools available today make the ROI as little as a few months.

If you do not have reporting and need it, step one is to ensure you are capturing the right data. Get help finding your key metrics as a first step. Then you can skip the 17 page report and go directly to mobile dashboards to get ahead of your competitors who are bogged down in paper.

When would be the best time to take advantage of these new low-cost dashboard solutions to get that jump on your competitors? It won’t be after they jump, that’s for sure!

David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for solving business problems with IT. How can we help?

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