• Laura Landmark

Technology induced change is nothing new, the real question is how you deal with it?

"A new era of technological change is upon us"!.

"The digital wave is crashing"!.

"Sink or swim"!.

Stories of impending doom fill the media, and I too bandy these sensational cliches. Unprecedented technological change is imminent, but is this something new?

Yes, and no.

This particular wave might be unknown, but change itself is not. So stop trying to calm the storm and learn to “ride the wild surf”.

Life involves accepting the things we cannot change and finding the courage to change the things we can.

The key word here is courage, bravery allows us to step up and shake up the status quo. This is necessary. What worked for the last five years will not suffice for the next. Take control, and be a champion of change, not a victim.

Modern history boasts massive technological developments. Air travel meant the entire world was suddenly only one day away. Antibiotics significantly expanded our expected lifespan. Both innovations had a profound impact on the shape of our culture and society.

Each major technological advance has the potential to change humanity beyond recognition.

The 20th century was rife with game changing inventions. Think of the car, the radio, the submarine, the rocket, nuclear power, the personal computer, and the internet. Each one of these technological advancements meant companies had to improvise, adapt and overcome.. Or die!

More recently we see the major disruptors such as AirBnB, Uber, Pinterest, Drop box. Their “innovations are changing the world” and we are yet to see into exactly what state, yet, “we” keep on going..

We have done it before, we can do it again.

5 simple realisations every business decision maker should come to for the next phase

Realise excel is not the answer to everything. The age of import/export, cut, and paste is history! If you are relying on diverse excel worksheets to run your business, you are already being out-maneuvered. Excel is for modelling and manipulating numbers. Excel is not a database for storing data, nor for distributing reports, depend upon it at your peril.

Strive for a single source of truth. Finance teams get busy every month preparing reports. The numbers are joined up (usually copy/paste in excel!), sliced, diced, organised, massaged and (often) displayed in their best light to keep the Board happy. All this activity and moulding of data leaves little time for them to use their expertise for analysis or value adding.

But lets start at the beginning, enabling a single source of truth (SSOT) ensures there is no manipulation at the back end. Store the numbers only “one time” in the database, and join up the different threads behind the scenes and then everyone in the organisation uses exactly the same base to run reports and make decisions. A SSOT ensures that the organisation is in line, and that the necessity for all the manipulation by a middle man is removed, minimising the potential for mistakes or false truths.

Look forward not back. Have you ever driven using only on your back mirror for navigation? Retrospective reports are necessary for compliance. They tell you what has happened. Yet directors should spend most their time concerned with shaping the future. For that you need to focus on forward looking reports.

Time is money. It should not take you 21 days to finish and report on month end. In talking to clients it is typical to hear the month end closure takes weeks, not days. I have experienced this myself when working in industry with insufficient tools. We spent days travelling to building sites to sit opposite project managers to analyse the position of long term projects. Expensive time wasted when you can install online interactive tools. These allow you to capture and analyse the latest position in a split second.

Engage and delight your employees. Employees with suitable technology plus a good understanding on how they make a difference to the bottom line pay dividends. This results in improvements in loyalty, productivity, and profitability. There is nothing worse than trying to make a square hole with a round drill. Make life better for your employees, it is a great investment in the future of your company or department.

“I wish I could press a button and get all my answers at once”.

This is the cry I over and over from potential clients, and each time I give the same answer. “It is possible!”. With the right strategy, investment and execution all answers are instant. Imagine the satisfaction of being able make informed decisions. This doesn't mean to say your decision will always be right, but at least you have data to back up your intuition.

We at Mantle Analytics focus on helping you create a data strategy, reports and dashboards which will allow you to be digital heros. Don’t settle for second best, or defeat. Contact us today to see how we can empower you to take off with the next wave not wipe out.

#Datastrategy #Technology #Digitalization

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