Vision is the key factor for a Data Driven Culture

In my book Meta Analytics I presented two sides of the analytics synapsis. The object that we analyze (companies) and the subject that make the analysis (the people). Between those two things there are a lot of things to deal with to convert the result of the synapsis in an insight that can be taken into action.

In this post I’d like to talk about the object, the company. A company is a system, a set of parts that interact together with the common objective of adding value (in the present and in the future). So basically the information system has to be configured in a way that make simple to every single person (part of the system) how they can bring the company closer to that objetive and if they don’t then report it in an overwhelming way so they can see it an correct it.

Every company generate value in a different way so it’s important to understand what’s the company vision and strategy before moving forward.

The vision tells where the company wants to be in the future. It’s simple, if you want to be in La Guardia Airport and you are in Central Park, your vision is being in La Guardia. Then you need an strategy to be there. So one strategy can be grab your phone and use an app to call a cab/uber/whatever. Then comes the leadership, it’s when the person that has the vision (you in this case) tell the team (the driver in this case) where you want to be and how, so clear that there’s no doubt. Even when you are using an app you can anyways ask the driver to be sure that he is going just where you want it to. After that you can check during the trip that the (Driver, your team) is not going in a wrong direction, if so you just need to correct the direction by reinforcing the Vision (where you are going). During your trip several processes will be performed by several people to leave you at the right time, in the right place and more importantly, safe.

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So the information system should service the organization allowing each person to make a specific activity that will bring the company closer to its future desirable situation.

That’s why you can’t generate an information system without a clear definition of the company’s Vision and I would say this is even harder than define the information system. Thanks to technology we don’t have real impediments in generating an efficient information system today. The main problem companies face while implementing a Data Governance system has nothing to do with the implementation itself but with all the previous work that was supposed to be done and wasn’t. Once you have definitions is easy to put things together and make them work. But no information system definition is as important as the vision. Without vision, the information system won’t be able to do what it was meant for. Generate the “tension” or “stress” in the parts of the system to make them work in a way that makes the company tends to its future desirable state.

The main challenge in any organization is having a CEO that is able to transmit that vision in such an overwhelming way that even when the vision normally gets diluted it is still clear enough to everyone in the organization.

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Most of the highest growing companies has that type of CEOs. Oracle has Larry Ellison, Apple had Steve Jobs, Google has Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Facebook has Mark Zuckerberg and so on.

Without a vision, or a person that can share that vision in a very simple and contagious way, there’s almost impossible to have an information system, and the result is a company where everybody do what they can, in the way they believe is the best way possible, generating as many micro visions as people in the organization. We are talking about a system where forces are not working together with a common vector, but as many vectors as people in the company.

I remember something like 10 years ago I was closing a deal with a Fortune 500 company and my question was “How clear is the vision for your teams? The answer was immediate “Everybody here knows very clearly hour vision”. I participated in the assessment, the result was just as I told you. It was as many visions as people in the organization.

Does everybody in your organization knows what’s your company vision? That’s a good starting point for a Data Driven transformation…

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