data driven managementIn the time after America’s recession of 2008, one of the first things to recover was the technology budget. For many organizations there has been an increasing sense that investment in Business Intelligence is a necessary line-item, but less of a sense for the “Why” or “How” to apply that investment. The most straightforward component is the software purchase, though as with all things strategic – there’s a bigger picture.

The term Business Intelligence (B.I.) itself can be a broad concept. An appropriate way to consider a fruitful investment is multifaceted, and beyond the technology budget. Given organizations which are effectively advantaging B.I. initiatives, one lens through which to view the B.I. investment impact is management style.

Managers, Business Intelligence, and Data

Managers are leaders of departments in an organization, and decisions made at that level affect subordinate, peer, and superordinate elements of the organizational ecosystem. Business Intelligence for the manager is a decision support mechanism. Management that fully integrates B.I. is analytically oriented, and data-driven.

Data-driven management is becoming more and more relevant as organizations face wading through the era of Big Data. An understanding of what it means to be data-driven and adoption of these management styles that will complement the corporate technology budget line item for B.I.

A data-driven manager is one who brings data collection, analysis, and corresponding action into the daily heartbeat of the organization. This person leads through the organization’s data, continually connecting it to the mission, vision, and values.

Using enabling information technology systems, which might also be called data-driven management systems, an organization’s data is collected and stored in the interest of tracking and understanding behavior, identifying patterns, or general querying as new problems or opportunities arise. A data-driven manager creates an environment which emphasizes that the data is owned by the company, it’s the real stuff, and it should feel valid to harness it and use it to make future decisions.

In an organization where reviewing factual data and operational results in a continuous manner has become the norm, that effort aligned with internal goals provides for course correction mid-flight. All the software power tools in the world, a hearty infrastructure, and perfect data will bear little fruit if an organization’s fails to invest in data-driven management.

There is no cookie-cutter supersystem for doing B.I. for the big win. With data-driven managers in place, though, the path to leveraging data to make better business decisions is opened. Business Intelligence solutions and toolsets can be designed and implemented in phases to grow in tandem with and accelerate the potency of a data-driven organization’s most valuable resources and difference makers – its people. What ways have you found to be a Data-driven Manager? We’d like to hear from you, please comment below. Newsletter5