Actionable data drives the most successful businesses. To cut through today’s information overload a data driven leader has to be incisive, creative, and decisive.

One of the concepts that came out of APICS 2014 was the concept of a data driven leader. We are overloaded with data and messages on a daily basis yet the most successful leaders find ways to rapidly sift through the data to see trends, formulate ideas and make decisions. To be successful in today’s environment, we must be FAST. Thus, being a data driven leader can be a key to success.

For example, in my recent Amazon Effect research study about the impact Amazon and other mega-distributors are having on manufacturers and distributors, executives are saying that the importance of data is increasing. Customers are providing additional demand data, and technology is providing access to many new types of data. The key is to leverage the data for elevating business performance.

What reports do you review on a daily basis? weekly basis? monthly basis? Do they provide the information you need to run the business? Slash the number of reports you receive but make sure the ones you receive are key to driving progress.