Are you seeing the wood for the trees, or rather, the information for the data?

Perhaps you’re an implementer like myself. You get a high from setting things in motion, singling out the areas where you can make the biggest difference, and attacking those relentlessly. Perhaps though, you can get so lost in the implementation and detail of your tasks or ideas, that your bigger picture field of view is somewhat narrowed.

Perhaps you also subconsciously think things like, “If I don’t get stuck into this, it won’t get done properly!” or, “I want this operational thing done right, so I better do it myself!” These thoughts, as well as acting on them, can leave people like me feeling a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. This behaviour can be dangerous, however. In my opinion, this behaviour can be especially damaging when in a position of leadership of small teams or organizations.

When it comes to leadership, one immediately starts to think of strategy and direction.

A great analogy to consider here is that of a sports team and their coach. How can coaches make decisions, and how can they make reasonable decisions, without actually watching the game? When we talk about watching the game in a business context, one of the most tangible areas to get a clear picture of what’s happening in your business, is the area of data and trends.

Work smarter, not harder

While studying reporting and researching analytics, we learnt about the differences between data and information. The basic difference is that data was typically raw and unprocessed, while information was data that had been through a process to make sense of it, and to provide valuable insights.

When watching the game, we can’t really afford to manually filter and process data to arrive at valuable information.  Life is just too busy. Scrooge McDuck offers up a real pearl of wisdom through his motto: “Work smarter, not harder.”

While life is busier than ever before, we also have never had the technical resources available to us that we have today. Technologies abound that process data into real, valuable, useful information to drive our businesses forward and push the boundaries of efficiency and performance.

In the interest of working smarter, as leaders, we need to take the time to find the best ways of turning our raw data into the useful, valuable and critical information that our businesses or team require to function optimally.

Here at Sage Intelligence, our statement of benevolent intent is: We give businesses around the world the information, insight and tools they need to succeed today. It gives me tremendous pride to be working on our own efficiencies and performance to help our customers succeed in improving their very own efficiencies and performance also.