The pandemic has spurred on the need to work smarter, not harder. In our Brushware article, the Digital Transformation Fueled with Business Intelligence, we talk about the critical importance of making meaningful decisions with data. As discussed in the SIOP client success story, data was a key driver of SIOP results. The key was in understanding data, the sources of data, cleansing data, connecting data, utilizing data, predicting with data and more.

Since the pandemic (although largely pre-pandemic as well), EVERY single client’s situation and path forward had some relation to data and business intelligence. As discussed in a client panel at a global consulting conference, the use of data is strategic. The Global CIO of Abbott talked about turning data into insights. That is exactly what successful clients are doing! For example, another client took at look ahead to evaluate storage needs to get ahead of the supply chain surge and secure additional warehouse space while also reevaluating their sourcing data and deciding to reshore/ near-shore 70% of their production within the next year. Another client analyzed data and decided which items and/or customers to prioritize during the post-pandemic surge so that they maximize customer value and bottom line results.

From the technical side, we have been working with clients to create data models to support this type of analysis as well as evaluating and selecting business intelligence software as well as other data-rich software options (forecasting, SIOP, CRM, etc.). There is NO need to wait for technology solutions unless you’d like to be left in the dust. Start digging into your data and look for meaningful insights for decision-making and strategy setting.

As we are famous for saying to clients, don’t worry about perfection; directional analysis is the way to go. It is better to start moving in the right direction than to sit on the sidelines crunching data. After almost 17 years of consulting, it is absolutely clear that analysis paralysis can create confusion and leads to changes in leadership whereas the leader willing to absorb directional insights and make decisions thrives.

From a process side, there is no doubt about it that you should jump into data. There is more data available than at any time in history; in fact, there is too much data. Clients end up with information overload and do nothing. Stay calm. Think logically. Access whether your conclusions make sense, tweak as needed and move forward. If there is another thing all clients have in common it is that they get so buried in data that it can convey entirely incorrect conclusions and everyone misses it because they are so focused on data instead of common sense. Before publishing data insights, review from a common sense point-of-view. You’ll leapfrog the competition with a few powerful insights instead of a mountain of information that may or may not make sense.