Data Share House
We are no strangers to the common data management issues which plague most contemporary businesses. Staying true to our mission to minimise admin and clear more space for strategy and customers, we have developed a plethora of techniques which enable us to smartly manage the flow of data with no extra cost involved. These are rather principles, than set rules, and we adjust them to the realities and culture of each client.
1. Talk to your people
It is not senior management who executes the endless processes which keep the organisation running – it is your people. Hence, they are the ones who really know the imperfection of your processes, and the impact of these on your operations. The majority of flaws can be fixed with little to no investment, however, smooth processes designed for those who use them are a true game changer.
2. Question every single action
The majority of processes are there for a reason, however, in every organisation, there are countless examples of bureaucracy which spoil the work of your people, damage the experience of your client, and erode the motivation of everyone involved. Revise your processes and leave only what is really essential.
3. Define clear objectives
Managing data, even when your processes are smooth, could be a challenge. Inconsistencies and errors occur, and these multiply by the number of the departments involved in a process. Be clear on what your data objectives are, and make sure everyone is aware of these. If you need five data fields to be correct 99% of the time, promote this in every possible way.
4.Train and support your people
Communicating objectives, requires defined guidelines of how these objectives could be achieved. These guidelines could be detailed and process-driven, or simply mark the principles/ final objectives which should be followed; depending on the nature of the process and the culture of your organisation. Nominate champions across the organisations who bring expertise in the process locally.
5.Use BI to ease admin, not increase it
It is easy to get overwhelmed by building sophisticated reports, which in turn require more admin, and create more work than the work they save. Make sure you keep a simplistic approach which focuses on the defined objectives and facilitate the smoothness of your processes.
6.Skip middle management
We all know employees love their mid management but not associating your project with the latter could raise your chances for a successful project delivery. There is no reason to send reports to middle managers who then communicate down to their team, when you can automate reports which get delivered directly to the inbox of your people who work “on the floor”, featuring only information relevant to them. After all you are a BI specialist, not HR. Such an approach increases their responsibility, and also gets the data professionals closer to the everyday operations, opening new communication channels.
7.Integrate BI, processes and people
Don’t fix each part of the process/report individually. Together with the rest of the key stakeholders, agree on a vision of the ideal state of a certain process. Then, use Business Intelligence to integrate the rules/process with your task force. It is common for IT to astrange individuals from a process or demotivate them. Personalise and customise as much as possible to avoid fatigue and sense of full automation.
8.Recognise your data/ process champions
Some organisations tend to focus on the output of poor performers, however, we advise you to take a more positive approach and recognise your champions. This way you promote your values, your processes and your best. The rest will follow –if it doesn’t – then, alert HR. Optimism brings better results (this is scientifically proven) – be a successful organisation, and don’t chase your people – encourage and recognise them for the right behaviours.
9.Open a hot feedback line
Allow your people to share feedback on your processes, then implement the logical suggestions which in reality enable you to achieve your objectives as an organisation easier. You will notice an immediate sense of pride in your task-force and a much greater data entry quality.
10.Stay true to logic, not your historical decisions
This is not a one-off exercise, and business intelligence/ data processes need to be constantly redesigned to be in line with your organisational reality. Objectives, principles and processes can and should be amended when the change would further empower your business. Nonetheless, most of the potential changes would be unnecessary if you have built an optimally customisable BI product.
You have probably noticed that the above 10 tips are not as data focused as the title of this article suggests. However, we reassure you that following these would bring positive results not only in the way you manage your data, but in your organisation as a whole. Because this is the nature of what business intelligence does – empowering business through data, with a passion for people.